In the sense of an active system partnership, Flughafen Wien AG and Austrian Airlines have successfully completed discussions to indentify measures that will improve the utilisation of synergies. In these discussions Austrian Airlines confirmed the excellent positioning of Vienna International Airport as a hub to Eastern Europe as well as the very competitive tariffs among the Star Alliance airports.
In agreement with Austrian Airlines, Flughafen Wien AG will now hold discussions with the responsible regulatory authorities and other airlines with the objective of extending the current tariff model beyond its scheduled expiration at the end of 2009 up to 2012. This tariff formula defines the amount and method of calculation for the adjustment of tariffs at Vienna International Airport. These tariffs are established through an executive order issued by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transportation, Innovation and Technology.
The planned amendment to the Austrian aviation safety act with a reduction of the security charge from approximately 8 to approximately 4 for the transfer passengers handled by all airlines will further improve the competitive position of Vienna International Airport. This charge is designed to cover the costs of security facilities, and is passed on to the Austrian Ministry of Finance after the deduction of applicable expenses.
In addition, Flughafen Wien AG will increase the transfer incentive for all airlines from 8.21 to 10.21 for a period of 12 months beginning on 1 July 2009. This measure will result in costs of approximately 6 million for Flughafen Wien AG. Plans also call for the cost-neutral conversion of landing tariffs into passenger-related tariffs in order to reduce the fixed expenses per flight for all airlines.
Austrian Airlines has also confirmed the high quality and service standards of the handling segment at Vienna International Airport, which are reflected in outstanding punctuality ratings. Vienna International Airport has the shortest minimum connecting time in Europe with 25 minutes. Austrian Airlines and Flughafen Wien AG have agreed to extend the handling contract that is scheduled to expire this year for a further three years up to 2012. At the same time, other measures were identified to realise additional process improvements and thereby increase the resulting synergies.