Normally, I don’t post about new routes here – but Austrian Airlines restarting its Tokyo route is an exception as it’s a special flight to me.
Why Is This Route Special to Me?
Given that I grew up in Slovakia and used to visit my grandparents in Japan more or less every summer, flying between Vienna – the closest major international airport to my home – and Tokyo was a yearly ritual.
While most of the time, it would either be on an Air France 747 via Paris or Swissair (and later Swiss) MD-11, it was always nice to know that there was a non-stop option connecting my two homes.
In fact, my very first flight (not that I remember it…) was Austrian’s Vienna to Tokyo flight. Back then – in 1992, it was operated through Moscow as OS555 (OS556 on the way back) with an Airbus A310.
After that, it became a non-stop flight with the flight numbers changing to OS51 and OS52, and at first, it was operated using Airbus A340 aircraft.
In that period, I took one-roundtrip on the route. And, I still remember the A340 cabin – it was one of my first flights with a personal IFE screen, and the games selection was the best I’ve had to date – they basically had a Nintendo emulator, so I could play Super Mario all throughout the flight!
Then, they switched the flight to a Boeing 777-200ER – the type which operated the route until it was terminated in September 2016 as it “had become unprofitable as a consequence of the economic downturn and currency devaluation in Japan.”
Details of the “New” Route
Well, now it seems like Austrian sees a potential in the route once again (and is getting the necessary additional aircraft), as it will be re-launching it.
The “new” Vienna-Tokyo route will start operating on May 15, 2018. It will be operated five times a week with a 777-200ER, and will only be operating during the summer schedule.
The Vienna to Tokyo flight, OS51, will depart Vienna every day except for Thursday and Saturday at 5:55PM, arriving in Tokyo at 12:05PM the next day. The return flight, OS52, will depart Tokyo at 2:00PM every day except for Friday and Sunday, and will arrive in Vienna at 7:00PM on the same day.
Besides offering business and economy class, premium economy will be offered on the flight as well.
While the route is only going to be seasonal, I am still excited that there will be a direct connection between my two homes once again!