Vienna airport

"VIE" redirects here. For other uses, see VIE (disambiguation).
Vienna International Airport
Flughafen Wien-Schwechat
Airport type Private
Operator Flughafen Wien AG
Serves Vienna, Austria; Bratislava, Slovakia
Location Schwechat, Austria
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 183 m / 600 ft
Coordinates 48°06′37″N 016°34′11″E / 48.11028°N 16.56972°E / 48.11028; 16.56972Coordinates: 48°06′37″N 016°34′11″E / 48.11028°N 16.56972°E / 48.11028; 16.56972

Location within Austria
Direction Length Surface
m ft
11L/29R 3,500 11,483 Asphalt
16/34 3,600 11,811 Asphalt
Statistics (2012)
Aircraft Movements 244,650
Passenger Movements 22,165,794 Increase 5.0%
Source: Austrian AIP at EUROCONTROL[1] Vienna Airport[2]

Vienna International Airport (German: Flughafen Wien-Schwechat; IATA: VIEICAO: LOWW), located in Schwechat, 18 km (11 mi) southeast of central Vienna, is the busiest and biggest airport in Austria. It is often referred to as Schwechat, the name of the municipality it is in. The airport is capable of handling wide-body aircraft such as the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380. The airport is the hub of Austrian Airlines and its subsidiary Tyrolean Airways, as well as Niki.

During 2012, the airport handled a total of 22,165,794 passengers, representing a respective 5.0% increase compared to 2011, and 244,650 aircraft movements.[2]


Originally built as a military airport in 1938, and used during World War II as the Heinkel firm's southern military aircraft design and production complex, or Heinkel-Süd facility, it was taken over by the British in 1945. In 1954, the Betriebsgesellschaft was founded, and the airport replaced Aspern as Vienna's (and Austria's) principal aerodrome. There was just one runway, which in 1959 was expanded to measure 3,000 m (9,843 ft). The erection of the new airport building starting in 1959. In 1972 another runway was built. In 1982 the airport was connected to the national motorway network (Ostautobahn).

The airport received Olympic teams as Austria has twice hosted the Winter Olympics. Pope John Paul II also used the airport during his visits to Austria. On December 27, 1985, the El Al ticket counter was attacked by Palestinians terrorists. (See Rome and Vienna Airport Attacks.) In 1986 the enlarged arrivals hall was opened, and in 1988 Pier East with 8 jetbridges.

In 1992, the new Terminal 1 (today: Check-In 1) was opened and a year later the shopping area around the plaza in the transit area of the B,C and D gates. In 1996 Pier West with 12 jetbridges got in operation. Until its closing in 2003 the airport featured a Harrods. In 2006 the 109 m (358 ft) tall control tower started operating. It allows a free overview of the entire airport area and offers a night laser show, which should welcome the passengers even from the aircraft. 2004–2007 an Office Park had been erected offering 69.000m² of rentable space. A VIP- and general aviation-terminal, including a separated apron, opened in 2006.

On June 5, 2012, the new Austrian Star Alliance terminal (formerly Skylink) was opened, which enables Vienna Airport to handle 30 million passengers per year. Construction started in 2004 and was suspended due to projected cost increases in 2009, but resumed in 2010. The maximum planned costs totaled less than € 770 million.[2] Following concerns over the mismanagement of the Skylink project, chief executive Herbert Kaufman agreed to resign at the end of December 2010.[3] The new building with its South Pier has 17 jetbridges and makes the airport capable of handling more aircraft, although further upgrades will be required to accommodate the Airbus A380.


Vienna International Airport has one terminal separated into four check-in areas, and five concourses. Between 2004 and 2012, a new terminal building called Austrian Star Alliance Terminal (former Skylink) was built, where Check-in 3 and the new central arrivals hall are now located. This new building opened on 5 June 2012. All terminal facilities are operated by the Flughafen Wien AG. In addition the airport has a unique VIP-Terminal.

Check-In Areas

Check-in 1 (formerly known as Terminal 1) has been undergoing refurbishment until January 2013 and is now mainly used by Air Berlin and Niki as well as several other oneworld and SkyTeam airlines. Check-in 1A (formerly known as Terminal 1A) is a temporary building, built to offer more space for low-cost carriers. Check-in 2 (formerly known as Terminal 2), a building from the 1960s, has been used by numerous foreign airlines and was closed down for either renovation or rebuilding in January 2013. Check-in 3 is used by the Austrian Airlines Group, Emirates, Qatar and most Star Alliance members.


Area B for Schengen destinations

  • Gates B22–B43 (buses)

Area C (pier west) for Schengen and non-Schengen destinations; individual passport control at each gate

  • Gates C31–C42 (jetbridges), C35–C41 (only for transfer), C71–C75 (buses, Schengen only)

Area D (pier east; formerly Area A) for non-Schengen destinations; shared passport control at the entrance of pier east

  • Gates D21–D29 (boarding via jetbridges), D31–D37 (boarding via buses), D61–D70 (buses)

Area F (Level 1 of pier south) for Schengen destinations

  • Gates F01-F37 (jetbridges and busses)

Area G (Level 3 of pier south) for non-Schengen destinations; shared passport control at the entrance of Level 3

  • Gates G01-G37 (jetbridges and busgates)

Vienna's home-carrier Austrian Airlines as well as most of its Star Alliance partners use the Areas F and G.

Expansion plans

Because of its constant growth in passenger numbers and freight Austria's biggest airport is undergoing major construction works with several new and extensively adapted buildings since 2004.

Among others, remarkable projects like the new tower and the terminal expansion "Austrian Star Alliance Terminal"- check-in 3 (former Skylink) have been completed by now.

  • Railway station: The underground railway station will be completely expanded to offer space for long-distance trains. With the completion of the Central Station in 2015, the airport will also get connected from there. It will allow long-distance trains and perhaps a new S-Bahn line to reach the airport, so that the frequency of S-Bahn trains becomes higher than the current 30 minutes.
  • Renovations in old stock: Until January 2013 check-in 1 has been refurbished. Further construction work will concern pier east and pier west. The B and C-gates already got a central security control in June 2012.[4] The airport's management will decide by spring 2014 either to refurbish or demolish and rebuild the old check-in 2.
  • Third runway: A third runway is to be constructed 2,400 m (7,900 ft) south of 11L/29R. The runway will be numbered 11R/29L and will be 3,680 m (12,070 ft)[5]

Flughafen Wien AG ownership structure

Flughafen Wien AG, one of the few quoted airport operators in Europe, was privatised in 1992.

Shareholders are:[6]

  • Province of Lower Austria: 20%
  • City of Vienna: 20%
  • Private employee participation foundation: 10%
  • Private shareholders: 50%

Airlines and destinations




Busiest routes

10 busiest international routes at Vienna Airport, without transit passengers (2010)
Rank Airport Passengers Handled
1 Germany Frankfurt 952,074
2 United Kingdom London 898,140
3 Switzerland Zurich 788.401
4 France Paris 758,552
5 Germany Düsseldorf 636,606
6 Germany Berlin 555,205
7 Germany Munich 492,322
8 Germany Hamburg 485,225
9 Russia Moscow 463,639
10 Netherlands Amsterdam 455,923
Source: Statistik Austria[7]
10 busiest international routes at Vienna Airport, without transit passengers (2011)
Rank Airport Passengers Handled
1 Germany Frankfurt 1,065,890
2 United Kingdom London 910,883
3 Switzerland Zurich 877,636
4 France Paris 791,314
5 Germany Düsseldorf 709,619
6 Germany Berlin 629,862
7 Russia Moscow 563,309
8 Germany Munich 534,179
9 Germany Hamburg 529,211
10 Netherlands Amsterdam 520,222
Source: Statistik Austria
10 busiest international routes at Vienna Airport, without transit passengers (2012)
Rank Airport Passengers Handled
1 Germany Frankfurt 1,181,301
2 United Kingdom London 929,276
3 Switzerland Zurich 919,906
4 France Paris 835,104
5 Germany Düsseldorf 779,653
6 Germany Berlin 733,090
7 Russia Moscow 627,192
8 Germany Munich 562,001
9 Germany Hamburg 557,530
10 Turkey Istanbul 550,871
Source: Statistik Austria

Ground transportation

The cheapest way to the airport is by taking the S-Bahn. The line S 7 stops at every station. The more expensive , the City Airport Train, connects the airport directly to Wien Mitte station close to the city center in just 16 minutes (where S-Bahn trains also stop). Furthermore there are also buses from the airport to various places in Vienna and to other cities (including Bratislava, Budapest, Brno). The S-Bahn, however, is the only means of transport from Vienna to the airport on which the standard integrated tickets for the Vienna region are valid (those also allow further travelling by underground, bus or tram, which the CAT tickets do not).

Accidents and incidents

There has not been a fatal aviation accident at Vienna International Airport since 1955, when a Convair CV-340 crashed on approach to the airport, killing 7 of the 29 passengers and crew on board.[8]


External links

Vienna portal
Austria portal
Aviation portal

  • Official website
  • NWS
  • Aviation Safety Network

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