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Companies Compete for Austria’s Young Talents: Austrian Airlines Launches Education Program for Future Air Traffic Managers



• Dual aviation management studies in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Worms starting in March 2018
• Austrian Airlines looking for up to eight participants in the pilot phase

“Filling academic positions with talented Austrians is a major challenge for us”, says Kay Kratky, Chief Executive Officer of Austrian Airlines AG, getting to the heat of the shortage of specialist staff in the country. Austrian Airlines is particularly affected in areas such as flight operations, revenue management and network planning, where employees are required who not only have an understanding of business but also airline-specific know-how. For this reason, Austrian Airlines was forced to lure experts from all across Europe to Vienna to fill vacant positions. “However, this is not a sustainable solution, because many of these employees do not consider Vienna to be the center of their lives in the long term. That is why we want to take a different approach in order to find and train tomorrow’s talents”, Austrian Airlines CEO Kratky adds.

In March of next year Austrian Airlines is launching the dual study program “AIRcelerate” for future air traffic managers. It particularly targets the Austrian education market. Within a period of 3.5 years, the participants will conclude a seven-semester bachelor’s program at the University of Applied Sciences Worms. In addition to traditional contents in business administration, the people in the program – the “AIRceleraters” – will learn everything they need in order to successfully manage an aviation company. During lecture-free periods, the students will take part in an airline trainee program at Austrian Airlines in Vienna-Schwechat. “In addition to being deployed on the ground and in the air, the participants will be involved in various management assignments, projects and trainings to learn everything required to directly join Austrian Airlines after the program is concluded”, Kratky explains. The participants are also supported by a mentor from the management team during the program.

Furthermore, the students have the opportunity to organize a four-week charity project abroad and can spend one of the semesters studying in another country (USA, Canada or Hong Kong). “It is important to us that future talents in our company gain some international experience and develop their strengths. For this reason, we have included a lot of space for individuality in addition to numerous foreign assignments in the program”, states project manager Maximilian Szesny. The program participants are employed by Austrian Airlines from the very beginning and enjoy numerous employee benefits such as discounted flying. The students receive remuneration of EUR 875 per month during practical training periods. Moreover, Austrian Airlines covers all study, travel and education costs, and also gives each participant a laptop for his or her studies at the university.

Prospective candidates with higher education entrance qualification can apply up until December 14, 2017 at

“We hope our investments in young talents will pay off. If the pilot phase is successful, we want to increase the number of training positions in the second year to about ten. I am personally delighted that there is finally an opportunity for young Austrian aviation enthusiasts to directly gain a professional foothold in the airline sector right after they complete their secondary school education”, CEO Kay Kratky concludes.

Austrian Airlines currently employs a staff of about 6,700 people. Austria’s red-white-red flag carrier aims to increase the workforce to 7,000 employees in the coming year. The backdrop is growing global demand for air travel.

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