Vienna Airport opens new terminal
Modern architecture makes travelling more convenient. The recently opened terminal “Check-in 3” at Vienna Airport offers many other advantages to about 35,000 passengers a day. It is also the place to enjoy some pre-flight shopping fun and culinary delights.
The terminal opening brought major tension and excitement. Hundreds of employees of Vienna Airport and Austrian Airlines were active in the night from 4 to 5 June 2012. After all, a new terminal was to be inaugurated. At 4:38 hrs. the first passengers arrived on an AUA flight from the Egyptian resort Hurghada. On the successful opening day passengers did not only receive mini ring cakes as a gift but were also surprised with a Viennese waltz flash mob in the new central arrival hall.
Passengers full of praiseIn a passenger survey almost 80 per cent of those polled described the new terminal as a “success”. They praised above all the bright space, the view and architectural design. After passing through the central security check, all passengers may now stroll through the large shopping and food mall. The variety of food and beverages ranges from Asian gourmet cuisine at Indochine Light and fine wines at the bars SkyWineLounge and DeCanto to a relaxing cup of coffee at Meinl-Foodcourt. Boutiques of the best global brands such as Lagerfeld and Dolce & Gabbana await travelling fashionistas. Thanks to the new terminal, Vienna Airport has doubled its retail and restaurant premises to more than 19,000m2. The new central arrival hall does not only accommodate shops (e.g. Spar Gourmet), restaurants and bars (e.g. Caffé Ritazza) but also offers direct access to the City Airport Train (CAT) and the urban railway (“Schnellbahn”).
Multimedia art installation and family loungeThe passengers may enjoy exquisite design and added convenience in the waiting areas of the pier. New seating systems were designed for Vienna Airport, e.g. “laptop lounge chairs” with power supply and privacy shields that offer free Wi-Fi access to passengers wishing to surf the Internet. Special family lounges keep travelling kids entertained. Travelling and the time spent by people at airports are also the theme of multimedia art installations created by the cultural institution Ars Electronica. Visitors may experience new approaches to travelling and different time dimensions at six sections of this exhibition.
The complex machinery of an airport terminal“If you set in motion a complex machinery such as an airport terminal, you are skating on thin ice”, CEO Julian Jäger summed up his experience. His colleague on the managing board Günther Ofner described the team spirit of the airport staff as the decisive success factor. During a four-month trial period, all terminal operations were tested with 3,200 test passengers. 1,700 test arrivals and test departures were staged, while about 85,000 pieces of luggage were checked in to make sure the new luggage sorting system was working properly. More than 2,800 employees of the airport and its partners (e.g. airlines, authorities and rescue services) received special training for the new terminal. The few teething problems that have emerged are being solved step by step. Additional information and guidance signs will help to enhance the passenger routing of the three-level concept. The internationally leading minimum connection time of merely 25 minutes will be guaranteed also in the future.
Renaming of terminals and ongoing modernisationIn the wake of expanding the surface by 150,000m², the names used in the guidance system were changed to ensure clarity. As from now onwards, Vienna Airport has four check-in areas: check-in 1 – counters 159-199 (former Terminal 1), check-in 1A – counters 111-139 (former Terminal 1A), check-in 2 – counters 201-299 (former Terminal 2) and check-in 3 – counters 301-399 (new terminal). The latter will be responsible for checking in the passengers of airlines for which Austrian Airlines acts as a handling agent. The renovation and modernisation of the older facilities (check-in 1) will be started already in late June 2012. After completion, Air Berlin and NIKI will move to the revamped terminal.
Increase in passengersVienna Airport reported a welcome increase in passengers in May 2012. The number of passengers checked in rose by 4.2 per cent to a total of almost two million travellers compared to May 2011. With approximately 19,000 employees of 230 different companies, Vienna Airport is an important economic factor in Austria’s eastern region. In 2011 4,525 employees (annual average) were active just for the Vienna Airport Group.
A guided bus tour organised by the Visitor Centre allows you to observe the busy airport operations at first hand. Participants of the VISITAIR Tour may watch landing and departing airplanes at close distance and learn fascinating details about freight facilities, the aircraft works, aircraft handling and a lot more. An Airport Fire Brigade Tour allows visitors to take a glimpse at the busy command centre of the fire fighters. The kid-friendly Follow-Me Tour will offer a wealth of interesting information, e.g. why crepes cannot fly.