Austrian Airlines (OS, Vienna) has joined other Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt Int'l) subsidiaries in announcing that it will restart scheduled operations on June 15, 2020, although it will limit its capacity to just 5% of pre-COVID levels in the first weeks.

The airline said that it will restart scheduled passenger flights in stages and subject to travel restrictions imposed by the relevant authorities. Starting on June 15, it plans to resume flights to 25 destinations in Europe and Tel Aviv Ben Gurion. In the week starting on June 22, it will add further short-haul destinations and hopes to serve 37 cities out of Vienna by June 29.

In the first phase, Austrian Airlines will, for the most part, deploy its smallest aircraft, namely Dash 8-400s and E195s.

"We will also resume long-haul flight service as soon as we have sufficient feeder traffic on short- and medium-haul routes. This could already be the case in July," Chief Commercial Officer Andreas Otto said.

The airline said that while it would implement additional health protocols, it would not guarantee a free seat next to each of the passengers if load factors are high.

The restart of Austrian Airlines' scheduled flights coincides with the resumption of operations of sister airline Brussels Airlines (SN, Brussels National). The German units of the group, Lufthansa and Eurowings (EW, Düsseldorf Int'l), have never suspended operations fully and plan to operate a more "normal" (as opposed to "repatriation") schedule as of June. Swiss (LX, Zurich) will also increase its scheduled operations on June 1.