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About Vienna Airport

Explore Vienna Airport: Your essential guide to Austria's premier travel hub. Get insider tips and advice for a seamless journey.

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Panda parken

16 Jun 2024

Vienna International Airport, handling over 31 million passengers in 2019, is Austria’s largest and busiest airport. It’s situated just 18 km southeast of central Vienna, making it a convenient gateway to Austria’s capital.

Built initially as a military base, the airport has evolved significantly and now serves around 74 airlines. The airport’s known for its three terminals, impressive Skylink terminal, and efficient ground transportation.

With a rich history, modern amenities, and robust connectivity, Vienna’s airport is without any doubt  a central piece in Austria’s transportation network.

Vienna Airport History

Starting out as a military airport in 1938, Vienna International Airport has undergone significant transformations over the decades, becoming one of the main airports in Austria today. The British took control of the airport in 1945, renaming it RAF Schwechat. Nine years later, Betriebsgesellschaft replaced Aspern Airfield, marking the beginning of commercial operations at the airport.

Vienna AIrport in 1960

The Vienna airport history is characterized by continuous growth and expansion. In 1959, the runway was extended to 3000m to accommodate larger aircraft. As air travel became more popular, the airport was connected to the national motorway network in 1982, making it more accessible for passengers.

In 1985, the airport witnessed a major security breach when the El Al ticket counter was attacked by Abu Nidal. This incident led to significant security upgrades at the airport. In 1988, the airport expanded further with the opening of Pier East, equipped with eight jet bridges to facilitate boarding.

The 1990s brought significant changes to the airport’s management structure with the privatization of Flughafen Wien AG in 1992. This marked the start of several infrastructural improvements, including the introduction of a night laser show in the control tower in 2006, the erection of the Office Park from 2004 to 2007, and the opening of a VIP and general aviation terminal the same year.

The Skylink terminal, opened in 2012, is capable of handling up to 30 million passengers per year, further solidifying the airport’s status as a significant hub in the Austrian aviation industry.

Development since the 2000s

Since the early 2000s, Vienna International Airport has seen remarkable growth and expansion, with numerous developments enhancing its services and infrastructure. 

The Flughafen Wien Group, the company that operates the airport, has undertaken significant projects to accommodate the increasing traffic figures and demands of modern air travel.

Key developments include:

  1. Start of operation of the new control tower in 2006, which offered a unique night laser show, a testament to the airport’s commitment to technological advancements.

  2. The erection of the Office Park between 2004 and 2007, providing 69,000m of rentable space, reflecting the airport’s role as a business hub.

  3. Opening of the VIP and general aviation terminal in 2006, enhancing the airport’s services for high-profile passengers and private aircraft.

  4. Launch of the Skylink terminal in 2012, built to handle up to 30 million passengers per year, demonstrating the airport’s preparedness for future growth.

Austrian Airlines, the country’s flag carrier, has also played a significant role in the airport’s development since the 2000s. The airline’s expanding network has contributed to the growing traffic figures at Vienna Airport, further solidifying its status as a major European aviation hub.

These developments, along with many others, reflect Vienna Airport’s commitment to continuous improvement and adaptation in the face of changing industry trends and passenger needs.

Vienna Airport Terminals

Vienna International Airport comprises several terminals, where each contains various concourses, with B, C, F dedicated to Schengen destinations, and D and G serving non-Schengen destinations. The areas of the terminal are designed for efficient passenger flow with shared passport control and options for boarding via buses and jet bridges.

Here’s a quick overview of the terminals, key Airlines and their Special Features:

Terminal

Key Airlines

Special Features

Terminal 1

Oneworld, SkyTeam airlines, Turkish Airlines, Ryanair, Wizz Air

Expanded arrivals hall, efficient check-in

Terminal 2

Various Airlines

Newly refurbished

Terminal 3

Austrian Airlines, Star Alliance

Central arrivals hall, business class services

For more detailed information, you can visit  Vienna airports website, where they provide comprehensive guides on terminal layouts, services, and facilities.

In terms of expansions, the airport is set to introduce the T3 Southern Enlargement, connecting the existing pier east and pier north. This project, which started in mid-2023 and scheduled to open in 2027, will offer 70,000 m2 of leisure area and additional bus gates, further enhancing Vienna International Airport’s capacity and passenger experience.

Ground transportation

Ground transportation at Vienna International Airport offers several options for passengers. This includes the comparison between the airport’s own car park and off-airport parking facilities such as our Panda Parken. These alternatives play a crucial role in the overall travel experience. They offer varying degrees of convenience, cost, and proximity to the terminals.

Our subsequent discussion will focus on a detailed comparison between these two options. This will provide travelers with valuable insights to optimize their journey.

Vienna car park VS Off-airport parking

In assessing the two primary options for airport parking - Vienna Airport’s own car park and off-airport providers - several key factors should be taken into consideration.

  1. Location: The airport’s car park is closer to the terminal, providing direct access to departure areas for travelers flying to major cities and European destinations. Meanwhile, off-airport providers may require a few minute drive with a shuttle service.

  2. Cost: Parking within the airport is typically more expensive compared to off-airport parking. 

  3. Security: Both options have security measures in place, but they may vary, necessitating passengers to inquire beforehand.

Additional Services: These may include car wash, maintenance, or valet services, all of which should be considered against the backdrop of the city centre’s hustle and bustle.

Concourses

Vienna International Airport comprises several concourses, each designated for specific travel routes and airline alliances. These concourses facilitate the efficient movement of passengers and ensure the smooth operation of the airport’s daily activities.

Concourse B and Concourse C -  predominantly serve Schengen destinations. Passengers board their flights via buses and jet bridges, ensuring a seamless transition from the terminal to the aircraft. 

Concourse D and G - cater to non-Schengen destinations, with shared passport control and boarding via both jetbridges and buses.

Concourse F - similar to Concourse B and C, also serves Schengen destinations. The presence of jet bridges and buses aid in the swift embarkation and disembarkation of passengers. 

The efficient design of these concourses allows for the rapid processing of passengers, thereby reducing congestion, and ensuring a pleasant travel experience.

The airport’s concourses are connected to various modes of transportation, including long distance trains. This integration facilitates convenient and easy travel for passengers to and from the airport. The airport’s strategic positioning adjacent to the A4 motorway and its own exit named ‘Flughafen Wien-Schwechat’ also provides easy road access.

Third runway

Building upon the ongoing expansion and development efforts, the Vienna International Airport has plans to construct a third runway to further enhance its operational capacity and efficiency. This ambitious project is a testament to the airport’s commitment to continually improve its facilities and services, thereby solidifying its position as a world-class transportation hub.

The proposed third runway, once completed, will bring about several notable improvements and benefits:

  1. Increased Traffic Capacity: The addition of a third runway will significantly increase the airport’s ability to handle more aircraft simultaneously, thereby reducing air traffic congestion and improving overall operational efficiency.

  2. Enhanced Flight Schedules: The airport will be able to accommodate more flights, providing airlines with greater flexibility in scheduling and passengers with more travel options.

  3. Reduced Delays: The third runway will help minimize flight delays, especially during peak travel times and adverse weather conditions, ensuring smooth and on-time operations.

  4. Economic Impact: The construction and subsequent operation of the third runway is expected to generate economic benefits, including job creation and increased tourism, further contributing to the regional economy.

Indeed, the third runway is a significant infrastructure development that will further boost Vienna International Airport’s capabilities. It’s a clear indication of the airport’s forward-thinking approach, aligning with its vision to provide world-class service to all its passengers, and its drive to be at the forefront of aviation innovation. It will ensure that Vienna International Airport continues to grow and thrive, serving as a vital gateway to Austria and the rest of the world.

Terminal expansions and refurbishments

Terminal expansions and refurbishments at the Vienna International Airport have significantly enhanced its capacity and operational efficiency over the years. Notably, the refurbishment of Terminal 2, which started in July 2019 and reopened in 2022, has modernized the facility, improving passenger experiences and streamlining services.

Moreover, Terminal 1A was reopened in 2023 after a temporary closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reinstating its integral role in the airport’s operations. The pandemic period also saw a partial refurbishment of Concourse D to enhance its functionality and aesthetic appeal.

Expansion/Refurbishment

Details

Terminal 2 Refurbishment

Started in July 2019, Reopened in 2022

Terminal 1A Reopening

Reopened in 2023 after COVID-19 closure

Concourse D Refurbishment

Partial refurbishment during the COVID-19 pandemic

T3 Southern Enlargement

Scheduled to start in mid-2023 and open in 2027

Added Leisure Area and Bus Gates

T3 Southern Enlargement to offer 70,000 m2 of leisure area and additional bus gates

Currently, the most ambitious project is the construction of the T3 Southern Enlargement. This new building as mentioned above, will connect the existing Pier East and Pier North, offering an impressive 70,000 m2 of leisure area and additional bus gates.

These terminal expansions and refurbishments are vital, as Vienna Airport continues to cater to increasing passenger numbers and maintains its status as a key transportation hub in Central Europe.

Airlines

Numerous airlines operate at Vienna International Airport, providing a diverse range of flight options for travelers. As a key hub for the Star Alliance, the airport is a central departure and arrival point for numerous international airlines. The Wien-based airport is home to Austrian Airlines, a member of the Star Alliance, which caters to a broad spectrum of destinations.

Vienna airport offers flights with a variety of airlines:

  1. Aegean Airlines, operating from Terminal 3, focuses on flights to Greece and the Mediterranean region.

  2. Aer Lingus, operating from Terminal 1, offers flights to Ireland and other UK destinations.

  3. Air Algerie, also operating from Terminal 1, connects passengers to various destinations in Algeria.

  4. Austrian Airlines, headquartered at the airport, serves a large number of international routes.

For real-time flight information, flight display monitors are strategically placed throughout the airport. Passengers are urged to monitor these regularly for possible changes in departure or arrival times, which ensures a seamless travel experience.

Check-in

Passengers at Vienna International Airport are advised to check in at least 2 hours before their scheduled departure time. This is to ensure a smooth journey and to account for any unexpected delays.

The terminal for check-in is determined by the airline, and Vienna Airport comprises three terminals. Terminal 1 is equipped with Gates B, C, and D, while Terminal 3 houses Gates F and G. An up-to-date list of airlines with corresponding terminal and contact details is readily available for passenger reference.

The airport offers also a variety of other check-in options beside traditional In-person at the counter:

  1. SMS/MMS check-in: Allows passengers to check in via their mobile devices.

  2. Web check-in: Lets travelers check in online to avoid queues at the airport.

  3. Check-in machine: Self-service kiosks located at the airport for speedy check-in.

For baggage check-in, passengers have the choice between self check-in machines or traditional check-in counters, both available in Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. The self check-in machines offer a quick and easy process. For those who prefer staff assistance or have special baggage requirements, the traditional check-in counters are a reliable option.

Once the check-in process is complete, passengers can proceed to the baggage claim counter or boarding pass control before heading to the gate.

Baggage

Managing your luggage involves a number of services and guidelines designed to enhance passenger convenience and security. From check-in to storage, the airport offers a variety of services to ensure your baggage is handled with the utmost care.

  1. Baggage Check-in: the process of checking in your luggage is designed to be as straightforward as possible. While there are guidelines for what can be included in your luggage, such as restrictions on liquids and prohibitions on explosive, flammable, corrosive, or magnetic substances, the airport staff is there to provide guidance and assistance.

  2. Hand Baggage: The airport also provides comprehensive guidelines for what is allowed in hand baggage. It’s important to pack smartly and follow these rules to ensure a smooth security process. Bulky baggage and sports equipment, while not suitable for hand luggage, can be checked in separately at Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 for your convenience.

  3. Bulky Baggage & Sports Equipment: For those traveling with larger items or sports equipment, Vienna Airport offers check-in services at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. Furthermore, storage services are available for suitcases, clothes, and valuable items, providing an added layer of convenience.

  4. Lost Property: In the unfortunate event that your baggage is lost, Vienna Airport has a Lost Property Office where you can report missing items. The team will do their utmost to locate and return your lost belongings.

Whether you’re traveling with children, pets, or large sports equipment, Vienna Airport’s Baggage services aim to make your journey as stress-free as possible.

Important telephone numbers

Transitioning from baggage services, it’s crucial to take note of several vital telephone numbers at Vienna Airport, which provide immediate assistance for various inquiries and services.

  • The General airport inquiries line is +43 1 7007 0, providing comprehensive information about the airport’s operations.

  • The Lost and found office can be reached at +43 1 7007 29370, offering assistance with misplaced personal items.

  • For security-related concerns, the Airport police are at service at +43 1 7007 22233.

  • For health emergencies, the Medical center’s contact is +43 1 7007 22233.

  • Customs-related issues can be addressed at +43 1 7007 34555.

  • The Flight information desk is also accessible at +43 1 7007 22233 for queries related to flight schedules and delays.

  • For transportation services, the numbers to note include +43 1 7007 33147 for Airport shuttle, Taxi services, Public transportation information, Car rental, and Parking information. The same number can also be used for accessing Traveler Assistance services such as Disabled passenger services, Family services, VIP services, Luggage wrapping, and Currency exchange.

  • For Food and beverage services, Duty-free shopping, Airport lounges, Prayer rooms, and Wi-Fi information, travelers can call +43 1 7007 33147.

These numbers ensure that your experience at the Vienna Airport is smooth and hassle-free, providing an immediate point of contact for any assistance you might need during your visit.

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