Owner focus on ambulance, charter flights and airline cooperation. After cancellation of Bolzano-Rome flights, Air Alps seeks new opportunities
From the beginning of the year, Tyrol Air Ambulance and Welcome Air – both subsidiaries of the Swiss firm Remi Finanz- und Verwaltungs AG – will receive new strategic guidelines. According to Urs Peter Koller, owner of Remi Group, "Our airlines will start the year with renewed vigour by drawing on their existing strengths", because "we will be concentrating on our core businesses: Tyrol Air Ambulance will continue to reinforce the number of offerings for global air ambulance flights conducted at the highest level of medical standards and Welcome Air will concentrate on charter flights and cooperating with Austrian Airlines on the Linz-Vienna route".
Helldoppler and Porcham Joint Leaders for Tyrol Air Ambulance and Welcome Air
To implement this strategy, airline specialists Manfred Helldoppler and Dr Carolin Porcham have been invited to come on board as "co-captains" for the airline. An experienced airline professional, Manfred Helldoppler, was CEO at Tyrolean Airways until 2010 when he moved to the Welcome Aviation Group to assume management of the airline. Reorganisation specialist Dr Carolin Porcham, who, like Manfred Helldoppler, is already an active member of the company’s management board, will head up the company’s commercial sector. The current CEO, Oliver Ladurner, MSc, is leaving the company by mutual agreement and the owner thanks him for his outstanding efforts.
"Through efficient organisation and quality services, we will provide the best air transport offerings for our airline passengers and air ambulance patients. Long-term partners such as ÖAMTC (the Austrian Automobile Club), the insurance companies and Austrian Airlines can continue to count on us as a reliable partner in future", says Manfred Helldoppler. Austrian Airlines flights (wet lease) for the Linz-Vienna route will continue in their current, dependable form.
New future sought for Air Alps after principal route cancellation
After contracts with the state of South Tyrol expired in November 2012, flights for the Bolzano-Rome route were suspended. In spite of further offers and efforts to rectify the situation, no solution has been found. An offer to provide two unsubsidised flights per day on the Bolzano-Rome route has also been declined by the Italian civil aviation authorities (ENAC). Economic conditions and a less than 50 per cent utilisation of existing capacities are hindering the continuation of a regional airline based in Bolzano. Due to the difficult framework conditions employees are receiving wage compensation payments since 2009. Currently, this applies to the majority of employees. At the same time, attempts are being made to incorporate as many as possible of the 22 employees stationed in Austria into the Tyrol Air Ambulance. The search for new business sectors continues to be driven by the business' owner; however no specific options have currently been tabled. The Air Alps general assembly will shortly be appointing a new CEO.
Since 1976, the team of the internationally renowned Tyrol Air Ambulance service has accompanied ill and injured patients back to their home countries or to hospitals that can provide them with adequate medical care. Each year approximately three thousand patients are treated according to the highest standards of medical care. Operating through a global network and with international cooperation, Tyrol Air Ambulance has an almost unlimited global reach.
Founded in 2000, Welcome Air Luftfahrt GmbH & Co KG also serves, in addition to business and chartered flights, the Linz-Vienna route on behalf of Austrian Airlines. Air Alps Aviation, founded in 1998, serves the Bolzano-Rome route. In total, the airline has nine aircraft with an annual turnover of 40 million euros. All of these airlines are certified according to the most stringent international safety standards.