Vienna International Airport

Vienna International Airport is the international airport of Vienna, the capital of Austria, located in Schwechat, southeast of central Vienna and west of Bratislava. It is the country's largest airport and serves as the hub for Austrian Airlines and Eurowings Europe as well as a base for low-cost carriers Lauda, Wizz Air and Ryanair. It is capable of handling wide-body aircraft up to the Airbus A380. The airport features a dense network of European destinations as well as long-haul flights to Asia, North America and Africa. In 2018, the airport handled 27 million passengers, a 10.8% increase compared to 2017.


Early years

Originally built as a military airport in 1938, and used during World War II as the Heinkel firm's southern military aircraft design and production complex, or Heinkel-Süd facility, it was taken over by the British in 1945 and became RAF Schwechat under the occupation of the country. In 1954, the Betriebsgesellschaft was founded, and the airport replaced Aspern as Vienna's principal aerodrome. There was just one runway, which in 1959 was expanded to measure. The erection of the new airport building starting in 1959.
In 1972, another runway was built. In 1982 the airport was connected to the national motorway network. In 1986 the enlarged arrivals hall was opened, and in 1988 Pier East with 8 jetbridges.
On 27 December 1985, the El Al ticket counter was attacked by Abu Nidal, a Palestinian terrorist organization that simultaneously conducted a terrorist attack at Fiumicino Airport in Rome.
, one of the few publicly traded airport operators in Europe, was privatised in 1992. The state of Lower Austria and the City of Vienna each hold 20% of the shares, the private employee participation foundation holds 10%, with the remaining 50% held privately. The shares are part of the Austrian Traded Index.
In 1992, the new Terminal 1 was opened and a year later the shopping area around the plaza in the transit area of the B, C and D gates. In 1996 Pier West with 12 jetbridges got in operation.

Development since the 2000s

In 2006, the tall control tower started operating. It allows a free overview of the entire airport area and offers a night laser show, which should welcome the passengers even from the aircraft. From 2004–2007, an Office Park had been erected offering of rentable space. A VIP- and general aviation-terminal, including a separated apron, opened in 2006.
To accommodate future growth, in 1998 Vienna Airport published a master plan that outlined expansion projects until 2015. These projects included a new office park, railway station, cargo center, general aviation center, air traffic control tower, terminal, and runway. Additionally, the plan called for streamlined security control. The centerpiece of the enlargement was the new terminal, dubbed Skylink during its construction. In 2002, the airport's management estimated that building the new terminal will cost €401.79 million. However, costs skyrocketed and in 2009 stood at an estimated €929.5 million. The Austrian Court of Audit then recommended that the airport implement several cost-savings measures, which in the Court's estimate brought down final costs to €849.15 million, still more than double the original plans.
On June 5, 2012, the new Austrian Star Alliance Terminal was opened, which enables the airport to handle up to 30 million passengers per year. Construction started in 2004 and was suspended due to projected cost increases in 2009, but resumed in 2010. The maximum planned costs totaled less than €770 million. Following concerns over the mismanagement of the Skylink project, chief executive Herbert Kaufman agreed to resign at the end of December 2010. The new building with its North Pier has 17 jetbridges and makes the airport capable of handling more aircraft, although the new terminal is not able to handle Airbus A380 aircraft. However, the older Concourse D will see an upgrade to accommodate the A380.


The airport has four terminal buildings named Terminal 1, 2 and 3 which are directly built against each other as well as the additional Terminal 1A located opposite Terminal 1. Terminals 1, 2 and 3 connect to the five concourses. The central arrivals hall for all terminal areas is located in Terminal 3.


Vienna Airport originally projected that it would need a third runway by 2012, or 2016 at the latest, in the event of cooperation with nearby Bratislava Airport. It currently projects that a third runway will be necessary by 2025, however, environmental organizations and some local communities oppose construction. These groups have attacked the decision of Lower Austria to move ahead with the first phase of construction; verdict from the administrative court that has taken up the lawsuit was expected later in 2015. As of September 2016, there were ongoing public protests while as no legal decision had been made. On 28 March 2018, the Austrian Federal Administrative Court ruled in favour of a third runway, a decision that may be appealed by opponents within six weeks.
The third runway is planned to be parallel to and south of the existing runway 11/29. It will be designated 11R/29L, with the existing runway being renamed 11L/29R. The new runway is planned to be 3680 m long and 60 m wide, and equipped with a category III instrument landing system in one direction.
In July 2019, the refurbishment of Terminal 2 started. Terminal 2 is planned to reopen in the end of 2020. Once Terminal 2 has been reopened, Concourse D will be closed for reburbishment at the beginning of 2021, it is expected to open again in 2023. In addition to that, a completely new building will be built. It will connect the existing pier east and pier north. The so called T3 Southern Enlargement will be offering 70,000 m2 of leisure area and new additional bus gates. Opening is set for 2023.

Airlines and destinations


The following airlines offer regular scheduled and charter flights at Vienna International Airport:



Traffic figures

Busiest routes

RankAirportPassengersOperating airlines
1 Tel Aviv596,989Austrian Airlines, El Al, Wizz Air, Lauda, Malta Air
2 Dubai–International415,169Emirates
3 Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi340,639Austrian Airlines, EVA Air, Thai Airways
4 Taipei–Taoyuan301,982China Airlines, EVA Air
5 Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen299,778Pegasus Airlines, AnadoluJet
6 Antalya273,000Austrian Airlines, SunExpress, Lauda, Corendon Airlines
7 Doha228,502Qatar Airways
8163,006Austrian Airlines
9 Toronto–Pearson152,583Air Canada
10 Cairo147,210Austrian Airlines, EgyptAir
11 Beijing–Capital147,021Austrian Airlines
12 Shanghai–Pudong136,528Austrian Airlines
13 Newark134,170Austrian Airlines
14 New York–JFK126,844Austrian Airlines
15 Hurghada119,418Austrian Airlines, FlyEgypt, Corendon Airlines Europe
16116,269Austrian Airlines
17 Tokyo–Haneda114,961All Nippon Airways
18 Tehran114,373Austrian Airlines, IranAir
19 Los Angeles111,709Austrian Airlines
20 Tokyo–Narita105,207Austrian Airlines
21 Amman–Queen Alia99,615Austrian Airlines, Royal Jordanian
22 Seoul–Incheon87,715Korean Air
23 Montréal–Trudeau87,715Austrian Airlines
24 Delhi81,250Air India
25 Addis Ababa80,490Ethiopian Airlines

Ground transportation


The Vienna S-Bahn line S7 provides a local service to the city centre taking approx. 25 minutes. The more expensive City Airport Train connects the airport directly to Wien Mitte railway station, close to the city centre, in 16 minutes.
Additionally, the underground railway station has been expanded to accommodate long-distance trains. Since December 2014, the first trains passing Vienna's new main station, ICE services from Germany, terminate at the airport. Since December 2015, ÖBB Railjet services operate to the airport as well. Long-distance train rides between the airport and the main station take approx. 15 minutes.


The airport lies directly adjacent to motorway A4 which leads from central Vienna to Budapest. It has its own exit named Flughafen Wien-Schwechat. Bratislava can be reached via motorway A6 which splits from the A4 in the east. Taxis and car rental facilities are available at the airport. There are also several taxi companies that operate at the airport.


Buses operate from the airport to various places in Vienna and to other cities including Bratislava, Budapest and Brno.

Accidents and incidents