Air Transport World

Second-chance airline.

Augsburg Airways, formerly Interot, prospers after becoming a Team Lufthansa franchisee

Few airlines get a second chance. Count Augsburg Airways as one of the lucky ones. The once-failing carrier has engineered a major turnaround since becoming a Team Lufthansa franchisee and finding a niche at Augsburg Airport near Munich.

The flourishing industrial/tourist city of Augsburg (pop. 265,000) is home to such international firms as Siemens. But situated in the sprawling catchment area of mighty Munich Airport, which Augsburg Airways also serves, it hardly seemed suited as the base for an upstart airline.

For the large population on the fringes of the Bavarian capital, however, Augsburg Airport presents an attractive, easy-to-reach alternative to Munich. Free parking is available at the makeshift terminal. Express vans link the airport with the main rail stations of Augsburg and Munich as well as several smaller regional cities.

Augsburg Airways, which got its start in 1986 as a corporate shuttle, has capitalized on this lucrative hub-bypass niche with surprising success and elan, confounding the skeptics--and rival Eurowings, with which it competes on flights linking Munich with the latter's Dortmund home base and Padderborn/Lippstadt.

The carrier narrowly averted extinction in 1995 owing to a string of heavy losses. Brought in as a consultant to evaluate Augsburg Airways' prospects, Olaf Dlugi helped to persuade the airline's owners that it was a viable proposition. …

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