Austria: Day of the Stamp 2005

The "Day of the Stamp 2005" commemorative shows the Vienna-Budapest "Flying boat service" with one of the Junkers F13 used on this route.

After the succes d'estime achieved by the Austrian air force in 1918 in establishing the world's first international airmail service from Vienna to Kiev (Ukraine) via Cracow and Lvov, interested in starting air traffic remained high in Austria. However, a good dozen attempts to establish an airline failed for lack of capital, the absence of a domestic aircraft industry and the rejection of unrestricted competition for fear of splitting up the already scarce resources of the now tiny Austria.

Nevertheless, the age of civil aviation began for Austria in spring 1922, when the "Compagnie Franco Roumaine de Navigation Aérienne" (CFRNA) began a scheduled service to the Vienna-Aspang airport using a biplane (F-ADCF).

The Osterreichische Luftverkehrs -Aktiengesellschaft (OLAG) finally began operations officially on May 3 1923, when Dr. Bardas-Bardenau was granted authorisation to set up an Austrian airline company. The company began with a capital of one billion Krone, with the Junkers Flugzeugwerke holding 49%, the osterreichische Eisenbahn-Verkehrsanstalt (EVA) 50% and Bardas-Bardenau himself 1%.

The OLAG's official flight operations commenced when the first Junkers F13 landed on the Donauwiese at Jedlesee on May 14 1923, flying the Vienna-Munich route (A-2, A-3).

A few weeks later, on June 16, a regular service was launched along the Danube from Vienna to Budapest using Junkers F13 aircraft fitted with floats especially for this purpose. This was the first regular service to be operated in Europe using flying boats.

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