The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union's financing institution, is advancing a loan for EUR 120 million (1) towards modernisation and expansion of Austrian Airlines' fleet. The funds, being channelled via Bank Austria, will go, in particular, towards purchase of three Airbus A330-200.

This EIB loan is providing support for an efficient and high-quality air carrier playing an important part in promoting balanced development within the Union in terms of improved transport links with future EU members in Central and Eastern Europe. Furthermore, the new aircraft will be quieter and more fuel-efficient, thereby reducing the burden on the environment and enhancing the airline's economic performance.

Since Austria's accession to the EU, the EIB has made some EUR 2 billion available for projects in that country. In addition to a fleet renewal for Tyrolean Airways, owned by Austrian Airlines, capital investment financed concerns, notably, railway, energy and telecommunications networks, a number of factories in the steel, paper and motor vehicle construction industries and water, hydro-power and sewerage schemes. Numerous small and medium-scale ventures in industry and the tourism sector, plus smaller-scale local environmental projects have attracted funding under EIB global loans, channelled via Austrian banks.

(1) EUR 1 = ATS 13.7603, DEM 1.95583, GBP 0.666300, USD 1.07420.