Austrian Airlines presents plan for new start after coronavirus-crisis

©Austrian Airlines' Dash 8 fleet will be phased-out

On April 18, the Executive Board of Austrian Airlines presented its “Plan for a New Start” after the coronavirus-crisis to the Supervisory Board. The plan was outlined to the airline’s 7,000 employees within the context of a digital information event.

In order to adjust capacity to the changed demand from COVID-19, Austrian Airlines has decided to make some fleet changes. In addition to the phase-out of the original 18 Dash turboprops, which was decided and started in 2019, all seven Airbus A319 jets and three of the six Boeing B767s are to be retired by 2022. The Boeing 767 aircraft are OE-LAT, OE-LAW and OE-LAX, which are among the oldest aircraft in the fleet with an average age of 28 years. The other three B767s are between 19 and 21 years old. The entire fleet currently has an average age of 15.4 years. By phasing out older aircraft, the average fleet age will decrease to 14.6 years.

The entire Austrian Airlines fleet currently numbers around 80 aircraft. The phase-out of the turbo-prop fleet and the phase-in of A320s would have reduced the fleet numbers to 70. The restart plan now envisages a fleet of around 60 aircraft in 2022, nine of which will be long-haul aircraft. The adaptation of the fleet is to take place in stages. Since it is mainly smaller aircraft that are being decommissioned, this corresponds to a capacity reduction of around 20%.

Despite the reduction of the fleet, as many jobs as possible are to be maintained. Appropriate talks are already underway with the works councils. “We got into this crisis through no fault of our own. Now it is our responsibility to make Austrian Airlines fit for the future after corona. We want to retain our long-haul hub, even if we have no other choice for the time being but to adapt to the somewhat smaller market. Being fit for the future also means that we must be in a position to finance our aircraft, charges, wages and investments, and of course also to repay any charges and loans from corona grounding,” emphasized Austrian Airlines CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech.

Email Post to a Friend Email Post to a Friend