A couple of weeks back we saw Lufthansa announce its plans to reduce its fleet by retiring some of their A380s and 747s amongst other aircraft. At the time it was also announced that subsidiaries Austrian and Swiss would also see reductions but no further details were given.
Austrian has now laid out its future plan. The airline suspended its operations on 18 March 2020 and it is unclear when they will resume. Like its parent the Lufthansa Group, the airline has a pessimistic outlook for the next few years, specifically:
- A 25-50 percent drop in demand this year.
- A maximum of 75 percent of the pre-coronavirus level by the end of 2021.
Austrian Airlines Executive Board member Andreas Otto commented that “The entire airline industry is pessimistic. We have to assume that we will reach the ‘pre-corona level’ again in 2023 at the earliest.”
Austrian will retire 31 aircraft
The airline has outlined how it will reduce its fleet to meet this reduced demand:
- The fleet of 18 Dash 8 turboprops will be retired – A process that was already started in 2019.
- The fleet of seven Airbus A319s will be retired.
- Three out of the airlines six Boeing 767s will be retired. The three aircraft being retired are OE-LAT, OE-LAW and OE-LAX which have an average age of 28 years.
The reduction will see Austrians long haul fleet reduced by 25% with three 767s and six 777s left in service. The airline will also be taking delivery of some used A320s.
The overall Austrian fleet looks like:
- Austrian Airlines fleet currently numbers around 80 aircraft.
- The phase-out of the Dash-8 fleet and phase-in of A320s would have reduced the fleet to 70.
- With the retirement of the A319 and three 767s, the airline will have a fleet of 60 by 2020.
This signifies a fleet reduction of 25% which corresponds to a capacity reduction of 20% since the aircraft being retired are smaller planes.