AUSTRIAN today announced that it has retired it’s last Boeing 737 from their fleet. The aircraft had belonged to Lauda Air which had been absorbed into Austrian in 2012. The retirement of the 737, registration OE-LNK, marks the end of the 7 month transition from Boeing to an all Airbus fleet for short and medium-haul destinations. Over these 7 months, 11 Boeing 737s were removed from the fleet and replaced with 7 Airbus A320s, bringing the total to 29 A320s types in AUSTRIAN’s fleet.
The decision to move to an all Airbus fleet for non-long haul operations is a wise one because of the savings that Austrian will recognize by no longer having dual systems (pilots certification, maintenance, parts, mechanics, etc) for both Boeing and Airbus aircraft. According to CEO Jaan Albrecht, “The fleet harmonisation is an essential building block in the restructuring programme of the Austrian Airlines Group.” Truer words can not be spoken on the topic of streamlining the fleet and restoring AUSTRIAN to profitability.
According to Austrian the decision to replace the 737 with A320s was an easy one; AUSTRIAN had twice as many A320 than 737s before starting the streamlining of their fleet. An additional factor in the decision was the fact that Lufthansa and Swiss have an “army” of A320s which provides additional synergies for the Lufthansa Group and bargaining power when it comes to dealing with Airbus for future airplanes, parts and support.
As it stands today, AUSTRIAN’s fleet is comprised of the following aircraft (according to AUSTRIAN):
LONG HAUL FLEET:
4 Boeing 777
6 Boeing 767
SHORT/MEDIUM HAUL FLEET:
29 Airbus A320s (and variants):
6 Airbus A321
16 Airbus A320
7 Airbus A319
14 Fokker 100
9 Fokker 70
12 Dash 8-400