Austrian Airlines has announced that it will permanently reduce its fleet due to long-term effects from the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. The impact on the aviation industry is huge: the airline anticipates a 25-50 percent drop in demand for this year and a maximum of 75 percent is expected by the end of 2021, compared to the demand before the crisis.
Austrian reacts to the lower demand by retiring all seven Airbus A319 aircraft and three of six Boeing 767-300 jets. In addition to that, the airline continues to phase out all De Havilland Canada Dash 8 turboprop aircraft, a process that was already started in 2019. The flag-carrier of Austria says that the newly announced fleet adjustments represent a capacity reduction of around 20 percent.
By phasing out older aircraft, the average fleet age will decrease from 15.4 to 14.6, according to the Vienna-based carrier. A fleet of around 60 aircraft will be operating in 2022, including nine long-haul aircraft. The wide-body fleet will consist of 767-300 and 777-200 jets. Airbus A320 family aircraft and Embraer E195s will be deployed on short- and medium-haul routes.
Austrian Airlines’ regular flight operations are halted since March 18, when it became one of the first larger airlines to stop all scheduled flights amid the current situation. The approximately 7,000 employees continue to be on short-time work, which has recently been extended by a further month until at least May 19, 2020.
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Nick Wenzel founded International Flight Network in 2016. He is the Social Media Manager and an Editor for IFN.news.