Lufthansa Group CEO, as reported by aeroTELEGRAPH, has indicated that Austrian Airlines may soon induct Boeing B787 Dreamliners.
Is Austrian getting hold of B787s?
Austrian Airlines may soon launch flights with the Boeing B787 Dreamliners. Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr recently stated that Austrian Airlines is next in line to get new long-haul aircraft in a meeting with employees of the airline.
He told that it is becoming “more and more expensive to keep the aircraft we have now fit in terms of maintenance and the condition we need them to be in”.
In early 2022, Annette Mann, Chief Executive Officer of Austrian, told Air Insight that the decision to renew the carrier’s ageing long-haul fleet depends on the airline’s return to profitability after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The need to renew long-haul fleet
Austrian Airlines currently has 64 aircraft in its fleet. Out of that, nine are long-haul aircraft – six Boeing B777-200ERs (Extra-Range) and three Boeing B767-300ERs. The B777s have an average age of 22.1 years while the B767s have an average age of 23.3 years. These aircraft are definitely old!
Aircraft this old can be very hard and expensive to maintain. Also, these are fuel-guzzling aircraft, meaning that the cost to operate them is also very high. Sometimes, breaking even when operating these aircraft can be a task.
And that’s why Austrian Airlines is in a deep need for long-haul fleet renewal. The induction of B787s in the fleet can be great for the Vienna-based carrier as this aircraft is one of the most fuel-efficient long-haul aircraft in the market currently. The B787s can bring down the operating costs for Austrian significantly.
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Compensation from Boeing?
Lufthansa is expected to be the launch customer of Boeing B777X aircraft. The airline has 27 B777Xs on order. The B777X aircraft program has faced a lot of delays till date. Initially, the aircraft’s entry-into-service year was set as 2020 but the manufacturer could not meet the deadline due to many reasons. Boeing is now targeting 2025 as the year of entry-into-service of this model.
Due to the delays, many airlines around the world have been affected as they had expected the B777Xs to replace their ageing long-haul fleet. Lufthansa has also faced this problem. This has led to Boeing giving out compensation in various forms (cash, replacement aircraft etc.) to airlines who have ordered this type of aircraft.
Carsten Spohr said it is better to take these payments in kind, that is, receiving an aircraft rather than cash. He added that the Lufthansa Group is in talks with Boeing about adding a few more Dreamliners (Lufthansa has 30 B787s on order that the group is yet to receive).
Carsten Spohr added that that it too early to make any concrete statements despite the talks with the employees. Hopefully, the group will announce the same this year.
Featured image by JetPhotos/Gautham Kurup
Do you think Austrian Airlines will add B787s to its fleet? Let me know in the comments section below.