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Austrian Airlines considers Boeing 787 for fleet renewal

Austrian Airlines, the Austrian flag carrier and part of the Lufthansa Group, has set its sights on the Boeing 787 for its fleet renewal. The airline has been watching other airlines in the group receive new aircraft for years, but was told it needed to become profitable before it could acquire new planes. However, with the airline having made a profit of €3 million in 2022, and with cost adjustments in place, Austrian Airlines is now in a position to acquire new aircraft. The airline carried 11.1 million passengers in 2022, indicating a recovery in demand.

The announcement of the fleet renewal is expected to be made mid-year, pending approval by the Lufthansa Group Board. Anette Mann, CEO of Austrian Airlines, stated at the annual press conference that an official announcement is expected in the coming months. However, one of the problems that the airline faces is the delivery of new aircraft, which is dependent on Boeing being able to reactivate production. Currently, Boeing is facing problems with the fuselage of some planes, causing further delays.

Despite these issues, it has been confirmed by Carsten Spohr, President of the Lufthansa Group, that the fleet renewal will be with the Boeing 787, due to its ideal capacity and range for Austrian Airlines' routes. The configuration will be in three classes: Business, Premium Economy, and Economy, with the new seating options chosen by the Lufthansa Group providing capacity for 220 passengers on the 787-8, 270 on the 787-9, and up to 310 on the 787-10.

The renewal is becoming increasingly urgent, as Austrian Airlines' current fleet consists of three Boeing 767-300ER aircraft with an average age of over 23 years, and six Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, which have been recently refurbished and have a capacity of 320 seats. The airline also has 31 A320 and 6 A321 single-aisle aircraft, with the renewal of these already underway with the introduction of the new A320neo. However, a decision has yet to be made on the airline's 17 Embraer 190 aircraft.

Overall, the renewal of Austrian Airlines' fleet is a positive step forward for the airline, as it looks to improve its profitability and provide its passengers with a modern and comfortable flying experience.

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