European Carrier Austrian Airlines has announced it will increase its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet size to ten aircraft, as the carrier looks towards the future more and focuses on modernisation.
Economic and Carbon Targets
The airline said it will increase the 787-9 Dreamliner fleet size from nine to ten aircraft starting from 2024 as it looks to continue to push forward to meet European and global carbon neutrality targets, as the growing pressure on countries and business continues to mount around the climate crisis, which is predicted to be at its height between the years 2040 – 2050 should no significant changes to CO2 emissions are changed.
In addition to these targets, the additional aircraft will allow Austrian Airlines to completely overhaul its long-haul fleet. The carrier confirms that the Dreamliners will fully replace their ageing 777 and 767 aircraft, which currently serve across their long-haul service.
Austrian Airlines CEO Annette Mann said: “With the ‘Dreamliner’ Austrian Airlines is taking off to a new era of aircraft and is setting course for growth. The fleet induction of ten Boeing 787-9 in the coming five years shows that we are fit for investments and the future”
Start of a New Era
The carrier is expecting the first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to touch down at its Vienna hub at the beginning of 2024 which will expand the flag carriers fleet up to 66 aircraft allowing it to offer more options and potentially new destinations during its summer flight schedule.
The remaining nine Dreamliners will then replace the current long haul fleet of 777 and 767 by 2028, which are due to be transferred gradually from Lufthansa Airlines, which means the 10 Dreamliner will be coming from existing orders from the Lufthansa Group.
It will be one of the largest fleet rejuvenation programs in Austrian’s history, bringing the airline forward to a new modern era for international and widebody travel as it looks to meet the rising demand in travel expected over the next 20 years.
Austrian Airlines COO Francesco Sciortino said: “With Boeing 787-9 we are bringing one of the most innovative long-haul models on the market to Austrian Airlines. This is a team effort Austrian Airlines can be proud of.“
Dreamliner Woes, A350 Options
While there can be no doubt that the Dreamliner is an impressive aircraft, and a great addition for fleets around the world, the aircraft has not been without major problems over the last 5 years, which has seen deliveries and production be halted multiple times, which has caused some concern for the long term vision of the aircraft for airlines around the world.
The decision to increase the number of Dreamliners is constant for how the Austrian long haul fleet has looked and operated over the years, however with the Airbus A350-1000 seemingly looking a stronger option than the 787-9 and 787-10 Dreamliner over the last 5 years, perhaps we might see the Lufthansa group also elect to deploy some A350’s into Austrians fleet which is heavily dominated by Airbus aircraft in it’s short to mid-range operations.
The Lufthansa Group currently has 20 Airbus A350-900 and 20 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners on order, with the 777-9 also in the order books, however, the aircraft is still yet to begin flight testing and has been plagued with issues since it conducted its first flight, something which again for Boeing saw them lose some orders as carriers moved to the A350 as a solution.