Friday, October 13, 2017

Austrian studying wide body replacement

The CEO of Austrian Airlines has officially announced that the carrier has begun studying placing a large order for wide body aircraft to fully replace its aging fleet of 6 B767-300ERs + Boeing 777-200ERs from 2019 onwards. The carrier needs newer, more efficient aircraft to offer a more competitive product offering as well as operational cost savings in the long run.



By the end of Q1 2018, OS shall have 12 wide body aircraft in its fleet i.e. 6 B772ERs + 6 B763ERs. Their B777s have 48J + 264Y seating 312 pax in total whilst the B763s have 225 (26J + 199Y). It is too small of a fleet to have 2 different variant types and from a commercial standpoint, the B787 family is the ideal logical replacement.

Please note that even though new aircraft are expensive, this is a long term (20 year) investment that OS shall be doing with these aircraft hence buying 7-10 year old A330s and B777s isn't the right thing to do. To cater for future growth, OS needs to order 15 WB aircraft i.e. B787s as follows:

5 B788s + 7 B789s + 3 options

If demand for certain routes sees a big upswing in the mid 2020s, then the 3 options should be converted to the larger B787-10. If not then the options should be for the B789 variant. The B788 would seat 30J + 198Y comfortably so 228 seats in total whilst the B789 would seat 291 i.e. 30J + 261Y. Do note that EL AL went for the exact same above fleet plan strategy for the 2020-2030 period i.e. replacing their B767s/B777s and B744s with all 3 B787 variant types. 

One also does not see the need for 17 E95s in their fleet. These planes should be gotten rid off by 2021 along with their 7 A319s. In turn 25 Bombardier C300s should be ordered to replace both types as the long term savings incurred by operating the CS3 versus these 2 types with 25 aircraft is massive. The NB fleet part i.e. 23 A320s + 6 A321s should all be replaced with 30 A321NEOs.

Therefore, the future fleet in an ideal commercial scenario for the 2020-2030 period for OS should look like this:

i. 15 B787s for WB seating between 220-290 pax
ii. 30 A321NEO for high density intra-EU flying seating 200 pax
iii. 25 C300 for medium demand destinations seating 135 pax and operating within a 5.5 hour flying time radius
iv. 18 Q400s (they already operate 18 of the type) seating 76 pax and operating with 1-2 hours flying time radius 

Total fleet size 88 aircraft

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