Today the first Airbus A320 of airberlin in the Austrian Airlines livery took off with the flightnumber OS 779for its initial scheduled flight from Vienna to Skopje. The jet with the registration D-ABZA is the first of five Airbus A320 to be operated for Austrian Airlines by airberlin including airberlin crew within the context of a wet lease agreement between Austrian Airlines and airberlin. As is customary for wet lease agreements, the crews will wear airberlin uniforms. The aircraft will bear the logo of Austrian Airlines and display “operated by airberlin” in writing. “With the five aircraft from airberlin, we will take advantage of market opportunities to strengthen our leading position at our hub Vienna”, Austrian Airlines CEO Kay Kratky already explained at the beginning of the cooperation concluded with airberlin. “We are proud that we are in a position to actively participate in shaping the market consolidation process.” Thomas Winkelmann, CEO airberlin, said: “The wet lease agreement is another crucial element on the way to restructuring airberlin and we are very much looking forward to the cooperation with Austrian Airlines.”
The integration of the other aircraft will be carried out in phases. The second Airbus A320 with the registration D-ABZC is already scheduled for its first flight tomorrow, March 8, 2017. The other three jets will be consequently put into service over the next few weeks, but in any case in the months of March and April 2017. Similar to the rest of the Austrian Airbus A320 fleet, these aircraft will be operated on existing Austrian Airlines routes.
The entire Austrian Airlines fleet currently consists of 81 aircraft, including 31 aircraft of the A320 fleet: seven Airbus A319, 18 A320 and six A321 aircraft. The five wet lease planes from airberlin increase the total Airbus fleet at Austrian Airlines to 36 aircraft.