Austrian expands Q400 fleet with former Augsburg aircraft

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Austrian Airlines is taking over former Augsburg Airways aircraft to expand its Bombardier Q400 fleet.

The Vienna-based airline will add four Q400s to its 14-strong turboprop fleet by year-end. At least one of the additional aircraft will be wet-leased to fellow Lufthansa Group carrier Swiss International Air Lines for domestic flights within Switzerland.

The first additional Q400 (MSN 4281) arrived at Austrian’s flight operations arm Tyrolean Airways in Innsbruck on 23 July, Austrian says.

Built in 2009, the aircraft was originally delivered to now-defunct Augsburg Airways, Flightglobal’s Ascend Fleets database shows. Augsburg Airways was liquidated after it lost a long-standing wet-lease contract with Lufthansa in October 2013.

It operated eight Q400s and two Embraer 190 regional jets. Six of the turboprops – including the aircraft now delivered to Austrian – were subsequently sold to Canadian charter operator North Cariboo Air.

While the aircraft has undergone a C-check in 2014, its cabin interior and cockpit instrumentation will be updated to Austrian’s standards at its Innsbruck base, the airline says. It has been registered OE-LGO.

The 76-seat turboprop will be deployed Swiss’s Zurich-Lugano route from 1 November.