Austrian’s first refurbished 777 re-enters service

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Austrian Airlines has completed the cabin upgrade for the first of its 10 long-haul aircraft, although it is running slightly behind schedule, having been due to be finished in November.

The Boeing 777-200 (OE-LPD) returned to passenger operations on 9 January - for a flight from Vienna to Malé in the Maldives - after it underwent a test flight and gained approval by the regulatory authorities.

The Lufthansa subsidiary carrier is investing around €90 million ($117 million) to install full-flat business- and new economy-class seats as well as upgraded IFE systems across its long-haul fleet, comprising four 777-200s and six 767-300s.

The aircraft will be refurbished on a step-by-step basis, says Austrian. The 777s are being configured with 48 business- and 260 economy-class seats, while two cabin layouts will be used for the 767s. Four aircraft will be fitted with 36 business- and 178 economy-class seats and the remaining two will be equipped with 26 business- and 199 economy-class berths.

The Thomson Aero Seating-produced business-class seats are based on the same design which sister carrier Swiss International Air Lines introduced on its long-haul fleet in 2009, albeit sourced from another supplier.