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Austrian receives A320 to begin Q400 replacement

Austrian Airlines has taken delivery of the first of 10 additional Airbus A320s that will be introduced to replace its Bombardier Q400 turboprop fleet by 2021.

The Lufthansa Group carrier says the 2012-built A320 (OE-LZD) arrived in Vienna on 6 October and is currently being modified by maintenance department Austrian Technik before joining the fleet later this month.

The aircraft is one of four dating to 2012-13 that will be leased from Aviation Capital Group and were previously part of Avianca Brasil's fleet.

Avianca Brasil entered bankruptcy proceedings earlier this year and was grounded by Brazil's regulator in May.

OE-LZC, another of the four A320s, has been transferred to Fokker Services' facility in Woensdrecht, in the Netherlands, and is scheduled to enter Austrian's fleet in November.

Sister aircraft OE-LZE will also be modified by Fokker for introduction in November, while OE-LZF is in US city Jacksonville and will join Austrian's fleet later this month, the airline says.

In addition to the four jets, Austrian plans to introduce in January 2020 a pair of 2007-vintage A320s currently in operation at Juneyao Air. These will be leased from CBD Aviation.

All six aircraft are powered by CFM International CFM56-5B engines.

In January, Austrian disclosed a plan to add 10 A320s to its fleet as replacements for 18 Q400s.

Cirium fleets data shows that Austrian has 17 Q400s in service today, alongside 22 A320s, seven A319s, six A321s and 17 Embraer 195s.

For its long-haul network, Austrian operates six Boeing 767-300ERs and six 777-200ERs.

The airline has previously said that the Q400 fleet will be reduced to 15 units by year-end. Nine will leave the fleet next year and a further six in 2021.

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