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Austrian to sell 50-seaters

Austrian Airlines Group is seeking to sell at least 15 of its Bombardier CRJ200s and Dash 8 Q300s and replace them with larger aircraft. 

It says will reduce "in the medium term" its fleet of 50-seaters from 25 to "a single number". Austrian Arrows operates 13CRJs and 12 Q300s, most of which are owned.

The carrier says it is now difficult to operate 50-seaters profitably and instead requires more aircraft in the 80- to 130-seat category.


 © Bombardier

Austrian Arrows already operates Fokker 70s and Fokker 100s in this category, while Austrian mainline operates Airbus A320 family aircraft. Austrian is now looking to acquire more of these types and is not interested in adding any new types.

In addition to CRJ and Dash 8 replacements, Austrian also has a requirement for about three additional aircraft a year in the 80- to 130-seat category to support the launch of new routes.

Austrian has also unveiled plans to reconfigure next year four of its A320s with 24 Recaro business class sleeper seats. All of its narrowbodies now have a flexible configuration with the middle seat blocked in business class.

Earlier this year the carrier reduced its widebody fleet to only four Boeing 777s and six 767s as part of a restructuring that included the discontinuation of several unprofitable long-haul routes and a focus on short- and medium-haul routes to the east.

Austrian says its widebody fleet is currently sufficient, but next year it may begin considering potential long-term replacements.