Austrian Airlines will welcome the latest addition to its fleet today, after its new Boeing 777 touches down at the airline’s hub Vienna International Airport, after a 12-hour flight from Hong Kong.
The aircraft has spent the last four months in Hong Kong undergoing modification in order to comply with Austrian Airlines’ strict standards, and after a recent successful acceptance flight, flight number OS 1472 will take off for Vienna at 3 a.m. local time from Hong Kong, arriving in the Austrian capital at 4 pm local time.
The additional Boeing 777 offers room for 306 passengers and will transport about 150,000 passengers per year – Kay Kratky, Austrian Airlines
Once the flight has entered Austrian airspace it will be joined by two Eurofighter-jets for the remainder of the flight, as part of an interception training exercise held by the Austrian Armed Forces.
The exercise, which will include a go-around manoeuvre from the Boeing aircraft, will take place shortly before landing, as long as the weather holds and the predicted storms in the region do not manifest.
Discussing the imminent arrival, Austrian Airlines CEO Kay Kratky said: “The additional Boeing 777 offers room for 306 passengers and will transport about 150,000 passengers per year. In this way, it is of major importance to the Austrian business location. The tourism sector, as well as the labour market and the infrastructure in Austria, will benefit from the new aircraft.”
The new arrival will be the seventh aircraft of its kind for the airline and will bolster a fleet currently consisting of seven A319-100s, 22 A320-200s, three A321-100s, three A321-200s, six Boeing 767-300s, six Boeing 777-200s, 18 Bombardier Q400s and 17 Embraer 195s.
This particular Boeing 777 has been leased from Irish aviation leasing company AerCap for eight years, and sees an investment of approx. EUR 60 million by Austrian Airlines. The new aircraft is also expected to create an extra 150 jobs for the carrier, with 110 flight attendants, 30 pilots, five station employees and five technicians all needed to operate the 306 person plane — comprised of 38 business class, 24 premium economy and 244 economy class seats.