Loss-making Austrian Airlines ditches Boeing

Lufthansa's loss-making Austrian Airlines unit said on Tuesday it plans to ditch Boeing and fly only Airbus aircraft for medium-range flights as part of a cost-cutting programme.

The firm, owned by Germany's flag carrier since 2009, said in will replace 11 Boeing 737 aircraft with up to seven Airbus A319 or A320 planes "in order to reduce maintenance costs, improve productivity and make crew planning easier."

Austrian, which in October scrapped its target of achieving an operating profit last year, also plans to cut unprofitable routes and to reduce personnel costs, which it said are rising despite laying off 1,500 employees.

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The new plan is aimed at "substantially improving the earnings power of Austria's airline and making it fit for the future once and for all," a statement said, citing tough conditions for the whole airline industry.

by Marianne Barriaux © 2012 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Jan 10, 2012