A new long-haul aircraft operated by Austrian Airlines, a Boeing 777-200ER with the registration OE-LPE, has taken off two weeks earlier than planned, departing on its maiden flight today at 10:45 from Vienna to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.
The latest addition to the Austrian Airlines fleet is the result of an investment of about €50 million.
More than €20 million was required just to refit the aircraft.
On average, each of the 308 high-tech seats on board costs as much as a medium-sized car.
The business class seats can be converted into flat beds, and every seat is equipped with a video monitor.
Austrian Airlines did not only invest money in the aircraft, as the new addition to the fleet is also the basis for creating a total of 130 new jobs, including 20 pilots and 90 flight attendants.
The management of Austrian Airlines expects this small-scale expansion to result in increased operating revenue of EUR80 million and 170,000 new passengers on a yearly basis.
Moreover, it also enables a new long-haul route, Newark in New Jersey, to be added to the airline’s route network starting on July 2nd, 2014.
“This is the first time in seven years that Austrian Airlines is expanding its fleet,” said chief executive Jaan Albrecht.
“Accordingly, the aircraft, which will be baptized with the name Blue Danube by employees on June 27th, will serve as a symbol for a fresh start.”
A total of 40,000 man-hours were needed to modify the aircraft and carry out a C check, a certain maintenance aircraft examination requiring a large majority of the plane’s components to be inspected.
An additional 17,000 hours were required for preparatory work such as specification and planning.