The board of Austrian Airlines has approved the purchase of 17 Embraer 195 aircraft in almost new condition with a list price of close to $900 million.
The first jet will already be delivered in August 2015, modified in line with Austrian Airlines standards and used for training purposes.
Close to 200 pilots of Austrian Airlines will be retrained to operate the Embraer aircraft starting in the autumn of this year.
The first commercial flight is planned to take place in January 2016.
“A decision was made today on one of the largest investment projects in the history of Austrian aviation.
Some 900 jobs are directly connected to this investment program,” explained Andreas Otto, chief commercial officer, Austrian Airlines.
The 17 jets will come from Lufthansa CityLine, which in return will receive Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen jets from Eurowings.
The Embraer 195 with 120 seats per aircraft is considerably bigger than the Fokker planes with 80 resp.
At present, the new jets have an average age of four years (built 2009-2012), compared to the average age of about 21 years for the Fokker fleet of Austrian Airlines.
As a result, the replacement of the aircraft will significantly rejuvenate the Austrian Airlines fleet.
The list price of an Embraer 195 jet is about $52 million.
However, the most important factor pertaining to aircraft are the on-going operating costs.
The younger airplanes use about 18 per cent less fuel per aircraft seat.
This makes the Embraer jets much more environmentally compatible.