Bye Bye Fokker: The End of an Aircraft Era at Austrian Airlines
· Fans bid farewell to the Fokker fleet on special flight OS 1100
· Last Fokker jet to leave Vienna on its final flight at the end of December 2017
· Embraer fleet replaces Fokker aircraft
Today, on the morning of November 29, 2017, employees, invited guests and members of the Friends of Vienna Airport Association had the opportunity to officially bid farewell to the beloved Fokker fleet of Austrian Airlines via the special flight OS 1100. The last Fokker 100 aircraft still operated by Austrian Airlines, bears the registration number OE-LVE and the name “Zagreb”. The guests flew one last circuit over Austria in this aircraft under a clear blue sky. Austrian Airlines CEO Kay Kratky was also on board: “The Fokker jets were faithful companions over the last 29 years, and made a significant contribution towards the expansion of our dense route network in Central and Eastern Europe. However, the aircraft are getting on in years, and today we wanted to give the large fan community of our Fokker jets an opportunity to say a last Servus”.
The first Fokker 50 was authorized for operation on March 15, 1988 under the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) of Austrian Airlines. Two additional Fokker 70 jets were added in 1995. At that time, this type of jet was considered to belong to the next aircraft generation. Among the advantages were the low levels of noise generation and greenhouse gas emissions, combined with the higher speed and range compared to other aircraft models. Within the context of its Focus East strategy, Austrian Airlines acquired additional Fokker planes in 2004, including Fokker 100 aircraft. In 2015, the Austrian flag carrier decided to replace its entire aging Fokker fleet, consisting of 21 jets, with 17 modern Embraer aircraft. In August 2017, Austrian Airlines successfully concluded the integration of this new type of aircraft into its fleet.
Embraer aircraft consume about 18% less fuel per aircraft seat than the Fokker, and are thus much more environmentally compatible. Passengers enjoy greater traveling comfort as a result of the replacement of the Fokker aircraft: The cabin equipped with two seating rows is particularly spacious due to its ergonomic design, thus offering the 120 passengers a feeling of having more space.
The last remaining Fokker 100 will be operated until the end of December 2017, and will mainly be deployed on routes to Geneva and Chisinau.
The Austrian Airlines Fokker fleet was sold to the Australian charter airline Alliance Aviation Services Limited for USD 15 million. The maintenance of the fifteen Fokker 100 and six Fokker 70 aircraft continues to be carried out by the Fokker specialists at Austrian Technik in Bratislava (ATB).