- Joe Breitfeller
Austrian Airlines Bids Farewell to Last Dash Aircraft
After more than 40 years of combined service with Tyrolean Airways and Austrian Airlines, the carrier operated their last Dash aircraft flights on Monday. The final flights (OS 905/6) operated from Vienna to Innsbruck and back.
On Monday (May 31, 2021), Austrian Airlines announced the completion of their final flights with a Bombardier Dash aircraft (now De Havilland Canada) after over 40 years in service. The final turboprop flights (OS 905/6) were from Vienna to Innsbruck and back with a Bombardier Q400, now referred to as a DHC Dash 8-400. Austrian Airlines’ fleet will now consist entirely of Airbus, Boeing and Embraer aircraft.
The Dash story began not only in Austria but all of Europe on April 9, 1980 with Tyrolean Airways, the first carrier in Europe to take delivery of the Dash 8’s predecessor, a four-engine De Havilland Canada DHC-7. The 50-seat regional aircraft offered outstanding short-landing characteristics, which made it ideal for use at difficult airports such as Innsbruck or Courchevel in the French Alps. Starting in 1985, Tyrolean Airways operated twin-engine Dash 8-100s on flights to Graz, Frankfurt and Zurich. Until the complete takeover of Tyrolean Airways by Austrian in 1998, the carrier operated 44 different Dash 8s, including 100s, 300s and 400s.
In Monday’s announcement, Austrian Airlines’ Chief Commercial Officer, Michael Trestl, said,
“Austrian Airlines is well prepared for the fleet retirement of the Dash. With the comfortable, efficient Embraer and Airbus aircraft, we will continue to offer our passengers a good feeder service with Vienna as our hub.”
Also commenting on the aircraft’s retirement from the fleet, Austrian’s COO, Francesco Sciortino, said,
“The Dash has had an impressive career in our company, it is and will remain part of our history. We will not forget that. I would like to thank everyone who has served the Dash aircraft over the past decades, from the cabin and cockpit crews, to the technician team and many more.”
Austrian Airlines’ Dash 8-Q400 Fleet Manager, Thomas Bleimuth, added, “At peak times, the Dash 8-Q400 completed up to 44,000 individual flights per year. With this type of aircraft, it was also possible to fly to particularly demanding locations. For example, Tyrolean Airways used to fly the four-engined Dash 7 to Courchevel in the French Alps, an airfield at over 2,000 meters above sea level.”
Austrian Airlines’ Dash 8-400s were last in service on short-haul routes such as between Vienna and Milan, Warsaw or Zagreb. After nearly 20 years in service with Austrian Airlines, the Dash 8-400s have carried over 20 million passengers and flown 237 million kilometers accident-free, the distance of 310 flights to the moon and back. The airline’s combined Dash fleet has spent 54 years in the air and completed 520,000 safe landings. During pre-flight checks, Dash 8-400 pilots covered over 52,000 kilometers on foot, the equivalent of 20 circumnavigations of Austria.
Source: Austrian Airlines