- Joe Breitfeller
Austrian Airlines Ends ‘Prachter’ Relief Flights After Transporting 4,500 Tons of Supplies
After 15 months of transporting critical supplies between Asia and Europe in support of pandemic relief, Austrian Airlines has ended their ‘Prachter’ operation. The carrier transported over 200 million protective masks, 30 million test kits and 15 million gloves.
On Wednesday (June 23, 2021), Austrian Airlines announced the end of their 15 month ‘Prachter’ program for transporting critical pandemic aid between Asia And Europe. Two of the airline’s converted Boeing 777s served as the backbone for the operation carrying over 200 million protective masks and 30 million test kits and 15 million medical gloves. The word ‘Prachter’ is a German term normally used for passenger aircraft used as freighters or a combination of passengers and freight. Since March 2020, Austrian Airlines has operated long-haul passenger aircraft in a freight-only capacity for the transport of essential pandemic supplies. The carrier removed the passenger seats of two Boeing 777s registered OE-LPA and OE-LPC, as well as Boeing 767s to carry out the operations. Austrian Airlines operated a total of 159 flights, carrying over 4,500 tons of supplies from Asia to Austria, Germany and Italy.
In Wednesday’s announcement, Austrian Airlines’ COO, Francesco Sciortino, said,
“With our freighter-only operation, we responded flexibly to the requirements of the Corona pandemic. There was great demand for relief goods from Asia – we brought them to Europe. This shows how important a domestic airline with a long-haul fleet is for Austria. I am very proud of our team, which carried out this demanding mission efficiently and smoothly.”
Austrian’s Boeing 777 OE-LPA will be the last aircraft to have its seats reinstalled, which will be accomplished by the airline’s technical department. With the end of the Prachter program, Austrian Airlines will once again focus fully on their core business of carrying passengers on long-haul routes. The removal and reinstallation of passenger seats on the two 777s took approximately 1,000 working hours per aircraft. By converting the 777 passenger cabins for freight, cargo capacity was increased by over 35 percent, from about 160 m3 to up to 220 m3.
Source: Austrian Airlines