VIENNA, AUSTRIA — Lufthansa Group subsidiary Austrian Airlines has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320neo jet today with a ceremony held in its hangar at Vienna Airport. A total of four A320neo jetliners will be integrated into the carrier's fleet by spring 2023, increasing the number of aircraft in the Austrian fleet from the current 61 to a total of 65 aircraft.

"The Austrian Team has bravely navigated the crisis over the past two and a half years and put the company back on track. The restructuring has been completed, and the Austrian Team is "fit to fly" again. This summer, we successfully demonstrated our performance level. This was the basis for us to add factory-new aircraft to our fleet for the first time in more than 16 years and thus take an important growth step for our company and the Vienna hub,"

said Austrian Airlines CEO Annette Mann.

At the event, the newest fleet member with the registration OE-LZN was baptized "Donau-Auen". Federal Minister Martin Kocher, Austrian Airlines' board members CEO Annette Mann, CCO Michael Trestl, and COO Francesco Sciortino, as well as Austrian Airlines A320 co-pilot Timon-Niklas Grusetchi, acted as godparents. The idea to name the four A320neo after Austrian national parks was chosen from a total of 280 employee submissions.

"I am very pleased to see that Austrian Airlines, Austria's largest airline, is finally expanding again after the past challenging years. The acquisition of the new Airbus A320neo shows that Austria and its airport Vienna-Schwechat is an important hub for aviation in Central and Central Eastern Europe and beyond. I warmly congratulate AUA on the ceremonial "christening" of the new aircraft,"

said Martin Kocher, Minister of Labor and Economic Affairs.

By adding modern and efficient short- and medium-haul aircraft, Austrian Airlines underlines its commitment to resource-saving aviation. Thanks to innovative Pratt & Whitney engine technology and improved aerodynamics, the fuel consumption of the Airbus A320neo is up to 20 percent lower than comparable older-generation aircraft. In addition, an A320neo taking off has a noise footprint that is around 50 percent smaller than comparable aircraft types. The new aircraft thus make an important contribution to Austrian Airlines' environmental efficiency, increase profitability and at the same time represent an important long-term investment in the Vienna hub. Depending on the route, the operation of an Airbus A320neo can save up to 3,700 tons of CO2 per year compared to the respective predecessor.

Besides the use of sustainable aviation fuels, modern and fuel-efficient aircraft are the biggest lever in achieving our ambitious climate targets," said Austrian Airlines COO Francesco Sciortino. By 2030, Austrian aims to halve its net CO2 emissions, and by 2050, the airline wants to be CO2-neutral both on the ground and on board.

The A320neo will be flown by Austrian Airlines on continental services, primarily on routes to London and Berlin, and later on also to Amsterdam and Frankfurt. The almost fully booked first commercial flight of our "Donau-Auen" takes off tomorrow, 19 October, with OS461 from Vienna to London.

The new aircraft will significantly enhance travel comfort on short- and medium-haul routes. Thanks to the innovative Airspace Cabin and slimmer side panels, passengers will be offered even more personal space, especially in the shoulder area. Compared with the previous design, the new cabin concept also features up to 60 percent more capacity for hand luggage. Another highlight on board is a new adjustable lighting system that is geared to passengers' biorhythms depending on the phase of flight and time of day. It illuminates the cabin and washrooms in either warm red or cool blue tones.