Austrian Airlines and airberlin concluded a wet lease agreement stipulating the lease of five aircraft operated by the airberlin Group. The airplanes will be successively integrated into the Austrian Airlines fleet in the months of March and April 2017.

Austrian Airlines CEO Kay Kratky explained: “With the five aircraft from airberlin, we will take advantage of market opportunities to strengthen our leading position at our hub Vienna.”

At present, the entire Austrian Airlines fleet consists of 80 aircraft. The airplanes to be leased by Austrian Airlines from airberlin involve five Airbus A320 jets, which will be operated in the future displaying the Austrian Airlines colors.

On the 18th of December 2016, airberlin has announced that Thomas Winkelmann will become the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of airberlin group. Winkelmann will take over as CEO of Air Berlin PLC from 1st of February 2017, assuming full accountability for all group activities. He will succeed Stefan Pichler, who decided to leave the company after working for two years on the strategic turnaround of the group.

The aircraft will be leased together with pilots and flight attendants. Austrian Airlines already has 31 aircraft of the A320 family in its fleet i.e. seven Airbus A319, 18 A320 jets and six A321 planes. The wet lease agreement with Air Berlin will raise the number of Airbus jets in the Austrian Airlines fleet to 36 in total.

The wet lease deal comprises part of a framework agreement between the Lufthansa Group and airberlin to lease 38 aircraft for Eurowings and Austrian Airlines, and shall apply subject to the approval of the Competition Authorities. The parties to the accord have agreed to maintain confidentiality with respect to the terms and conditions of the lease payments.