The airberlin group had already announced the harmonisation of its fleet back in September, as part of its restructuring program. And now the Group has taken another important step with its Austrian subsidiary, NIKI. By the middle of 2015, the existing Embraer aircraft in the NIKI fleet will be replaced by Airbus planes.
“Harmonising our fleet will enable us to achieve increased productivity, lower costs per seat kilometre and more efficient flight operations. The decision to switch to the larger Airbus planes will also create new growth opportunities for NIKI. In 2015, NIKI will therefore see capacity increase” said Chief Executive Officer, Wolfgang Prock-Schauer.
“The standardisation of our fleet is a bonus for NIKI. It will allow us to operate more economically on the whole. And the increased overall capacity will also enable us to support an important trend: Vienna airport has established itself as a hub for airberlin passengers for flights to Greece and Cyprus, for example,” said NIKI Managing Director, Christian Lesjak.
By removing the 112-seater E190s from its fleet and using additional Airbus aircraft, the Austrian airberlin subsidiary will become more efficient in terms of its network and cost structure. Instead of its seven Embraer planes, it will operate five Airbus A319 aircraft (seating 150) and two Airbus A320s (with 180 seats). The change-over will be gradually implemented by June 2015.
airberlin plans to defleet all its 45 Boeings by 2016 and become an Airbus-only operator whereby the accessions will consist of both existing Airbus orders and market access.