Today, the Austrian Airlines A320 aircraft with the registration OE-LBO, featuring a retro look, will depart on its first flight to Zurich. The livery (exterior painting) originates from the 1980s, when Austrian Airlines managed to re-enter the intercontinental flight business after a long hiatus. Core elements of the aircraft design are the angular chevron (logo arrow), its grey aircraft belly and the traditional red-white-red flag on the tailfin of the aircraft.
Special connection to New York and Tokyo
The retro look is a tribute to New York and Tokyo. New York has been part of the flight network of Austria’s red-white-red flag carrier for 50 years (except for a break in the 1970s), whereas Austrian’s flight service to Tokyo is celebrating its 30th anniversary (also with some interruptions). In 1989, two Airbus A310 aircraft, named New York and Tokyo, became part of the Austrian Airlines’ fleet in order to commemorate the anniversary of the two destinations. Today, New York and Tokyo are among Austrian Airlines’ most successful long-haul destinations.
Nine days in the painting hangar
A full nine days were required in the “Air Livery” painting hangar in Bratislava until the aircraft was able to reveal its retro design. The complete exterior painting of the A320 aircraft weighs approximately 246 lbs. and consists of three layers. The main colors are white, grey and red. The airplane is expected to land in Vienna this evening at about 10:30 p.m. local time. For spotters, it is important to note that the aircraft will be prominently placed at parking position F04 at Vienna Airport.
Austrian Airlines is Austria's leading airline. The once state-owned and still convincing red-white-red airline operates a route network of around 130 destinations. Thanks to its favourable geographical location and Austrian history as a melting pot of the former crown lands, its home airport Vienna Schwechat is still a hub between East and West today. About 120 of the 360 daily flights lead to Central and Eastern Europe. “AUA", as it is often abbreviated in Austria, transports around 14 million passengers a year and employs 7,000 staff from 58 nations. AUA has been part of the Lufthansa Group since 2009. Austrian Airlines is also a member of the Star Alliance, the first global alliance of international airlines. Austrian Airlines has been in the black since 2012. It celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2018.
Here you can find pretty nice photos of AUA and its charming crew: https://www.flickr.com/photos/austrianairlinespress/albums
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