MIAMI – This week, Austrian Airlines (OS) operated its final Bombardier Dash 8 flight, marking the end of an era for the aircraft as the airline works to renew its fleet. 

The flight departed Innsbruck at 3:15 PM and landed in Vienna at 3:32 PM (local times) with a flight time of just over one hour. OE-LGI, the final Bombardier Dash 8, is just 16 years old. With an average of 16.4 years, the airline’s Dash 8s were a core of OS’s short-haul route network.

According to the OS, its fleet will be a combination of the airline’s existing Embraer E190s and smaller Airbus A320 family aircraft.

The retirement is part of OS’s fleet consolidation strategy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to Dash 8 retirements, OS bade farewell to two of its older Boeing 767s. 

Photo: Lorenzo Giacobbo/Airways

To the Moon and Back!

Despite only operating short haul flights, OS’s Dash 8 fleet retired with some impressive statistics; flying a total of 20 million passengers over 237 million kilometers, or approximately 310 flights to the moon and back. 

Austrian Airlines COO Francesco Sciortino said, “The Dash has had an impressive career in our company, it is and will remain part of our history. We will not forget that.”

Speaking on the aircraft’s significant accomplishments, Dash fleet manager Thomas Bleimuth said, “At peak times, the Dash 8-Q400 completed up to 44,000 individual flights per year.”

He continued, “With this type of aircraft, it was also possible to fly to particularly demanding locations. For example, Tyrolean Airways used to fly the four-engined Dash 7 to Courchevel in the French Alps, an airfield at over 2,000 meters above sea level.”

Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

Tyrolean to Austrian

The Dash’s journey with OS began with its former subsidiary, Tyrolean Airways (VO). Operating 44 different Dash 8s before its takeover by OS, the airline’s Dash’s were perfectly suited to the airline’s flights to airports with difficult flight procedures. 

Tyrolean operated feeder flights on behalf of OS and was the first European airline to take delivery of the Dash 8’s predecessor, the Dash 7, in 1980.

Featured Image: Roberto Dumitrescu/Airways