Austrian Airlines to retire Dash-8-400s as 9 airlines stop using it this year

Austrian Airlines to retire Dash-8-400s as 9 airlines stop using it this year

Austrian Airlines will retire its remaining 14 Dash-8-400s, which was previously announced, while also retiring all seven of its A319s and half of its six B767-300ERs by 2022.  Like many other airlines around the world, Austrian will emerge from this crisis smaller than previously. But hopefully with a stronger foundation, including appropriate equipment with better economics, to build on going forward.

Austrian Airlines: eighth-largest operator of the Dash-8-400

Austrian was the world’s eighth-largest operator of the Dash-8-400 last year, with 2.3 million seats. It was just behind LOT Polish (2.4 million) and ahead of airBaltic (2 million).  In W19, Austrian used the 76-seat aircraft on multiple routes, as below, with some one-offs.  Frankfurt (FRA) – Innsbruck (INN) was its top route (86,400 seats), followed by Klagenfurt (KLU) – Vienna (60,500), Prague – Vienna (60,000), Graz (GRZ) – Vienna (55,400), and Budapest (BUD) – Vienna (44,500).

Austrian Airlines to retire Dash-8-400s as 9 airlines stop using it this year

Austrian Airlines’ network by the Dash-8-400 in W19.

Nine airlines have stopped Dash-8-400 service this year versus last year

So far this year, 48 million seats are available by this aircraft, down 18 million YOY and barely more than in 2010.  This is from short-term cuts from the coronavirus, but fundamentally also from the end of flybe – the world’s largest operator of this ‘prop – which ended operations in March.

OAG Schedules Analyser shows that various other airlines – either small operators or temporary users of the type – aren’t operating the type this year but did last year: Air Cote d’Ivoire, Air Tanzania, Aurora (Russia), CemAir (South Africa), Congo Airways, Icelandair (using Air Iceland aircraft), Swiss (operated by Austrian),  and Ulendo Airlink (Malawi). Icelandair, for example, operated the aircraft from May to October 2019 on overwater sectors from Keflavik to Bergen (1,495 kilometres), Dublin (1,501), and Manchester (1,657), mainly to increase peak summer capacity given on-going MAX problems.

Austrian Airlines to retire Dash-8-400s as 9 airlines stop using it this year

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.

Air Niugini bucks trend by restarting Dash-8-400s operations

One new operator – Air Niugini – began operating the aircraft this year after an absence of three years. Interestingly, the carrier, which operated the -400 until 2017, previously said that the speed and range of its Fokker 70s gave the type a significant advantage over turboprops.  Last month, the carrier operated the Dash-8-400 on multiple domestic routes, with the 139-kilometre Port Morseby – Popondetta route its number-one by seats.

The Dash-8-400 comes home to Canada

In S20 – with the following data clearly able to change given the ongoing crisis – there are 32 operators of the Dash-8-400.  WestJet and Air Canada are now the top operators, with fellow Canadian airline Porter in fifth.  The type has come home to Canada.  Of the -400’s routes, its top routes fully outside Canada are Canberra – Sydney (225,800), Seattle – Spokane (218,500), Portland – Seattle (214,300), Mombasa – Nairobi (208,900), and Athens – Paros (170,800).

Top-10 airlines (published airline only) S20 seats
(as of 20 April)
Top-10 routes across all operators S20 seats (as of 20 April)
WestJet 3,714,800 Montreal – Toronto Billy Bishop City 534,200
Air Canada 3,552,600 Calgary – Edmonton 384,200
Alaska Airlines 2,831,300 Vancouver – Victoria 381,600
Qantas 2,043,500 Kelowna – Vancouver 358,400
Porter 1,845,200 Ottawa – Toronto Billy Bishop City 304,000
LOT Polish 1,132,400 HalifaxSt John’s 271,300
Olympic Air 991,900 Newark – Toronto Billy Bishop City 270,300
Widerøe 855,800 Montreal – Toronto Pearson 261,500
Luxair 800,300 Seattle – Vancouver 238,900
Nok Air 796,700 Ottawa – Toronto Pearson 237,000
Note: Seat volumes may change given the ongoing crisis. Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.


  1. Andreas W. Schulz says:

    Don’t forget the ACMi contract with German WDL and Eurowings where 15 Q400s where operating on a longer termed arrangement. But Lufthansa Group now short termed cancelled the deal and let WDL go into insolvency !

  2. Andreas Akerman says:

    Air Baltic is another airline retiring its Q400s this year. When operations resume, it will be without the Q400 and 737 Classic.

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