Work on dismantling Austria's first retired Boeing 767 has begun.
Though there were expectations that Austrian Airlines' oldest Boeing 767 will have a different fate, rumours have emerged that the 30-year-old OE-LAT is actually being dismantled in the Arizona desert. Meanwhile, its slightly younger sibling is stored at a general aviation airport in Minnesota that also houses a cargo specialist Kalitta Air maintenance facility.
Photo From austrian.com
At Simple Flying, we've been keeping a close eye on the fate of Austrian Airlines' Boeing 767s. Despite the fact that the airline was able to find new owners for three of the iconic red-and-white widebodies, it appears that at least one will not fly again. Photos of OE-LAT stripped of its engines have emerged from the aircraft graveyard at Pinal Airpark, Arizona, according to aeroTELEGRAPH. On March 3rd, the plane, the first 767 to leave Austrian's fleet as part of a reshuffle to alleviate the crises' effects, flew from Vienna to the United States. It passed through customs in Maine before heading to Arizona, where it was turned over to its new owners, MonoCoque Diversified Interests (MDI).
MDI's manager said the company was excited to continue to expand its passenger and cargo portfolio when Austrian Airlines announced the profitable sale of half of its 767s in February. However, it now appears that it will depend solely on OE-Pratt LAT's & Whitney PW4060 engines.
Prior to its retirement, OE-LAT was the Lufthansa Group's oldest widebody aircraft. It had flown for a total of 133,000 hours, or 15 years in the air. Since beginning its career with Martinair Holland in 1991, it had completed over 19,000 take-offs and landings. It was quickly moved to Lauda Air, where it remained until joining Austrian Airlines' fleet in 2007.
Late last month, the second older Austrian Boeing 767 followed it across the Atlantic. With 133,600 flight hours and 19,600 take-offs and landings, OE-LAX, a year younger than OE-LAT, outperformed its older brother. It may also have a different outcome than OE-LAT.
Rather than being sent to a desert aircraft graveyard after clearing customs, the plane is now parked at Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport in Michigan. The airport primarily serves general aviation. It is, however, also home to a Kalitta Air maintenance facility.
Although the Minneapolis-based cargo carrier services planes from a variety of airlines, it operates a fleet of nine Boeing 767s, all of which are between the ages of 21 and 31. Given the increase in cargo demand following the crisis, is it unlikely that it would be looking to lease additional aircraft of the same type?