Austrian Airlines has announced plans to retire its fleet of Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 turboprop aircraft.

The carrier has acquired six A320 aircraft – four of which were previously in operation with Avianca Brasil and two with Star Alliance Connecting Partner Juneyao Airlines.

The first is set to be delivered next month, and is expected to enter service with Austrian in December, following “necessary modifications and adaptations”. The remaining aircraft will then arrive by January 2020.

The aircraft range in age from around six to 12 years.

A total of ten jets are set to join the Austrian fleet, allowing the airline to gradually retire its current fleet of 16 Dash 8 Q400 turboprops by 2021. One will be decommissioned this year, followed by nine in 2020, and six in 2021.

The deliveries will see Austrian increase its Airbus fleet from 36 to 46 aircraft, and commenting on the move CCO Andreas Otto said:

“These six additional A320s should also be understood as a strong signal towards low cost competition. We are defending our market position and are determined to fight for our customers.”

In November last year Austrian’s CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech spoke to German media about the need to invest in the carrier’s ageing fleet.