AUA seats up for grabs

Plane seats put on sale by Austrian Airlines (AUA) are selling like hot cakes, it has emerged.The company said today (Tues) that they have already sold 85 per cent of the 4,200 fabric-covered seats, which are currently being replaced by modern leathern models, to other airlines.AUA, which was taken over by Germany’s Lufthansa one and a half years ago, said that private individuals could also buy rows of seats. A spokesman explained that those interested should send an e-mail to He added that three seats – which is the smallest sale unit – cost 120 Euros. The green seats were used in 32 of AUA’s Airbus 320 and Boeing 737 jets.All of the eight-year-old models will be replaced by the new seats – which are slimmer and lighter – by this summer.AUA is also selling off old cutlery, blankets and other items.The airline recorded 10.9 million passengers last year, almost 10 per cent more than in the previous year.The Vienna-based carrier has more than 6,000 employees. Lufthansa chiefs made clear that they expected AUA – which suffered a loss of more than 44 million Euros last year – to be back in the black in 2011.News that private customers can buy scrapped AUA plane seats comes just weeks after the aviation firm announced its decision to reintroduce warm dishes in the economy class of flights lasting longer than two hours.AUA was attacked by passenger pressure groups and newspapers for abandoning the service as part of a strict cost-cutting regime in 2009. Business class passengers continued to be served hot meals on flights of more than an hour at all times.AUA co-chief Andreas Bierwirth said DO&CO will create and deliver the warm meals. The airline and the Viennese catering company have cooperated for many years.