The four aircraft will be wet leased to Swiss.
Late last year, Etihad Airways agreed to acquire a 33.3% stake in Darwin Airline, a regional carrier based in Lugano, Switzerland, to launch Etihad Regional to connect passengers from secondary European markets onto its main network.
“The first two aircraft will start services this year and two more Q400s will follow in 2015,” CCO Karsten Benz told ATW in New York. He declined to say where the four aircraft will be coming from.
The routes include domestic services such as to Lugano from Zurich or Geneva, as well as regional international services. As Austrian is a Star Alliance member, all aircraft will be painted in Star Alliance livery.
Austrian also operates one Dash 8-Q400 on a wet-lease contract for Brussels Airlines.