SWISS raises seating comfort on its Airbus A320s

6. January 2005

SWISS has embarked on a programme of installing new and lighter seats in the eleven aircraft of its Airbus A320 fleet. The programme, which will be completed in time for the 2005 summer schedules, will result in a number of improvements, including greater seating comfort. The modifications are being made by SWISS’s own Technical Services in Basel – the first time the facility has handled such Airbus work.

SWISS is taking the next step in enhancing its European travel product. Between now and March, the carrier’s entire Airbus A320 fleet will be equipped with new seats with a slimmer back, allowing total capacity to be raised from the present 150 to 168 passengers.

The new seats, which are manufactured by Recaro using innovative carbon technology, are more comfortable than their predecessors. The seat pockets on their backs are also mounted higher. So passengers in Swiss Business and Swiss Economy will enjoy both greater seating comfort and more legroom, all in the new SWISS design.

Despite the provision of 18 more seats, the refurbishment will reduce the aircraft’s weight by about one tonne. This in turn will lower fuel consumption. So, in addition to greater inflight comfort and more capacity, the new seats will also raise the operating efficiency of the Airbus A320 fleet.

More space and more comfort in Swiss Business

In a further innovation, the Swiss Business section of the new A320 cabin will have its middle seats kept free, creating more room and privacy for window and aisle guests. A special pull-up table will also be provided in the middle seat position, providing further space for working or for personal items.

Refurbishment work in Basel

The work required to install the new seats throughout the Airbus A320 cabin will be performed by SWISS Technical Services in Basel – the first time SWISS’s own engineering and maintenance unit has carried out such work on Airbus equipment. The requisite authorisation was recently received from the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Aviation. The adoption of this in-house solution not only saves costs; it also expands the range of skills and services offered by SWISS Technical Services.