SWISS expands long-haul fleet

21 June 2006

SWISS will expand its long-haul fleet by two Airbus A330-200 aircraft as of the next winter timetable. Configured for 42 business class and 187 economy class seats, these aircraft will replace leased-in equipment on East and West Africa routes and also be used for timetable improvement on intercontinental routes.

In pushing ahead with its commitment to growth, SWISS will add two Airbus A330-200 to its long-haul fleet. The two new aircraft are to be integrated into SWISS flight operations as of the end of this year. Lufthansa supports this fleet expansion. With the restructuring programme that was introduced last year now largely completed and negotiations with most employee groups either concluded or at an advanced stage, the Management Board and the Board of Directors have given the green light for fleet expansion. Factors supporting this decision are the high seat load factor for the current long-haul route network and strong demand for as many daily services as possible.

“SWISS wants to grow step by step. By adding these two long-haul aircraft, SWISS is strengthening the quality of its route network. They are also highly compatible with our existing fleet“, commented SWISS CEO Christoph Franz. “We have taken advantage of the opportunity to expand our long-haul fleet even though our restructuring programme, which aims to bring about a permanent improvement in our cost structure, is not yet complete. Significant milestones have already been achieved, and we will continue resolutely in the same direction. The integration of these two aircraft will generate about 150 jobs for flying personnel alone. This will help us to realise our plans to boost productivity on the part of our Airbus pilots without having to shed jobs. And towards the end of the summer we can, for the first time, start recruiting new flight attendants.“

SWISS will take delivery of the first Airbus A330-200 in mid-November. It will be put into service on flights to Malabo/Douala/Yaoundé and Nairobi/Dar es Salaam.

The second aircraft will arrive in December and add capacity on existing routes. Flights LX16/15 from Zurich to New York JFK and LX64/65 from Zurich to Miami will then operate daily. Zurich – Riyadh – Jeddah will increase from three to four weekly frequencies, Zurich – Nairobi – Dar es Salaam from four to five weekly frequencies and Zurich – Sao-Paulo – Santiago de Chile from five to six weekly frequencies.

Both Airbus A330-200 aircraft were previously in service at Lufthansa. They have a 229-seat, two-class configuration with 42 business class and 187 economy class seats, with a cabin interior practically identical with that of the existing SWISS Airbus A330s. Their addition brings the SWISS long-haul fleet to 21 aircraft, consisting of nine A340-300 and eleven A330-200 aircraft, plus the leased-in Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) in service on the Zurich-Newark route.