SWISS puts its first Airbus A330-300 into service

20 April 2009

SWISS’s first new Airbus A330-300 embarked on its first revenue flight this afternoon, taking off from Zurich punctually at 13:00 on LX 14 to New York. The flight’s 227 passengers are currently enjoying a totally new inflight product in all three seating classes. The takeoff was preceded by a formal ‘roll-in’ ceremony at Zurich Airport during which the new aircraft was named ‘Schwyz’ after the Central Swiss town.

The new long-haul Airbus A330-300 sets new standards of inflight comfort in all three seating classes. Substantially more legroom in Economy, an air-cushioned seat that can be turned into a two-metre lie-flat bed in Business and a “suite above the clouds” in First are the key features of the new cabin product. The new long-hauler also features a state-of-the-art inflight entertainment system that offers a vast range of the latest movies in all three classes, along with over 40 TV channels and more than 300 music CDs.

“SWISS today stands on firm foundations in a turbulent business environment,” said company CEO Christoph Franz at the roll-in ceremony. “All our personnel have worked very hard for this moment. And in putting our first more efficient Airbus A330-300 into service, we are further consolidating our market position and underlining our ongoing strategic investments in our corporate future.”

SWISS’s first Airbus A330-300 will be deployed on flights LX 14/15 between Zurich and New York from today onwards. Three further A330-300s will join the SWISS fleet this year. The new aircraft will replace the present Airbus A330-200 fleet between now and 2011.

First aircraft named ‘Schwyz’
The first A330-300, which carries the registration HB-JHA, was named ‘Schwyz’ after the Central Swiss town and cantonal capital prior to its first revenue departure. The name was formally bestowed by town mayor Stephan Landolt in a ceremony attended by Christoph Franz and numerous guests, media representatives and SWISS employees.

“We are pleased and proud that SWISS’s first Airbus A330-300 should bear the name of our town,” said Stephan Landolt at the naming ceremony. “We all benefit from SWISS’s attractive route network, which connects Switzerland with Europe and the world. And this is particularly true of the international companies that are based in and around Schwyz, as well as for the many attractions we offer in the leisure sector.”

Enhanced eco-credentials
The Airbus A330-300 also marks a further major step in SWISS’s endeavours on the environmental front. The new long-hauler consumes around 13% less fuel per passenger than the A330-200 it replaces, largely through its more advanced and fuel-efficient engines but also because of a number of innovations on board. The latter include the new air cushions, which make the Business Class seat some four kilos lighter than they would be with conventional foam padding. The new seat technology alone will save over 650 tonnes of kerosene a year fleetwide, and this in turn will reduce annual CO2 emissions by more than 2 000 tonnes. Lighter materials have also been used for the inflight trolleys. Not only does this save a further 240 kilos per aircraft, and thus 380 tonnes of kerosene and 1 200 tonnes of CO2; the lighter trolleys are easier to handle and manoeuvre, too.