SWISS names its first sharklet Airbus A320 "Grenchen"

25.10.2013

Swiss International Air Lines has named its Airbus A320 HB-JLT “Grenchen” after the town in Northwest Switzerland. The aircraft is something of a celebrity in the SWISS fleet: it’s the first member of SWISS’s Airbus A320 family to be equipped with sharklets, the winglets developed by the manufacturer to enhance inflight performance.

The symbolic naming ceremony was held in Grenchen this morning and was attended by Boris Banga, the current Mayor of Grenchen, Daniel Bärlocher, SWISS’s Head of Corporate Communications and Peter Fasler, Head of Licence & Rating Training at SWISS’s Swiss AviationTraining subsidiary. Performing the honour was top Swiss ski jumper Simon Ammann, the four-time Olympic gold medallist, World Champion and World Cup Winner, who serves as an ambassador for watch manufacturer Breitling, which is headquartered in the town.

“Grenchen and SWISS have been closely linked for many years now, as our pilots undergo a major part of their basic flying training at Grenchen Airport,” explained Daniel Bärlocher, SWISS’s Head of Corporate Communications, at the naming event. “So today’s naming is a tribute to the years of valued collaboration between the town of Grenchen and our Swiss AviationTraining subsidiary.”

Boris Banga, the Mayor of Grenchen, was equally delighted. “This energy-efficient SWISS aircraft will now carry the name of our innovative town all over Europe,” he enthused. “I couldn’t imagine a more appropriate combination.”

The sharklet-equipped HB-JLT is the 38th member of the Airbus A320 family to be delivered to SWISS. The aircraft is deployed on medium-haul routes in Europe and on services to Africa and the Middle East.

The sharklets reduce aerodynamic drag in the wingtip area. Airbus calculates that the resulting fuel savings reduce the associated carbon dioxide emissions by some 1,000 tonnes per aircraft per year – the equivalent of the CO2 produced by around 200 averagely-used family cars.