SWISS takes delivery of its first Airbus A340-313

1 July 2003

With the introduction of the new Airbus A340-313, SWISS is embarking on the renewal of its long-haul fleet. SWISS will be taking delivery of a total of seven A340-313s, scheduled to progressively replace the existing Boeing MD-11s. Reclining seats in Swiss Business, the largest individual screens in the airline branch for Swiss Economy and a camera mounted beneath the cockpit are just some of the highlights of the new aircraft.

Comfortable, environmentally friendly, economical and state-of-the-art both technically and operationally – these are some of the many favourable aspects of the new Airbus A340-313 purchase. It is an investment in the future of SWISS, despite the currently difficult economic environment. SWISS is banking on an attractive fleet of aircraft, optimised to meet the requirements of its passengers. With the A340 SWISS can offer the most modern product in every respect which that SWISS is competitive in this segment and is in keeping with the new Business model – Excellence in international travel- Efficiency in European traffic.

Seven aircraft will be delivered in 2003, with two more following in 2004. The first seven machines will be introduced in a three-class configuration, with a total of 228 seats (8 First Class, 48 in Swiss Business and 172 in SWISS Economy).

Despite the investment costs, the SWISS A340s will be saving money from day one. Compared with the current MD-11s, the operating costs are about 10 per cent lower. In addition, the new aircraft will benefit the environment by causing less noise and noxious emission pollution.The first Airbus A340-313 “Matterhorn”, with the registration HB-JMA, is today (July 1) being flown from the Airbus facilities in Toulouse to Switzerland. The anticipated time of arrival at Zurich-Kloten is between 20:30 and 21:30.

The new A340 will start scheduled flights with SWISS on July 8. The first destinations to be served will be Dubai and Karachi.
A binding basic agreement for the financing of the nine aircraft has been concluded with Airbus, the manufacturer. SWISS negotiated until the last moment before delivery and has now reached agreement on the leasing rates which totally conform with the market for the nine A340s which are to be delivered in 2003/2004. SWISS is relieved that Airbus, as the prime partner, has made the necessary concessions which are essential for the implementation of the new Business Plan. The contracts for all nine machines are valid for 12 years.
Internal configuration
The new SWISS Business features a generous seat pitch of about 152 cm and the new lie-flat seats which may be converted into a level resting surface at an angle of 13°, thus providing the passenger with a really relaxing night’s repose. SWISS is the first airline in continental Europe to offer reclining comfort of this kind: The seats are also notable for extremely practical details, such as storage space for shoes, bottled drinks and reading material. The unpopular middle seat has been dispensed with.SWISS Economy represents good quality with at a fair price/service ratio. It features the largest individual screens in the airline branch with an impressive diagonal measurement of 23 cm. The seat pitch may be increased to a comfortable 81 cm. This has been made possible by means of the use of new materials for the seat backs which permit about 5 cm to be saved without any loss of comfort.The seats in SWISS First have been further improved and can now be converted into a completely flat bed 203 cm in length and 60 cm in width.

With the new Inflight Entertainment System, all passengers have the possibility of calling up, at any time, the films on offer (Video and Audio on Demand) on their individual screens. In addition, there are video games and an SMS service, with which the passengers can send short-text messages to all types of mobile phones, fax or to all E-mail addresses world-wide.. A further interesting plus point is the under-nose camera which enables take-offs and landings to be seen from an unusual perspective. During the flight, pictures of the landscapes being seen will also be displayed.
Less noise
The new SWISS long-haul aircraft not only provide more comfort for the passengers but are also more economic to operate and more environmentally friendly than the MD-11 because of lower fuel consumption and this will please residents near airports. In comparison with the MD-11, the A340-313 on final approach generates a noticeable 5 bB(A) less noise. The four-engined aircraft generates even less noise than the considerably lighter MD-80. The A340-313 is also three to four decibels less noisy than the MD-11 at take-off. This will be clearly evident to residents in the approach and landing sectors at Zurich Airport.