SWISS proceeds with quality programme

28 April 2005

SWISS is optimising various key aspects of its product in order to make travel even more enjoyable for customers. The new user concept at Zurich Airport is the starting point, with faster, smoother and more comfortable procedures for travellers now in place. In the same spirit, SWISS has also upgraded the seating on its Airbus A320 fleet and earlier this year launched an exclusive business-class-only service between Zurich and New York that is closely tailored to the needs of business travellers. The latest initiative sees the introduction on May 25 of a complimentary foodservice in economy class on flights within Europe.

Passengers in Swiss Economy will soon be able to enjoy a warm "pain au chocolate" on a morning flight to Berlin or savour a warm "calzone" (pastry turnover) as a snack on a mid-day flight to Copenhagen. A selection of warm or cold snacks and drinks, varying according to the time of day and length of the flight, will be available. "With this new offer SWISS is clearly positioning itself ahead of other airlines on European routes, too," says Alexander Arafa, head of Product and project leader. "In addition to these warm snacks, the inflight food service will include such items as yoghurt, chocolate, sandwiches, ice cream and biscuits, depending on the time of day and length of the flight.”

Nestlé as new catering partner

Nestlé, the airline's new economy-class catering partner in Europe, and SWISS are both synonymous with quality in their respective fields. Nestlé will provide products from Mövenpick, among others, and work together with Supplair, a Dutch company that will supply SWISS with the catering. Nestlé and Supplair already collaborate in this way for other airlines. Gate Gourmet will still deliver the catering to our flights, and will continue to provide all the food and beverages for our long-haul services and for the Swiss Business cabin on our European flights.

Fast, smooth and comfortable

Coinciding with the start of the summer timetable SWISS introduced a seamless hub system at Zurich Airport focused on speed and efficiency for the benefit of all travellers. The new set-up allows passengers to better plan their journey: one of its core elements is that all SWISS flights within Europe and to North Africa now operate through Dock A. All SWISS flights going to or coming from another continent use Dock E. The new concept offers passengers more self-service devices for quick and easy check-in, even if they have one piece of luggage to check in. Further e-travel innovations are foreseen for the autumn. Passengers will be able to print out their boarding pass at home, select their own seat and check-in by mobile telephone. The booking machine will also become more customer friendly. SWISS expects this affordable, customer-friendly offer to result in higher booking volume through this distribution channel.

Passengers using the SWISS lounges will find these facilities offer various first-class services in a tranquil setting. Guests using the first class lounge prior to boarding a flight to the US can take advantage of a special shuttle service for their transfer from the lounge to Dock E.

Business class product upgraded

Back in January SWISS introduced a new Boeing Business Jet service six times weekly in between Zurich and New York / Newark. Operated on behalf of SWISS by PrivatAir with Boeing 737-800 equipment, this service gives SWISS an attractive, competitive product that is specially designed to suit business travellers. A carefully selected schedule and swift boarding and deboarding are among the features of this aircraft's 56-seat configuration. Fares on this route are the same as those for Swiss Business tickets on other routes. At the same time SWISS has improved seating comfort on all SWISS Airbus A320 aircraft. On these reconfigured aircraft the middle seat is kept free in Swiss Business, which means extra privacy and more space for a business traveller occupying the window or aisle seat. A special pull-up table occupies the space between these seats, allowing passengers to work undisturbed. The seating comfort and seat availability in Swiss Economy have also both been clearly improved. President & Chief Executive Officer Christoph Franz gives these reasons for this visible quality programme. “We are investing in our future. SWISS is clearly positioning itself as a quality airline. We want to offer our customers perceptible added value at prices that continue to be competitive. We are optimistic that we will be successful and that these investments will pay off in greater passenger volume.”