People

Cockpit crew and cabin crew – "The people behind SWISS"

A successful flight requires the perfect interplay between cockpit and cabin crew. It is also an aid to considered action in the event of special challenges.

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Maître de Cabine Intercontinental
Cabin

One important part of my job is the cabin briefing, which as Maître de Cabine is my responsibility. This lays the foundations for a successful flight. To ensure that the crew works well together and is motivated, I try to create a pleasant atmosphere right from the start. Often we don't know each other, but quickly have to grow together as a team to make sure that everything goes smoothly on board. It's always fun to see just how quickly we create a unit. A harmonious team spirit has a positive effect on the quality of the service and on the hospitality on board.

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Cabin Crew member
Cabin

As a flight attendant, I rely on Swiss hospitality and a high service quality to provide our guests authentically with a first-class travel experience. On every single flight, I meet people from different countries and cultures. With the service, it is important that I can also take cultural differences into account so that our passengers feel completely comfortable.

Flexibility is not only important when dealing with passengers, but I also have a different work schedule every month. Some months I travel a lot throughout Europe and can be at home again in the evenings, others I could be in São Paulo for Christmas or celebrating my birthday in Miami.

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Commander A320
Airbus Fleet Shorthaul

The interplay between man, machine and nature fascinates me every single time just like the first time. As the commander, I am responsible in the first instance for flying a highly technical machine, but it is also my task to manage a group of different colleagues every single day, and help them to make up a well functioning team. On board, it is extremely important that we as the crew are able to rely on each other. Only then can we handle any technical or operational irregularities that may occur together and with confidence.

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Team Leader
Cabin crew line management

In addition to my activities as Maître de Cabine on board, I have also taken on another function on the ground. As team leader cabin crew, I am responsible for the training, management and development of my approximately 300 cabin crew members. I am their first point of contact with any questions, and I help each one with planning their career. I meet many of the cabin crew members that I support during their basic training, so I'm with them as they progress in their aviation careers from day one. This additional task makes me the central contact for all the interfaces in our daily operational activities.

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First Officer A330/340
Airbus Fleet Longhaul

If you want to lift an aircraft weighing several hundred tons off the ground with just a small movement of the hand and guide it to far-off places, you need to be well prepared.

On long-haul flights, there will be two or three crew members in the cockpit, depending on the length of the flight. Before taking off, we prepare the flight together using the documents provided by our flight dispatchers on the ground. Based on our experience and the current circumstances, such as the weather or any particular operational requirements, we carry out a risk analysis and calculate the amount of fuel required. We ask ourselves questions such as: If the runway is closed at our alternative airport in Keflavík, can we still fly over the Atlantic? What is the risk of thunderstorms at our destination? Are our connecting flights late, meaning that we have to fly faster? Very many factors influence the important decisions that we make.

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First Officer A320
Airbus Fleet Shorthaul

Working in the cockpit is challenging, and is teamwork. In order to get a commercial airliner with passengers, cargo and crew from A to B safely and as punctually as possible, we need to work closely with various interfaces. Good communication with the cabin crew is essential. But the cooperation with air traffic control, with maintenance, with the flight control centre and with the loading team has to run smoothly in order to plan and carry out a flight successfully.

I very much appreciate this cooperation and the way we work together. And when all the flight preparations have been done and we receive permission to take off, there's this one special moment for me above the clouds – which I enjoy every single time as if it were the first time.

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First Officer A320
Airbus Fleet Shorthaul

Flying, technology, clear structures and yet plenty of surprises – that's how I would describe my working day. And of course, I sit in an office with lovely views. The cockpit crew consists of two people on short-haul flights, the commander and the first officer. At the briefing before the flight, we agree who will be the "Pilot flying" and who the "Pilot monitoring" on it. The former flies the aircraft while the latter watches and supports him.

In the cockpit, no one ever does anything without telling the other person about it. This is also our safety net. We make our decisions using the shared mental model: we let both opinions flow together so that the commander can ultimately make a good decision.

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