Swiss has started flights with the Bombardier CS100 aircraft into London City. The aircraft which seats 125 passengers in a two-class configuration of economy and business, is the largest aircraft using London City and received clearance for the “steep approach” – 5.5 degrees required for London City instead of the more normal 3 degrees, in July 2017.
Although the headline passenger capacity is 125 passengers, the airline is restricting the number of passengers it will take on board flights to London City to 91 which will rise to 108 by August 21, 2017.
The restriction in passenger numbers is for landing only.
The airline says that the maximum number of passengers of 125 would be “fine on a dry runway”, but when wet it says it will restrict the number in the interests of safety and doubts it will ever fly a full load of 125 passengers, pointing out that with the configuration of 2-3 (AC-DEF) for business class passengers the middle seat (E) will be left empty, reducing the total number of passengers.
It also points out that the Avro RJ100 which previously had been flying into London City had a top capacity of 97 seats which was a rarely achieved for similar reasons, so even at 108 seats the CS100 is an increase in capacity.
Swiss has ordered 30 of the Bombardier aircraft with 10 CS100 and 20 CS300 aircraft. The CS300 seats 145 passengers in a two-class configuration. Both aircraft have been used widely across the Swiss network and are being used to replace the RJ100 aircraft. Swiss has so far trained over 100 pilots.
Swiss says the new aircraft is more comfortable for passengers with a roomier cabin than the RJ100 it is replacing. Seat width is 18.5 inches (47cm), seat pitch 30 inches and aisle width 20 inches (51cm. On the CS300 (the larger aircraft), the seat pitch differs between economy and business – 29 inches in economy and32-33 inches in business (for the CS300).
The larger aircraft has 25 percent more hand baggage stowage, with upward closing bins for greater space, larger windows positioned more closely together, lower noise levels and consequently better cabin ambience and thinner seats which the airline says are more comfortable.
For the airline fuel consumption is 20 percent lower (eight percent due to the more efficient engines, 12 percent due to the enhanced aerodynamics and the weight savings achieved through more advanced construction materials.
The aircraft deliveries have been delayed by nearly three years because of delays to the Pratt & Whitney PW1500 engines.