Swiss to acquire narrow-body aircraft for long range services ?

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This topic contains 23 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  TheLion 5 Sep 2017
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  • AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Readers of the magazine will recall the numerous articles we have published concerning the use of what are essentially short-haul aircraft on long range services.

    And now Swiss may jump on the bandwagon. Article in German language.

    https://www.blick.ch/news/wirtschaft/neue-aera-in-der-luftfahrt-swiss-prueft-langstrecken-mit-kleinflugzeug-id7172784.html

    Although Swiss previously operated a few all business class US flights with narrow-body aircraft (from Privatair) in this case we are talking about the new A321LR neos being operated in a conventional configuration.

    The A321LR neo is not yet in service with any carrier.

    IAG’s Aer Lingus has already ordered a number of them and they will be deployed on transatlantic routes from Ireland.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    It’s an interesting change in strategy for many airlines to move away from the established ‘hub and spoke’ concept using the larger aircraft such as the 380, which seems to have been something of a flawed idea. You only have to look at hubs such as IST and DXB to see how they have become the victims of their own success.

    I wonder if it’s partly because most of the major hubs have become so unpleasant or cumbersome to travel through that people prefer regional airports, so while there will always be a demand for the larger a/c on busy trunk routes, the trend will be towards connecting regional airports.

    This poses some interesting questions, for example, whether LHR needs a third runway if this trend continues, whether there will be enough demand to support daily rotations, because without daily services you tend to lose the high revenue traffic that needs the flexibility.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    Groan! I suppose it will be ok but I guess it will mean the end of First on that route?


    nevereconomy
    Participant

    The important word in this article is klein – for me an A320 is way too klein fuer eine langstrecke. Imagine the
    washroom access issues alone!!


    Flightlevel
    Participant

    A321LR seems to be replacing the B757 on long thin routes internationally when its in service ‘though it doesn’t have good toilets for an 8hr trip, nor space for first class that you two mention.It is more comfortable than a B737x! Evolution I suppose.


    Edski777
    Participant

    Wait and see. Once the first few of these long distance flights we will have a real idea about the consequences on comfort. I don’t think it will be worse than a B757. No idea what lavatories will look like, what the possibilities are for on board pantries, IFE will most likely be state of the art.
    Personally I’m more interested in something that has very little to do with wide-body or narrow-body: the quality of service by personnel. With somewhat smaller types of aircraft that may improve. Let’s hope so!


    TominScotland
    Participant

    I flew on a Qatar A321 from Pisa to Doha earlier in the year in Business. Fabulous seat ( I preferred it to the 777 seat even though it is not fully flat) for a day flight in both directions of less than 6 hours, great service, no Economy transgressors to the forward toilet.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    News piece from aero.de [DE] refers to the fact that Swiss may wish to use the A321LR for certain destinations in the Middle East and Africa (which may be uneconomical to serve with larger wide-body aircraft).

    Certainly the new breed of what used to be considered short-haul aircraft will change the way we fly on a number of routes.

    Airlines which have already ordered the A321LR are Norwegian, Aer Lingus, Primera Air, Air Transat and Azores Airlines.

    TAP Air Portugal, US carrier Jet Blue, Lufthansa’s Eurowings and SAS are considering the A321LR.

    http://www.aero.de/news-27329/Swiss-hat-Airbus-A321LR-auf-dem-Radar.html


    Alex_F.
    Participant

    In economy, so long as the legroom is ok, I don’t mind whether it’s a wide or narrow body.

    For business, I wonder if these aircraft will offer direct aisle access seats or 2-2? The latter would be a step down. Euro business 3-3 with empty middle seat would be a disaster for 2.5 hours and above. Is direct aisle access viable in business on a A320?


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    It would be at the limit but Nairobi / Dar could be a candidate for the A321, certainly in the low season. Not sure about the range though?


    Olneyflyer
    Participant

    I think that as flag carriers start employing smaller aircraft types on their medium/long haul route structure the opportunity arises for the likes of BA to use them from regional airports to supplement their core hub operations. It would provide BA with significant supplementary revenues as they could offer customers nonstop long haul access from their local airport and reduce the enticement of customers using the ME3 via the Gulf.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    LP – According to Airbus the A321LR’s range is 6850 kms. But of course this can vary depending on the configuration. Airbus bases the range on 236 pax one-class Y or 185 pax two-class.

    http://www.aircraft.airbus.com/aircraftfamilies/passengeraircraft/a320family/a321neo/

    Olneyflyer – Indeed. Interesting that Boeing devised the B787 Dreamliner for less busy or non hub routes. But the airlines have tended to roster the costly aircraft for prime hub to hub routes instead. Take the example of JAL which, from this winter, will be using its B787s (which still retain the comfortable 2-4-2 Y layout) for HND-LHR.

    JAL to increase frequency on Heathrow-Tokyo Haneda route


    Alex_F.
    Participant

    Great point Alex. I wonder if the dreamliner is as much a status symbol these days as it is an efficient alternative to the 777. I see from today’s BT news, ElAl is launching Dreamliner services which will eventually include prime destinations in their network as a replacement for the 747 and 767 and maybe even the 777.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Alex_F. And as well as the B787 being too large (for some routes at least) it is more expensive to buy and more expensive to operate when compared to B737MAX8 and A321LR.


    EruditeSheep
    Participant

    If Swiss configure the aircraft similar to that used on the A321 by AA on their JFK-LAX or JFK-SFO route, then a very comfortable F class in a 1-1 configuration will be possible as well as C in 2-2. In which case, LuganoPirate will be able to sleep easily.

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