Swiss will revamp its international flight operations from 2016 when it takes delivery of six new Boeing 777-300ERs.
The large twinjet will partially replace some of Swiss’ existing fleet of A340-300s. All told the six B777-300ERs represent an investment of Sfr 1.5 billion.
According to Swiss, the new Boeings will be deployed on prime long-range routes out of Zurich with typical destinations being San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Johannesburg and Singapore.
Swiss says it chose the B777-300ER because it incorporates proven sophisticated technology. The wide-bodied plane is economical to operate. It seats over 330 passengers and saves 23 per cent on fuel and CO2 emissions over the A340-300.
It’s the largest aircraft that Swiss has operated although the former Swissair used to operate a small fleet of B747s.
“The B777-300ER has the ideal size and range to meet our Swiss market needs,” says CEO Harry Hohmeister, “this [order] is a landmark decision that is crucial to retaining our competitive edge.”
Swiss is not revealing details of the interior configuration at this stage.
However as a flagship plane serving key business routes, the B777-300ER will offer the latest first and business class products.
But we will have to see whether or not the new plane will offer a premium economy cabin.
Swiss’ parent Lufthansa is currently considering such a cabin so will Swiss adopt the concept too?
And the big question for economy class travellers is whether Swiss will configure the cabin with ten-across seating.
Will it defy the trend? Or will Swiss instead follow in the footsteps of other B777-300ER carriers like Aeroflot, Air Canada, Air France, Air New Zealand, American Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, KLM and TAM?
For more information visit swiss.com.
Report by Alex McWhirter