SWISS’s first Airbus A340-300 - registration HB-JMA - will be officially named “Matterhorn” in Geneva today. ÊA good four months after its arrival, SWISS now has three of the nine A340-300s it has ordered in revenue service. ÊThe new aircraft makes long-haul travel a genuine delight, as is evidenced by the many positive comments that SWISS has received from its customers.
The naming ceremony will be performed by Roland Imboden, Director of the Zermatt Tourist Board, with SWISS CEO André Dosé and Jean-Pierre Jobin, Director of Geneva Airport, in attendance. ÊThe ceremony will be combined with promotional flights from Zurich and Geneva for key SWISS customers and travel sector partners.
The Matterhorn, Switzerland’s best-known landmark, is an appropriate choice of name for SWISS’s first Airbus A340-300. ÊBoth the peak and the airline serve as ambassadors of the country: the Matterhorn as the supreme symbol of the Alps, and SWISS as the embodiment of typical Swiss values such as safety, reliability, cleanliness, hospitality and innovation. ÊÊÊÊ Ê
The new Airbus A340-300 has earned itself quite a reputation in its first four months of service, and is proving very popular with customers. ÊThe aircraft offers a state-of-the-art inflight product that makes long-haul air travel a genuine delight. ÊAnd its bright and friendly interior in the appealing new SWISS colours lends the new fleet flagship an unmistakable touch. ÊÊÊ
In equipping its A340-300 Business Class with lie-flat seats, SWISS is the first airline in mainland Europe to offer its customers such horizontal comfort outside the First Class cabin. ÊBusiness Class travellers also enjoy more space than ever: the less popular middle seat has been eliminated, and seat pitch (the distance between rows) has been increased to 152.5 centimetres. ÊÊ
The A340-300’s simpler Economy Class product is also a quality affair. ÊThe seats incorporate the latest technology: the seat back is made of carbon, which offers superior seating comfort but is also thin enough to provide an extra five centimetres of valuable seat pitch. ÊThe Economy Class cabin also features the biggest individual inflight entertainment screens of any airline, located in the seat in front.
The First Class seat can be converted into a totally flat bed that is a generous 203 centimetres long and 60 centimetres wide for a truly restful sleep.
The A340-300’s new inflight entertainment system features “video and audio on demand”, enabling all passengers to view the films on offer on their own personal screen at any time they wish. ÊThe system also features a selection of video games and a text messaging service that permits travellers to send brief messages to any mobile phone, fax or e-mail address anywhere in the world. ÊA further innovation is provided by the new camera mounted beneath the fuselage, which allows passengers to experience takeoff and landing from an unusual perspective and enjoy inflight images of the landscapes below.
SWISS regards its new Airbus A340-300 as a true investment in the future: the aircraft is state-of-the-art in terms of its inflight comfort, its environmental credentials, its technical capabilities and its operating economics. ÊIn fact, the A340-300 enables SWISS to offer a truly advanced product in every respect. ÊAs such, it makes the company wholly competitive in this market segment, and fits in fully with the new SWISS business model of “efficiency in Europe and excellence worldwide”.
Despite the investment involved, SWISS has been saving money with the A340-300 from the moment the first aircraft arrived. ÊThe new jet’s operating costs are some ten per cent lower than those of the Boeing MD-11. ÊThe A340-300 is also far easier on the environment, generating less noise and producing fewer pollutant emissions.
A total of seven A340-300s will be delivered in 2003, with the last two following in 2004. ÊAll nine transports will be operated in a three-class cabin configuration offering a total of 228 seats: eight in First Class, 48 in Business Class and 172 in Economy Class. ÊÊÊ
The three Airbus A340-300s already in service are currently deployed on flights to Dubai & Muscat, Dubai & Karachi, Bangkok & Singapore and Tel Aviv. ÊWith the arrival of the further aircraft ordered, A340-300 services will be extended to Tokyo (from 26.11), Los Angeles (from 8.12), Hong Kong & Manila (from 13.12), New York JFK (from 10.01.04) and Johannesburg and Cairo (from 24.05.04).
For further information on and a large selection of images of the SWISS Airbus A340-300, visit the www.swiss.com/innovations webpage.