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Swiss invests £425mn in new fleet

Swiss International Air Lines is to invest substantially more than CHF 1 billion in renewing its intercontinental aircraft fleet, replacing nine Airbus A330-200s with bigger and more advanced A330-300s. With the service entry of the new aircraft, SWISS will provide First Class cabins throughout its long-haul fleet. It will also be the only airline in the world to offer First Class to all its long-haul destinations, further cementing its position as a top quality airline. With the Airbus A330-300s accommodating more seats than the aircraft they replace, the fleet renewal will also increase SWISS’s long-haul seating capacity. SWISS can thus benefit from the present market growth while simultaneously achieving a 13-per-cent reduction in the specific CO2 emissions of its A330 fleet. SWISS will also be adding four more Airbus A320 aircraft to its European operations over the next few years.

SWISS is investing substantially more than CHF 1 billion in its long-haul aircraft fleet, replacing nine of its eleven Airbus A330-200 aircraft with new A330-300s. The resulting capacity increase will allow SWISS to secure its share of the projected market growth. The additional seats also enable the company to further reduce its costs per seat and thereby sharpen its competitive edge. “SWISS is investing in modernising and enlarging its fleet,” says CEO Christoph Franz. “It’s our improved profitability that has given us this scope to ensure that we remain wholly competitive in the longer term. SWISS is growing steadily and sustainably.” Lufthansa is also supporting SWISS in its forward-looking strategy, which will further strengthen the role and position of the Zurich hub.

By purchasing the nine new aircraft, SWISS will also substantially increase the proportion of owned aircraft in its long-haul fleet. The new transports will also enable the company to reduce the specific CO2 emissions of its Airbus A330 contingent by a further 13 per cent. The SWISS fleet already consumes only 3.8 litres of fuel per 100 passenger-kilometres, a 16 per cent reduction on the 4.5 litres of five years ago.

First Class to all intercontinental destinations

After replacing its Airbus A330-200s with the larger A330-300, SWISS will feature First Class cabins throughout its intercontinental fleet. The investment will thus make SWISS the only airline in the world to offer First Class to all its intercontinental destinations, further enhancing its credentials as a top quality airline.

SWISS’s Airbus A330-200s will be gradually and seamlessly phased out in favour of the more advanced A330-300s. The first four A330-300s will enter service in 2009, with the remaining five following in 2010 and 2011. Two of the present eleven-member A330-200 fleet will be replaced next year with the previously-announced arrival of two further Airbus A340s, which will also be equipped with First Class cabins. 


An expanded European fleet

SWISS will also take delivery of two more Airbus A320s for its European fleet at the beginning of next year. And the company is purchasing two new A320s for delivery in 2011 and 2012. The four additional A320s will enable SWISS to benefit from the present growth in the European air transport market and to further expand its network in response to demand.   

The above capacity increases will also provide more jobs at SWISS: a further 165 positions will be created in the company’s flying corps alone.