Airlines

Published on May 7th, 2015 | by Jim Lee

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SWISS improves its Dublin services with up to 13 flights per week

SWISS (Swiss International Air Lines) will be offering a new direct four per week service, between Dublin and Geneva, from the 26th June 2015, complementing its regular Zurich daily service, which will see two additional flights in the peak. The new Geneva service will be operated with A319 aircraft, offering around 108 seats, and will bring SWISS’ Geneva network to 42 non-stop destinations. The new service operates on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, departing Geneva as LX410 at 06:10 and arriving in Dublin at 07:20. It returns to Geneva as the LX411, departing Dublin at 08:00 and arriving Geneva at 11:15. The service operates through to 23rd October and can be booked with immediate effect on swiss.com for as little as €45 one-way (this being the limited flexibility fare without checked baggage).

The well established daily Zurich service, the LX400/1, is an early morning (09:30) departure from Zurich, which arrives in Dublin at 10:50. It remains in Dublin until 11:15 and arrives back in Zurich at 14:25. It is scheduled to be operated by an A321 but the smaller A320 could also be used on occasions. It is being supplemented from 7th May through to 30th August by the LX406/7, scheduled to be operated by an A320, on Saturdays and Sundays. Unlike last year, this supplemental service operates even earlier than the regular service. It departs Zurich at 05:35 and arrives in Dublin at 06:40. It returns to Zurich, departing Dublin at 07:20 and arriving there at 10:25.

Swiss A330 are rare visitors to Dublin but HB-JHK visited on 6th April (JH)

Swiss A330 are rare visitors to Dublin but HB-JHK visited on 6th April. Joe Heeney.

SWISS faces competition from Aer Lingus on both routes. On Geneva, Aer Lingus has a basic daily service, the EI 680/1. It departs Dublin at 06:50 and arrives in Geneva at 10:00. The return flight departs Geneva at 10:40 and arrives back in Dublin at 11:50. Between 2nd July and 27th August, an additional service, the EI 684/5, operates on Tuesdays. It departs Dublin at the later time of 12:40 and arrives in Geneva at 15:50. The return flight departs Geneva at 16:30 and arrives back in Dublin at 17:40. The regular daily Aer Lingus Zurich service operates as the EI348/9, departing each evening, except Saturday, at 17:15, arriving in Zurich at 20:25. The return flight departs Zurich at 21:10 and arrives back in Dublin at 22:25. On Saturdays, it operates as the EI344/5, departing at 11:15 and arriving Zurich at 14:25. The return flight departs Zurich at 15:05 and arrives back in Dublin at 16:20. It is being supplemented from 22nd May through to 13th September by the EI344/5, an additional Monday morning service, which departs Dublin at 07:20 and arrives in Zurich at 10:30. The return flight departs Zurich at 11:10 and arrives back in Dublin at 12:25.

New seats and enhanced economy foodservice improves the SWISS product

SWISS began introducing extensive innovations for its European aircraft fleet last November as part of its “Next-Generation Airline of Switzerland” strategy. This has seen a number of enhancements to its Airbus A320s and A321s that has also increased their seating capacity. This has been achieved by a adopting a new type of seat, which offers more legroom than at present, meaning that the new configuration offer passengers the same comfort levels as before, with even more comfort in the Business Class section. At the same time, capacity has been increased by 12 seats on the A320 and by 19 seats on the A321. The standard capacity on the A319 is 60 seats in Business Class (15 rows). The 30 centre seats in these rows are left vacant and there are therefore a minimum of 48 seats in Economy Class. On the A320, the standard capacity is 64 in Business (16 rows), with the 32 centre seats left vacant leaving a minimum of 72 seats in Economy Class. On the A321 there are 68 in Business (17 rows), with the 34 centre seats left vacant, leaving a minimum of 108 seats in Economy Class. Obviously the configurations can be adjusted, but while each seat is 17” (432 mm) wide, the economy seats have a 31” (787 mm) pitch, while the Business seats are recliners with a 34” (864 mm) pitch. The new cabin interiors (including the seat covers) are being modified to the style already seen in the SWISS Lounges and on the long-haul fleet.

The new service enhancements have also seen the adoption of a new foodservice concept for the SWISS Economy cabin. Under the new approach, all the products are being sourced fresh daily from local Swiss producers. And these will include – depending on the flight’s length – warm quiches, fresh bakery items or (on longer flights) fresh salads and warm desserts. The meals will also be served in an attractive new packaging.

Billions of investment in one of the most advanced aircraft fleets

SWISS is continuously investing in its aircraft fleet. On the short and medium-haul front, the airline will be taking delivery of 30 new Bombardier CS100s from next year onwards, to replace the present Avro RJ100 fleet. Although these aircraft have been delayed, SWISS has been forced to replace four of the Avro fleet with four EMB-190s wet-leased from Helvetic Airways. Helvetic has acquired Niki’s fleet of seven EMB-190s on lease through Bernina Aircraft Leasing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Airfleet Credit Corporation. Niki in turn has replaced them with five A319-100s and two A320-200s from parent Air Berlin. The new Niki aircraft are scheduled to be phased in by June, joining the airline’s fleet which includes eleven A320-200s and four A321-200s.

Helvetic HB-JVL

SWISS has been forced to replace four of the Avro fleet with four EMB-190s wet-leased from Helvetic Airways.

In addition SWISS’ Airbus fleet will be further expanded with the arrival of a new Airbus A321ceo in 2016. In addition, between 2019 and 2022, SWISS will add ten state-of-the-art new Airbus A320neos and five Airbus A321neos to its fleet, to replace ten of its older A320s and five A321s. SWISS also holds ten further options on A320neo-family aircraft. On the long-haul front SWISS announced the acquisition of six Boeing 777-300ERs which will join the SWISS fleet from 2016 onwards. All in all, the new aircraft represent a total investment of some CHF 5 billion (€4.8 billion approx).

More recently, SWISS has finalised an order with Boeing for three more Boeing 777-300(ER)s, valued at $990 million (€872.9 million approx), at current list prices, which will bring the total number of the type on firm order to nine. These will form the backbone of the Swiss flag-carrier’s long-haul fleet renewal.

What’s in a name?

SWISS has renamed its Swiss European Air Lines subsidiary, the operator of its Avro RJ100 fleet, Swiss Global Air Lines. The renaming was prompted by the planned integration of the new long-haul Boeing 777-300ERs into the company’s aircraft fleet. The 777s will be the first aircraft for intercontinental flights operated as part of the Swiss Global Air Lines’ fleet and it has requested traffic rights for flights to the United States for these aircraft. Both Swiss International Air Lines and Swiss Global Air Lines will operate under the SWISS brand. SWISS is a subsidiary of the Lufthansa Group and a member of the Star Alliance.

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About the Author

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Jim has had a life-long interest in military matters and aviation. Initially, he fused both of these interests together with a passion for military aviation, initially as a photographer. He has travelled extensively over the years and has been the guest of many European air forces, plus the air forces of the United States, Russia and others throughout the world. His first introduction to journalism coincided with an interest in the civil aviation industry was when he initially wrote for and later edited, ‘Aviation Ireland’, the club magazine of the Aviation Society of Ireland. Jim was a contributor to Flying in Ireland since its inception over 10 years ago and is now a key contributor to this site. He has also contributed items for a number of other aviation magazines and has produced a number of detailed contributions to Government policy documents, most recently the Irish Government’s White Paper on Defence. He is also deeply involved in the local community and voluntary sector and has worked both in local government and central government.



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