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SWISS invests in further fleet renewal

18th March 2009 Print
SWISS is investing in its European aircraft fleet: from 2014 on, the carrier’s Avro RJ100s will be gradually replaced by a new generation of “CSeries” aircraft from manufacturer Bombardier. The fleet renewal programme should be completed within just over two years.

With its state-of-the-art powerplants and high-tech construction materials, the CSeries sets new operating benchmarks in cost-efficiency and environmental terms. Its high passenger comfort, lower operating costs, substantially quieter engines and fewer CO2 emissions were the prime criteria in SWISS’s selection of the new aircraft type.

SWISS is to replace its present Avro RJ100 fleet with the first of a new generation of aircraft. The new CSeries from manufacturer Bombardier will feature state-of-the-art propulsion in its Pratt & Whitney geared turbofans, together with ultra-light construction materials such as carbon fibre and new aluminium alloys that will substantially reduce aircraft weight. As a result, the CSeries will consume well over a quarter less fuel than the present Avro RJ100 fleet. This will cut CO2 emissions by some 90 000 tonnes a year – the equivalent of 7000 flights between Zurich and London City Airport.

With its lower operating costs and its fewer pollutant emissions, the new CSeries combines economic efficiency with sound eco-credentials. The benefits extend inside the cabin, too, where the spacious interior promises top passenger comfort. With orders for 30 of the new transports, SWISS and the Lufthansa Group are acting as launching customer for Bombardier’s CSeries, and will provide the prime impetus for the production and service introduction of the new aircraft family.

Strengthening European operations in the longer term
SWISS’s present Swiss European fleet consists of 20 Avro RJ100s, which will be replaced by 20 new Bombardier CSeries aircraft. Under current plans, ten more CSeries transports will be delivered from 2016 onwards to permit further growth in SWISS’s European operations.

“The short-haul segment is a key element in our network,” stresses Harry Hohmeister, SWISS Chief Network & Distribution Officer. “With our choice of Bombardier’s new CSeries, we are underlining the key role that Swiss European plays in our operations. In today’s fiercely-contested air transport market, planning long-term product investments, raising efficiency companywide and continually reducing our costs can give us a vital competitive edge.”

The new CSeries will enable SWISS to further cut its costs. With their lower maintenance costs and more fuel-efficient engines, the new transports will offer per-seat costs that are over 10 per cent lower than those of the Avro RJ100.

Halving of noise levels to benefit airport-area residents
The new CSeries aircraft will also be 10 to 15 decibels quieter than the present Avro RJ100s – more than half as quiet to the human ear. “By investing over a billion Swiss francs in our new aircraft fleet, we are sending a clear signal in noise and environmental terms,” says SWISS CEO Christoph Franz. “And in doing so, we are also living up to our responsibilities towards the communities around the airports we serve.”