SWISS has confirmed that it will introduce the Airbus A350 into its fleet in 2025. The airline is expected to take delivery of five aircraft that year as replacements for its A340-300s. SWISS confirms introduction of Airbus A350 from 2025.
The airline released a short video on Twitter on Monday evening, which ended with “Hello A350 – A present for all”. Swiss media already quoted CEO Dieter Vranckx in recent weeks, who stated that the airline has selected the A350 and would announce this before the end of the year.
The A350s will come from the backlog of Lufthansa, which still has 28 aircraft to be delivered out of the 45 on order. Lufthansa has taken delivery of seventeen new A350s but also operates four ex-Philippine Airlines aircraft that we acquired on favorable terms from lessors.
Whereas Lufthansa operates both the A350 and the Boeing 787-9, SWISS has selected the Airbus after a lengthy and careful evaluation. Its preference for the Airbus has to do with the wider and longer cabin compared to the Dreamliner, as the A350 has a fuselage with a wider cross-section. In the New Production Standard version, the cabin of the latest A350 is also 35 centimeters longer.
This configuration offers SWISS more space to include a First Class on the A350, in addition to Business Class, Premium Economy, and Economy. In October, Lufthansa unveiled its new First Class as part of the Allegris products that will be introduced on LH’s A350s, 787-9s, 747-8I, and later the 777-9 as well. SWISS will follow suit and so will likely Austrian Airlines, which is still undecided about its own long-haul fleet renewal.
A decision to replace the five A340-300s was long overdue. The aircraft are on average just over nineteen years old and have served the airline well, but their four engines make them expensive to operate, especially now that fuel prices have gone up this year. SWISS also operates fourteen A330-300s aged twelve years on average. Their replacement is expected around 2030. The airline also operates twelve Boeing 777-300ERs (main picture), but they are on average 5.6 years old.
Dieter Vranckx says in a media statement that the fleet renewal and choice for the A350 is part of SWISS’s sustainability strategy: “Our decision to acquire the Airbus A350-900 is a clear commitment to further enhancing the sustainability of our flight operations. Our new long-haul twinjet will play a substantial part in achieving our ambitious climate goals. And in adding this latest-generation aircraft to our fleet, with all the additional inflight comfort it will provide for our guests, we are also further confirming our position as a premium air carrier.”
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
Richard is contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He also writes for Airliner World, Aviation News, Piloot & Vliegtuig, and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.