SWISS will acquire a further two Airbus A321 and an additional Airbus A320 aircraft next Spring for its European fleet. The extra capacity will enable the carrier to both benefit from the expected growth in European air travel demand and provide additional feeder services for its long-haul fleet, which will itself be expanded this November with the arrival of two further Airbus A330-200s. The additions to the SWISS intercontinental and European fleets will create a total of some 250 new jobs.
Having largely completed the corporate restructuring program on which it embarked in 2005, SWISS decided this June to expand its long-haul fleet with the addition of two further Airbus A330-200 aircraft. The increased productivity among its flight attendant corps and the agreement reached with the company’s Airbus pilots on a new Collective Labor Agreement have also enhanced SWISS’s competitiveness in Europe, laying the foundation for expansion in this segment, too.
By leasing-in more aircraft to increase its overall capacity, SWISS can further strengthen its European service network. The deployment of the three additional short-haul aircraft on feeder routes within Europe will also help keep seat load factors high on the carrier’s intercontinental services, even with an enlarged long-haul fleet. The current European seat load factor of over 70% and the six per cent annual growth which is presently projected for European traffic from Switzerland are further arguments for leasing-in the three additional short-haul aircraft.
“By gradually expanding its aircraft fleet, SWISS can continue on its current course of sustainable growth,” says Christoph Franz, company President and Chief Executive Officer. “The integration of these Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft into our existing fleet will allow us to strengthen our position in the growing European market.”
The fleet expansion will also generate additional jobs among the airline’s flying personnel. Having created some 150 new positions by acquiring its two further long-haul aircraft, SWISS will be adding around 100 more employees to its workforce with the expansion of its European fleet.
With the addition of the three new short-haul Airbuses, SWISS’s highly standardised short-haul fleet will consist of six Airbus A321s, 15 Airbus A320s, seven Airbus A319s and 24 Avro RJ85/100s.