Photo: Dirk Grothe
Swiss Airbus A321neo aircraft. Photo: Dirk Grothe.

MIAMI – On September 18, 2020, SWISS (LX), the flag carrier of Switzerland, took delivery of its maiden A321neo registered HB-JPA, CN9417. The aircraft was ferried from Airbus’s Hamburg Finkenwerder factory (XFW) to Zurich Airport (ZRH).

SWISS has also named its maiden Airbus A321neo Stoos, which is the name of a small village, with a population of just 100 people. It is located in the Swiss canton of Schwyz, the region between the Swiss Alps to Lake Lucerne and Lake Zurich.

Photo: Dirk Grothe

With the Environment in SWISS’ Mind

The A321Neo is yet another next-generation aircraft edition to the SWISS’S fleet. Over the last five years, SWISS has been undergoing an aggressive fleet renewal program. This plan is to cut operating costs with reduced fuel burn and to help turn SWISS into a more environmentally-orientated airline going forward.

In February 2020, SWISS took delivery of its first A320Neo, HB-JDA, CN9246. The carrier’s A320neo and A321neo will replace the majority of SWISS’s older A320 and A321, with some examples over 20 years old. SWISS currently has two A320neo and the sole A321neo. The airline has an additional 15 A320neo and seven A321neo on order.

Photo: Dirk Grothe

Previous Fleet Upgrades

In 2016, SWISS took delivery of its new flagship, the Boeing 777-300ER, which the airline has used to replace most of its A340-300 fleet. Only five A340-300 remain, but they have all recently received cabin upgrades.

Later that year SWISS became the global launch operator for the Bombardier C Series program, now the A220. They took delivery of the smaller, then CS100, now A220-100. In summer 2017 the airline took delivery of the larger Bombardier CS300, now A220-300.

Photo: Dirk Grothe

The Largest A220 Operator

SWISS is now one of the largest A220 operators in the world, with nine A220-100 and 20 A220-300. A sole A220-300 has still to be delivered. The carrier has used the A220 family to replace its Bae Systems Avro RJ100, A319, and older A320.

Due to its aggressive fleet renewal plan, SWISS’s fleet average age is 9.9 years, which will only get lower as more NEOs come online and older Airbus aircraft are phased out.

Featured image: Swiss A321N HB-JPA 20200910 XFW-3. Photo: Dirk Grothe