SWISS, Edelweiss Air and Helvetic fleet development

SWISS Int. Air Lines

The fleet of Swiss is really outdated for a premium carrier.
We have 15 A343, which aren’t as fuel efficient as they used to be, and of which 6 are old second hand aircraft.
The other nine were originally ordered as A346s by Swissair, but due to the grounding Swiss took the orders over and changed them to A343Es Deliveries began 2002.
The six old A343s and three of the other A343s are to be replaced by B77Ws, which makes sense, since they need the aircraft fast and don’t wanted to wait until 2020 for the A350. what happens to the other six remainig A343s? These are just a bit over 10 years old and could easily be kept for years to come if the cabin gets an upgrade.

Then we have the A333s. 14 to be exact and one that should still be delivered somewhen soon. The oldest of these aircraft is about six years old and they replaced their old A330-200. These can be easily kept for another decade.

Coming to the A320 family:
Most of the A320 family aircraft have been taken over from former SWISSAIR, that got grounded in 2001.

Swiss has six A321-100, all built between 1995 and 1999. These will possibly be replaced by 5 ordered A321neos, that will be delivered from 2019.
Three very young A321-200, of which one still needs to be delivered are also in the SWISS fleet.

Swiss A320s age varies from dead old to extremely young. The oldest planes they took over from Turkish airlines and Swissair just turned 20 now. Therefore SWISS ordered 10 A320NEOs with 10 options for the remaining A320 in their fleet. The five newest A320 were delivered from 2011 until 201of which the newest one has Sharklets btw.

Swiss originally took over 7 A319-100 from Swissair, but is phasing them out with the Bombardier CS300 being their replacement.

The 20 typical SWISS Avro RJ100s are really old now and are being replaced by 20 CS100s and 10 CS300s. The Bombardiers are late tho and four of the Avros already had to leave the fleet due to the age and to serve as spare parts for the other Avros. The first CS100 will hopefully arrive in 2016 ad replace the Avros in time.

Edelweiss Air

Edelweiss Air currently really increases it’s fleet as the little more touristic and holiday jet like sister of SWISS.
They currently operate six A320s of which three are 16 years old and two 12 year olds (from SWISS) and one that will be delivered this month.

Edelweiss also has one long haul A330-200 they took over from SWISS, which took it over from Swissair, which now is 16 years old too.

The other aircraft they currently have is a four year old A330-300 they leased from SWISS + one A330-300 on order that should have been delivered in early 2015.

In 2017 Edelweiss will take over three of the SWISS A343s that are being replaced by B77Ws (not the second hand ones, but three of the other nine).

Helvetic Airways

Helvetic currently operates five old Fokker 100s and seven ERJ195LRs. they also have one little, a bit over ten years old A319. The ERJs are only about five years old, while the Fokker 100s are really stone old with up to 22 years.


Concerning the A320 replacement:

They already ordered 10 A320neo + 5 A321neo. That makes sense as HB-IOC, -IOL, -IOF, -IOH, -IOK are all from Swissair. Hence the order for “only” 5 A321neo as of now. -IOM, -ION and the coming -IOO are less than 5 yrs old. All in all, more NEO’s will be ordered later.

A340 replacement:

I predict another 6 B77W. The B777X is too large and it doesn’t make sense either to fly a small sub-fleet of only 6 A350’s. The A350 or A330neo will be the replacement for the A330 around the year 2020-2025. 90% guaranteed.

LX is in a dilemma. They’ve been flying old metal (A340) now and will be flying the old metal (B77W) in the future while the competitors will fly B787, B777X, A350. Don’t understand me wrong, the B77W is a beast aircraft, but the A35J will do what the B77W does now, just more efficient. But the fleet planners made their calculations so who am I to judge? :) Me as an armchair CEO would have looked for second hand A346 for another 2-5years and would’ve order the A35J as a replacement. Especially since the A35J has only 168 orders I believe as of now where as the A359 has over 700. Early slots shouldn’t have been too much of a problem.


I certainly agree, but I just don’t like the A330neo and A350 as a replacement for the A330s at all. just look how ugly they look. What could be a possibility is that they will replace the A340s and the A330s with the same aircraft, like an A350, therefore have a fleet of up to 21 A350s. I don’t think Swiss has enough passengers for he remaining routes to fill more B77W, especially with 3 4 3 layout. Personally I’d like Swiss to order (small) b787s and (large) A350s to replace their A340s and A330s, but actually I can’t find any perfect new aircraft for SWISS at all.
the point for my mixture order is to expand the swiss fleet. The B787 is perfect for long haul routes with relatively low PAX, which will bring SWISS the possibility to fly to some destinations twice or three times a week, that don’t have much pax, like Manila, Buenos Aires and Kuala lumpur, Mexico City, Panama and maybe even Honolulu. This is something they couldn’t do with the A350s, since it’s just too big. for these routes, but for the others the smaller A350 would be fitting ok.
Maybe we’ll see SWISS order B772LRs or A359Rs and introduce a direkt flights to Sydney! (I’m dreaming here).

PS: I forgot to add Edelweiss and Helvetic which I have done now.

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I think they can fill the B77W. ZRH is all about transit passengers and with the arriving CS100/300, the feed also gets bigger. Filling the plane shouldn’t be the problem, but using the right aircraft on the right route. Another possibility is that they stay with 9 B77W’s for the key routes and order the A359 for the 6 remaining A340’s + 14 A330’s = 20 A359. B787 has been ruled out a long time ago.

Never say never :P I still hope they do expand with 787s and A350s

True. Any ideas which and when new longhaul routes will be launched? I can see GIG (although flown by WK in 2016, maybe as a test phase like they did with Privatair on the EWR route?), SEA, PHL, IAH and on the asian side maybe even ICN or KIX.

No idea on new routes: Although I’d love to see Mexico city, Buenos Aires and Kuala Lumpur and stuf like that being added. WK already flies to Rio, Las vegas, male, kuba, another weird asian city, cape town and vancouver this year I thought? (they took out Cancun sadly)
You surely know what long haul routes will be flown with he B77W. If you want I can tell you that.

Love to see the A340-300s stick around for the party but that would be counterproductive.

I would like to see some neos down the road for expansion to give Swiss even more revenue.

Get Edelweiss some more widebodies!

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They get another one soon (A333 242T). HB-JHO. This one will be owned by LX like -JHQ.

My top 3 wishlist for new longhaul destinations would be: SEA, SCL, IAH

Look at how the A359 would look in the swiss livery! Great isn’t it?

All those pics belong to Frank Van Boxtel.


I always preferred the A350 over the B777 but both are nice :)



20th February, here I come! Seat 40A!