Swiss International Airlines has revealed it is converting its five remaining options for the Bombardier C Series to the larger CS300.
The company, which was the launch customer for the CS100, will eventually operate a fleet of ten CS100s and 20 CS300s. Swiss says new aircraft deliveries will reduce the average age of its fleet from 12.5 years to 8.5 years by the end of 2018.
The Star Alliance carrier is also investing CHF100m in refurbishing its five remaining Airbus A340s and launching a programme to introduce inflight connectivity to its medium- and short-haul fleets next year.
“By the end of next year we will have one of Europe’s most advanced and efficient aircraft fleets,” explained Thomas Klühr, Swiss’ CEO.
Investments will also be made at the airline’s Zurich Airport hub. A new First Class Lounge will be introduced on the Check-In 1 concourse by the end of the year providing guests with their own security checkpoint and a dedicated walkway to their limousine transport. The 650m2 facility will also have an à la carte restaurant, a staffed bar and an area equipped with workstations and showers.
The Business Class and Senator Lounges in Terminal A will be refurbished with work scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2018. These investments total more than CHF15m.
“Our new premium product on the ground will offer our customers genuinely new levels of air travel comfort and convenience,” explained Klühr.
This news came on the back of a strong financial year for Swiss in 2016. The carrier reported earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of CHF429m. “All in all, Swiss can look back on a very successful 2016,” said Klühr. “We are in sound financial health, and we will continue to invest in our premium air travel product, for the benefit of our customers.”
The carrier warned it expects to post an EBIT for 2017 “slightly below” its 2016 level. It attributed this to the “challenging competitive environment, the strength of the Swiss franc, the present geopolitical uncertainties and the recent tangible increase in the price of oil”.