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"Swiss" Orders 13 New A340-300 (Mar. 29)

More comfortable, more environmentally friendly and cheaper to maintain: For these reasons, the Crossair Executive Board has decided to replace the Boeing MD-11s by 13 brand new Airbus A340-300s on its long-haul routes.

The Crossair/SWISS Executive Board has decided to replace the entire Boeing MD-11 fleet with 13 brand new Airbus A340-300s. The decision is subject to the resolution of all contractual cornerstones by April 15, 2002

The first aircraft will be delivered in June 2003 and the last in July 2004. The MD-11 aircraft in use until then will be returned to their owners under the terms of agreed leasing contracts.

Studies to define the optimal aircraft for long-haul transportation have been under way since November 2001. In addition to the 13 A330-200 aircraft, SWISS also needs, for its global network, aircraft with a longer range and slightly higher capacity. Continuation with the MD-11 fleet was rejected, despite the current very favourable leasing rates, because of the higher operating costs and the over-proportional technical costs attributable to the aircrafts' age.

Amongst the alternatives examined, apart from the selected solution to purchase 13 brand new A340-300s, the lease of used A340-300s from Singapore Airlines was evaluated: they were offered by Boeing. A third variant was the purchase of Boeing 777-200ERs.

After a tough competition between the two manufacturers Boeing and Airbus, SWISS opted in favour of the A340-300 because of the more attractive commercial conditions. André Dosé says on the subject "I am very pleased that, with our partner Airbus, we have found a very good solution for the upper segment of our fleet: With the A340-300 we can offer our clients not only a superb product in all classes, but also the advantage of synergy with the rest of the fleet, added to the favourable financial and operating costs which give us economic advantages over the MD-11. With this, an important step has been taken in the direction towards the profitability of our airline".

An important criterion in the replacement of the MD-11s by the Airbus A340-300 was the environment. The new long-haul jet is 50% quieter on approach and the noxious emissions from the four engines are considerably reduced by this latest-generation aircraft.

The A340-300 will have a total of 228 seats, 8 of which are in First, 48 in Business and 172 in Economy Class.


Passenger and Environmentally Friendly: SWISS Banks on the New Airbus A340-300