Tag Archives: Swiss International Air Lines

airBaltic to operate up to six Airbus A220-300s for Swiss under a wet-lease agreement

Swiss International Air Lines has made this announcement:

SWISS has agreed to a collaboration with Air Baltic of Latvia for the coming winter timetable period.

The partnership is intended to further stabilize SWISS’s flight schedules and provide even more reliability for its customers’ travel plans. It should also further ease the present pressures on the company’s cabin personnel.

The collaboration envisages Air Baltic operating up to six Airbus A220-300 aircraft on SWISS’s behalf under a wet-lease agreement.

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) plans to collaborate with Air Baltic of Latvia in the coming winter timetable period. The collaboration will take the form of a wet-lease agreement (i.e. the lease-in of both aircraft and crew) under which Air Baltic will perform SWISS flights on SWISS’s behalf. The services concerned will be operated by up to six of Air Baltic’s highly advanced and CO2-efficient Airbus A220-300 aircraft, which seat up to 145 passengers. SWISS itself operates 21 such twinjets. The Air Baltic aircraft will perform flights throughout the SWISS European route network which had previously been planned for SWISS’s own operation.

Irrespective of this development, SWISS will continue to steadily recruit and train more of its own cabin personnel. The new collaboration with Air Baltic is also viewed as a complement to SWISS’s existing partnership with Helvetic Airways. On the latter front, in addition to the six Helvetic aircraft already operated all year round on SWISS’s behalf, further Helvetic Airways equipment may also be flexibly deployed on SWISS routes in future to cover peaks in demand.


Swiss completes the cabin upgrade on its Boeing 777-300 fleet

Swiss International Air Lines has completed the installation of its Premium Economy Class on its Boeing 777-300 fleet.

Passengers on all 12 Triple Sevens can now enjoy its greater privacy and enhanced inflight comfort.

Photos by Swiss.

Swiss aircraft photo gallery:

Swiss terminates its state-backed bank loan ahead of time

Swiss International Air Lines made this announcement:

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) terminated its bank loan facility guaranteed by the Swiss Confederation at the end of May 2022. With the pandemic situation now more stable and with the eased travel restrictions prompting positive trends in the company’s liquidity, SWISS is now able to meet its financing needs on the capital markets via the Lufthansa Group. In view of this, SWISS has terminated the bank loan facility which was 85% guaranteed by the Swiss Confederation ahead of its regular end date of 2025. SWISS has never drawn more than half of the total loan amount available under the facility since it was established, and paid a total of CHF 60 million in interest and fees during the loan facility period.

“The COVID pandemic triggered the greatest crisis that the aviation sector has ever experienced all over the globe,” says Reto Francioni, Chairman of the SWISS Board of Directors. “We are thankful to the Swiss Confederation, led by the Federal Department of Finance, for their belief in the future of our company in this very difficult period. And we have demonstrated in return just how much substance and how much further potential we have within our ranks. Through this great collaborative achievement, the Swiss Confederation, the banks and SWISS have jointly ensured that one of the most vital companies to the Swiss economy has been able to meet and master the acute threat it faced as a result of the COVID crisis.”

All loan conditions met

SWISS reacted immediately following the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020, initiating extensive cost-saving measures to reduce its liquidity outflow. The Lufthansa Group also supported SWISS with CHF 500 million in loans during the pandemic. The bank loan facility which was guaranteed by the Swiss Confederation was also tied to certain locational conditions, compliance with which was monitored by the Swiss Aviation Foundation. The prime requirement here was the proportionate development of SWISS compared to the further airlines of the Lufthansa Group.

“We are very grateful to the Swiss Confederation that, together with the banks, it provided SWISS and Edelweiss with the liquidity they needed during the COVID pandemic,” says Dieter Vranckx, Chief Executive Officer of SWISS and Chairman of the Edelweiss Board of Directors. “As a result, we were able to secure the jobs of a large part of our Swiss-based workforce and give ourselves sustainably competitive cost structures, while still keeping Switzerland connected with the world throughout the pandemic period. And we have now been able to ramp up our operations again at our Zurich hub in harmony with the further hubs of the Lufthansa Group, and to proportionately develop our range of air services.”

A return through restructuring to financial stability

SWISS initiated a restructuring in summer 2021 which saw its aircraft fleet downsized some 15 per cent and its workforce reduced by around 1,700 full-time positions by the end of last year. “The actions we took are having their effect,” confirms SWISS Chief Financial Officer Markus Binkert. “After incurring cumulative losses of more than CHF 1 billion in the past two years, we have now been able to return SWISS to financial stability, and generated a positive cash flow in the first quarter of this year. This in turn enables us to emerge from the Swiss state’s support ahead of time and meet our future financial needs on the capital markets via the Lufthansa Group.”

Swiss aircraft photo gallery:

Swiss and SBB intensify their strategic partnership: Munich-Zurich Airport to be the first international ‘SWISS Air Rail’ route

Swiss International Air Lines made this announcement:

The ‘Airtrain’ is going international: SWISS is expanding its collaboration with SBB Swiss Federal Railways on its intermodal transport service, which will in future be known as ‘SWISS Air Rail’. From July 2022 onwards, SWISS customers can take advantage of the first-ever international rail/air connection in the form of a new train service between Munich Hauptbahnhof and Zurich Airport. SWISS Air Rail services in Switzerland are also set to be further expanded in collaboration with the SBB.

Train route network:

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is intensifying its collaboration with SBB Swiss Federal Railways to expand its intermodal rail/air travel product under the new name of ‘SWISS Air Rail’. To further enhance its customers’ train connections to and from its Zurich Airport hub, SWISS is adding Munich Hauptbahnhof in Germany to its intermodal SWISS Air Rail network. The new Munich-Zurich Airport route joins the existing rail/air services between Zurich Airport and the SBB stations of Basel SBB, Lugano and Geneva which have been gradually established over the past few years under the ‘Airtrain’ name. The new Munich service is the first such rail/air connection between Zurich Airport and a point in a neighbouring country.

From 1 July 2022 onwards, travellers holding a SWISS flight ticket can thus take advantage of rail services between Munich Hauptbahnhof and Zurich Airport which can be seamlessly combined with their flight. “Together with the SBB, we’re taking a big further step forward in offering our customers complementary travel options,” says SWISS Chief Commercial Officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour. “We are jointly seeking to provide smarter combinations of rail and air transport wherever these make sense. And we’re marking a particular milestone here in offering – with Munich – our first-ever international SWISS Air Rail connection.”

“I am delighted that it will now be easier to combine rail and air travel on the Munich-Zurich Airport route, too,” adds Véronique Stephan, the SBB’s Head of Passenger Services Markets. “This new service will enable SWISS customers living a short or a medium distance away from SWISS’s Zurich hub to make greater use of rail connections to get to and from the airport. And with these quick and direct new rail services, they’ll enjoy the best possible connections with their SWISS flights.”

Six trains a day in both directions

The timetable for the new SWISS Air Rail service between Munich Hauptbahnhof and Zurich Airport offers SWISS travellers a choice of six SBB trains a day in each direction. Trains may also be boarded or left in Bregenz en route. The rail ticket is included in the SWISS air fare, and can be booked now together with the flight ticket on www.swiss.com or at any travel agency. As on all its other SWISS Air Rail routes, SWISS offers users of the service guaranteed connections in the event of a delay.

SWISS customers using SWISS Air Rail who are Miles & More members will earn status and award miles on their SWISS Air Rail ticket, too, with the number of miles earned depending on their connecting flight and class of travel. SWISS First and SWISS Business travellers using SWISS Air Rail will also travel in first class on the train; and both they and HON Circle and Senator status customers can make use of the Munich Hauptbahnhof DB Lounge. All travellers using SWISS Air Rail from or to Munich will also enjoy automatic seat reservation and free WiFi access.

Further expansion planned in Switzerland from this summer onwards

The range of SWISS Air Rail options in Switzerland is also to be further expanded together with the SBB. The plans here include selected new intermediate stops on existing SWISS Air Rail routes from summer 2022 to enable even more SWISS travellers to take advantage of these seamless rail connections to and from SWISS’s Zurich Airport hub. The Geneva-Zurich Airport service will also allow travellers holding a SWISS flight ticket to join or leave the train in Lausanne, Fribourg or Bern; and the Lugano-Zurich Airport service will offer a similar boarding/leaving option in Bellinzona. SWISS and the SBB further plan to introduce improved baggage collection and delivery services for SWISS Air Rail users.

SWISS and the SBB continue to work steadily to further enhance the rail-and-air-travel combination by further expanding their joint product and service portfolio. In addition to ensuring the best possible connections between SWISS’s global network and further (above all tourist) destinations, the partners are putting a particular focus on offering direct rail services and on optimizing their customer assistance in the event of operational irregularities.

Swiss aircraft photo gallery:

Swiss is using artificial intelligence and Google Cloud technology to further enhance its flight operations

Swiss International Air Lines is using artificial intelligence and Google Cloud technology to further enhance its flight operations. The aim is to make its flight operations more stable, efficient and sustainable.

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) has been working under a broader strategic partnership to use Google Cloud technology to develop a platform that facilitates the planning and steering of the airline’s daily flight operations. The new platform will help the teams working in SWISS’s Operations Control at Zurich Airport to consistently make the best decisions on the airline’s complex and highly dynamic flight operations all over the globe. The platform collates data from the various units and processes within the company such as passenger itineraries, aircraft assignments, crew rostering and aircraft maintenance, which the system can then use to propose the optimum scenarios for keeping its flight operations as stable and efficient as possible.

Better steering of aircraft performance and individual connection times

By bundling relevant information on Google Cloud, SWISS can utilize dynamic parameters, such as passenger and cargo demand or individual aircraft performance, to better plan which type of aircraft will be most efficient for a particular route. The resulting fuel savings also help reduce SWISS’s carbon dioxide emissions. The data collated can further be used to steer and predict travellers’ individual connecting times at SWISS’s Zurich Airport hub. In the event of an irregularity, the system will swiftly propose a range of alternative scenarios to still get the customers affected to their desired destinations as punctually and comfortably as possible. Should a departure be delayed owing to snowfall, for instance, to the extent that a passenger travelling on it will no longer be able to make their intended Zurich connection, the system will promptly offer a range of efficient rebooking options via all the relevant hubs throughout the Lufthansa Group.

SWISS is the first airline in the Lufthansa Group to collaborate with Google Cloud under the group’s strategic partnership with the cloud provider. The platform concerned has been specifically devised and developed to enable its adoption by further Lufthansa Group carriers.

Swiss reduces food waste with ‘SWISS Saveurs Pre-Order’ and ‘SWISS Saveurs To Go’

Swiss International Air Lines Airbus A220-300 (Bombardier CS300 - BD-500-1A11) HB-JCE (msn 55014) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 957144.

Swiss International Air Lines has made this announcement:

SWISS has launched two new initiatives to sustainably reduce the food waste within its SWISS Saveurs catering concept for Economy Class travellers on its short- and medium-haul flights. Under ‘SWISS Saveurs Pre-Order’ customers can individually order any of the freshly prepared items on the SWISS Saveurs menu in advance of their flight. And with ‘SWISS Saveurs To Go’ passengers on the last evening flights of the day can purchase any remaining freshly prepared SWISS Saveurs items at substantially reduced prices.

With effect from today, Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) now offers its Economy Class guests on its short- and medium-haul services the option of ordering any items they desire from the current SWISS Saveurs menu online in advance of their flight. The range of items available extends to all freshly prepared products such as the salads, sweet bakery items and sandwiches made to the recipes of Confiserie Sprüngli, Switzerland’s renowned confectioner, along with the Beyond Meat Burger which is offered on longer flights. Any of these items can be easily pre-ordered up to 36 hours before departure via the separate swiss.com/saveurs-preorder booking link. The new option is available for all short- and medium-haul services from or to Zurich or Geneva of more than 50 minutes flying time from 20 April onwards. Customers will only pay for their pre-ordered item when it is served to them by the cabin crew in the course of their flight, and will also obtain it at a discounted price.

It’s with the same aims in mind that SWISS is launching a further inflight initiative on 20 April, too. Under ‘SWISS Saveurs To Go’, the cabin crews on the last evening flights of the day back to Zurich and Geneva will, after the regular inflight service, offer their passengers the opportunity to obtain any still-unsold SWISS Saveurs items freshly prepared from Confiserie Sprüngli recipes. The availability of such items will be communicated via an inflight announcement shortly before landing; and, if available, the products concerned will be offered in the form of a ‘surprise bag’ containing one or two such freshly prepared items which has been made up by the cabin crew, and at a substantially reduced price.

Top Copyright Photo: Swiss International Air Lines Airbus A220-300 (Bombardier CS300 – BD-500-1A11) HB-JCE (msn 55014) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 957144.

Swiss aircraft slide show:

Swiss aircraft photo gallery:

Swiss marks its 20th anniversary, starts a new route to Bologna

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its foundation this year. The first-ever SWISS flight was performed from Basel to Zurich on 31 March 2002. The airline has been keeping Switzerland connected with the world ever since, bringing people together and making a vital contribution to promoting the country as an attractive place to visit and do business. “If it weren’t for the great loyalty of our customers, the strong commitment of our employees in the air and on the ground, our fruitful collaborations with our airport partners and our suppliers and – not least – the firm support that we have received from the Swiss people, the Swiss political world and the banks, including in the present pandemic times, SWISS would simply not be one of the leading airlines today,” says company CEO Dieter Vranckx. “We have all achieved so much together. And I would like to say a sincere thank-you to everyone who has given us such strong and solid support over the past 20 years, and has helped us ensure that SWISS will continue to fly the Swiss cross with pride and with gratitude all over the globe.”

An eventful history

SWISS’s early years, following its creation on the foundations of Crossair and of Swissair’s flight operations, were marked by rigorous restructurings and uncertainties over its continued viability. An initially oversized aircraft fleet had to be substantially downscaled, together with the original workforce, before the new company could generate profits from its flight operations. The new SWISS also lacked the critical mass required to survive alone in the fiercely competitive air travel market. Such critical mass was secured in 2005, however, through the company’s integration into the Lufthansa Group. From then on, SWISS was able to benefit from the group’s strength and synergies, and achieved its financial turnaround as early as the following year.

The next SWISS milestone was also in 2006, when the company joined Star Alliance, the world’s biggest airline grouping. One year later Delhi became the first new intercontinental destination to be added to the SWISS route network since the airline’s foundation. It was followed by Shanghai (2008), San Francisco (2010), Beijing (2012) and Singapore (2013), all key points for Switzerland and all served with non-stop flights. Two further long-haul destinations – Washington and Osaka – were due to be added in 2020, but had such plans shelved by the coronavirus pandemic.

SWISS today serves 92 destinations from its Zurich hub and 46 points from Geneva. It carries more passengers and cargo than any Swiss airline has ever transported in the past. And together with its sister airline Edelweiss, which also joined the Lufthansa Group in 2008, the company is very well positioned in the premium business and leisure air travel segments.

Billions of investments in a premium product and an advanced aircraft fleet

SWISS’s takeoff into a new era was mirrored in 2011 by its adoption of a new corporate brand. Over the following decade some CHF 8 billion was invested in acquiring the most advanced and fuel-efficient aircraft, in substantially expanding its destination portfolio from Zurich and Geneva and in further enhancing its premium product in the form of new lounges and aircraft cabins. At the same time, SWISS was compelled to end its flight operations in Basel in 2015, after a changed market environment and difficult political parameters had blighted prospects and perspectives in the premium travel segment. Just one year later, though, came one of the biggest highlights in the company’s 20-year history to date: the addition to the SWISS fleet of the world’s first highly economical Airbus A220 (which was then known as the Bombardier C Series). The same year saw the delivery of SWISS’s first Boeing 777-300ER, its long-haul flagship, twelve of which are now in service.

SWISS will continue to promote such investments in sustainability and in its product in the years ahead. The company has set itself the two objectives of halving its carbon dioxide emissions from their 2019 level by 2030 and of making its operations carbon-neutral by 2050. “Sustainability is one of our key strategic pillars,” explains CEO Vranckx. “Over the past 20 years we have reduced our carbon dioxide emissions per passenger-kilometre by around 30 per cent. We continue to work on improving our fuel efficiency; and, among other endeavours, we are also lobbying strongly for the development and market introduction of sustainable aviation fuel, to help us achieve our ambitious ecological objectives.” SWISS will also have welcomed 25 state-of-the-art Airbus A320/321neos into its fleet by the end of 2025. These highly advanced aircraft emit some 20 per cent less carbon dioxide than their predecessor models.

Airline of Switzerland: mission accomplished

The crisis prompted by the coronavirus pandemic has further confirmed the vital importance of having an ‘Airline of Switzerland’ or a Swiss-based hub carrier. SWISS, together with its sister airline Edelweiss, performed a total of 86 flights under the biggest repatriation programme ever conducted by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs to bring stranded travellers back home. Between the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 and February 2022, SWISS’s Swiss WorldCargo airfreight division also performed no fewer than 2,650 all-cargo flights that transported over 69,300 tonnes of cargo and provided Switzerland besides many with urgently-needed medical supplies such as facemasks and vaccines.

In the 20 years since its foundation SWISS has performed 2.8 million flights of an aggregate distance of 3.8 billion kilometres, or 95,000 times around the world. These flights have transported just under 266 million passengers – about 40 times the population of Switzerland – and 5.6 million tonnes of cargo, the equivalent in weight of some 560 Eiffel Towers.

Twenty aircraft namings and many more anniversary activities planned

SWISS is marking its 20th anniversary with a wide range of activities and attractive offers. The latter will be launched with a 48-hour sale from 2 April in which customers can take advantage of attractive fares throughout the European network. In addition, 20 of SWISS’s advanced Airbus A220 aircraft will be formally named after Swiss tourist resorts between now and year-end. The naming ceremonies will be held in selected locations throughout Switzerland, on a “We’ll come to you” basis.

Further anniversary attractions include a special jubilee video (above) that captures the landmark moments in SWISS’s 20-year history to date. SWISS travelers will be able to immerse themselves in the SWISS story, too: from July to September, passengers will be offered a special edition of the inflight SWISS Magazine providing intriguing insights into the fascinating SWISS world of the past two decades along with our travel specialists’ favorite destinations. Also planned is a big 20th anniversary competition offering various attractive prizes.

In other news, SWISS inaugurated our new Zurich-Bologna route, Bologna Airport being the 4th new destination in the summer timetable. SWISS connects the two cities with four weekly flights as of today.

Swiss reduces its operating loss

Swiss International Air Lines released this statement:

SWISS significantly reduced its operating loss in 2021 from its prior-year level thanks to the transformation initiated, comprehensive cost-saving measures and strong cargo demand.

The operating loss for the year of CHF -427.7 million was around one-third smaller than the previous year (2020: CHF -653.8 million). Total revenue for 2021 amounted to CHF 2.10 billion, a 13.7-per-cent increase year-on-year (2020: CHF 1.85 billion). SWISS’s fourth-quarter operating result was a substantial improvement on the prior-year period, and the company ended the year with a positive cash flow. The transformation process initiated in the course of 2021 is on track, and is being further pursued through actions on the network, product and sustainability fronts. SWISS has also defined a series of concrete measures on the basis of its ‘CO2 Road Map 2030’ to halve its net carbon dioxide emissions from their 2019 levels.

The repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic substantially depressed the annual results of Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) for the 2021 business year, too. Despite this, SWISS was able to significantly reduce its operating loss from its prior-year level, thanks to the transformation it initiated and to comprehensive cost-saving measures. The company also benefited from higher production (especially in the summer months) and continued very strong demand for its cargo services. The operating loss of CHF -427.7 million was around one-third smaller than the previous year (2020: CHF -653.8 million). Total revenue for 2021 amounted to CHF 2.10 billion, a 13.7-per-cent year-on-year improvement (2020: CHF 1.85 billion) but still less than half of its 2019 pre-crisis level.

Year-on-year earnings improvement for the fourth quarter

As expected, the positive earnings recorded for the third-quarter period of 2021 could not be sustained for the seasonally weaker fourth quarter. But SWISS was able to substantially improve on its prior-year fourth-quarter operating result, with the CHF -36.3 million achieved representing a year-on-year improvement of more than CHF 200 million (Q4 2020: CHF ‑239.1 million). Fourth-quarter revenue was also significantly increased: the CHF 734.6 million generated was more than double the revenue result for the prior-year period (Q4 2020: CHF 310.9 million).

“With the transformation that we successfully embarked on in 2021, we are well equipped to remain successful in our markets,” says SWISS CEO Dieter Vranckx. “We now need to continue our transformation, with a particular focus this year on increasing our capacities to up to 80 per cent of their 2019 levels and on raising our schedules’ stability.”

Liquidity situation improved

Despite the unexpectedly protracted length of the present crisis, SWISS’s rigorous cost and cash management have ensured that the company has at no time utilized more than half of the CHF 1.5 billion bank loan facility which is 85-per-cent guaranteed by the Swiss Confederation. The total amount loaned was also increasingly reduced towards the end of 2021.

“Our restructuring has enabled us to achieve sustainable cost savings of CHF 500 million,” explains SWISS CFO Markus Binkert. “We were also able to stem the cash drain in the course of 2021 and even generate a positive cash flow for the year as a whole. And in doing so we have laid a firm and promising foundation for SWISS’s financial recovery.”

Increase in passenger numbers

SWISS[1] transported just under six million passengers in 2021, 22.6 per cent more than in the previous year. A total of 56,372 flights were performed, a 17.3-per-cent increase on 2020. SWISS offered 22.7 per cent more capacity systemwide in 2021 in available-seat-kilometre (ASK) terms, while total traffic volume in revenue passenger-kilometres (RPK) rose 15.2 per cent over the same period. Systemwide seat load factor amounted to 54.4 per cent, 3.6 percentage points below its prior-year level. Seat load factors for European services remained well above those for long-haul flights.

‘reach’ transformation program on track

To respond to the structural market changes that have been prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, SWISS launched a comprehensive transformation program under the name of ‘reach’ in the course of 2021. The program entails a 15-per-cent reduction in the size of the SWISS aircraft fleet. It also brought a planned resizing of the SWISS workforce through the elimination of some 1,700 full-time positions by the end of 2021, two thirds of which was achieved through voluntary actions and natural staff turnover. Investments in the SWISS product – such as the delivery and service entry of the Airbus A320neo and the introduction of the new SWISS Premium Economy Class – are further key pillars of the transformation program, as are a number of innovative projects on the sustainability front. Further program elements include extensive network optimizations to bring greater design flexibility to the overall offer of leisure and business travel air services in close coordination with sister airline Edelweiss. “We are on track to realign our company to the changed circumstances and conditions by 2023 and sustainably restore SWISS’s competitive credentials,” CEO Vranckx concludes.

Halving of CO2 emissions by 2030 planned

While meeting the challenges of the pandemic has substantially occupied the company over the past two years, extensive measures to reduce the environmental impact of its activities remain a key SWISS strategic objective. To this end, the company has defined a number of concrete actions under its ‘CO2 Road Map 2030’ to achieve its ambitious goal of halving its net carbon dioxide emissions from their 2019 levels. In addition to billions of investment in its fleet renewal program, these include large-scale optimizations in its flight operations. SWISS will, for instance, be the first passenger airline in the world to utilize the innovative AeroSHARK technology whose biomimetic riblet film enhances an aircraft’s aerodynamics, which will cut SWISS’s annual CO2 emissions by up to 15,200 tons.

A further key element in the SWISS CO2 Road Map is the company’s active promotion of the use of innovative technologies. In summer 2021 SWISS became the first scheduled airline to use sustainable aviation fuel in its regular flight operations from Switzerland. And this week SWISS and Swiss clean-tech company Synhelion concluded  a strategic collaboration to bring solar fuel to market. “Sustainable aviation fuel is the key to carbon-neutral flying, which we aim to achieve by 2050,” CEO Vranckx confirms. “So we are proud to be teaming up with Synhelion to play a pioneering role in the use of solar fuel.”

[1] Excluding Edelweiss Air

In other news, SWISS is putting the Canton of Lucerne centre stage in the inflight cuisine on its long-haul services from Switzerland from 2 March onwards. The airline’s latest ‘SWISS Taste of Switzerland’ menus for its First and Business Class guests have been concocted by starred chef Patrick Mahler of the Park Hotel Vitznau. In SWISS’s new Premium Economy Class, too, the culinary offerings include specialities inspired by the Lucerne region.

Starting today and for the next six months, Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) will be offering its First and Business Class guests on its long-haul services departing from Switzerland a range of special menu delights under its award-winning ‘SWISS Taste of Switzerland’ inflight food and beverage programme. SWISS Taste of Switzerland is designed to present SWISS guests with the full variety of Swiss cuisine, including regional cheese and wine specialities. The programme’s latest aromatic and highly seasonal creations have been concocted by Patrick Mahler, the two-Michelin-starred and 18-Gault&Millau-point chef de cuisine at the focus ATELIER fine dining restaurant of the Park Hotel Vitznau in Canton Lucerne.

Veal tenderloin with asparagus and Felchlin chocolate crémeux tartlet in First Class

For SWISS’s First Class travellers Patrick Mahler has created a starter of marinated salmon trout with wild herb cream, accompanied by smoked trout mousse. The choice of main courses extends to a veal tenderloin with morel jus, gnocchi romaine and green and white asparagus or a cod fillet with mussel-beurre blanc and potato and lemon mousseline with caramelized chicory. The SWISS First culinary experience is rounded off with a Felchlin chocolate crémeux tartlet with cassis and black vanilla ice cream.

The First Class food offerings are accompanied by a selection of regional cheeses including Rotkäppli, Goldwäscher and Blaui Gibä and a 2020 Pinot Merlot red wine from the Brunner winery.

Pikeperch fillet with lemon beurre blanc and ‘Hiltl tartare’ in Business Class

SWISS’s Business Class guests can enjoy Patrick Mahler’s marinated salmon trout with herb emulsion and ponzu vinaigrette for their first course. Alternatively they may opt for the ‘Hiltl tartare’, a vegetarian creation from the Hiltl restaurant in Zurich, SWISS’s long-standing partner for vegetarian inflight meals. The SWISS Business main courses are a further culinary treat, and include a herb-stuffed chicken with shiitake mushroom jus, barley risotto and green asparagus or a pikeperch fillet with lemon beurre blanc, fregola sarda and saffron fennel. For dessert Mahler offers a white nougat mousse with sea buckthorn and hazelnut, while the regional Business Class cheeses extend to an Entlebucher Bergrahmkäse and a Rotkäppli soft cheese.

A further new culinary experience is provided in the ‘SWISS Bistro’ second service shortly before landing, whose food range includes SWISS’s first-ever inflight offering of roasted planted chicken, in a Hiltl Caesar salad.

Lucerne-style ‘Rindshacktätschli’ and Felchlin chocolate in Premium Economy Class

SWISS is also offering guests in its new Premium Economy Class a food and beverage menu inspired by regional specialities from Canton Lucerne on its services from Switzerland. The choice of main courses here includes ‘Rindshacktätschli Luzerner Art’ – Lucerne-style beef rissoles, which are served with potato gratin with Sbrinz cheese, broccoli and carrot. The Premium Economy cheese course offers an Entlebucher Bergrahmkäse and a Swiss brie with pear bread; and the meal is rounded off with a triple chocolate slice with Swiss Felchlin chocolate, apricot compote and caramelized hazelnuts.

Swiss to be the world’s first airline to use Synhelion solar fuel


Swiss International Air Lines to be the world’s first airline to use Synhelion solar fuel

Swiss and the Lufthansa Group have concluded a strategic collaboration with the Synhelion company to bring its solar aviation fuel to market. This will make Swiss the first airline in the world to use ‘sun-to-liquid’ fuel. The process devised by Synhelion uses concentrated sunlight to produce carbon-neutral kerosene. With this collaboration, SWISS and Synhelion are playing a pioneering role in the production and the adoption of sustainable aviation fuels.

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) and the Lufthansa Group have concluded a strategic collaboration with ETH Zurich spinoff Synhelion to bring solar aviation fuel to market. This will make SWISS the first airline in the world to use solar kerosene. “Our team-up with Synhelion is founded on our shared vision to make carbon-neutral flying in regular flight operations possible through the use of solar fuel,” explains SWISS Chief Executive Officer Dieter Vranckx. “We are proud that SWISS will be the first airline in the world to fly with solar kerosene. In partnering with Synhelion, we are supporting Swiss innovation and are actively pursuing and promoting the development, the market introduction and the scaling-up of this highly promising technology for producing sustainable fuels.”

Sunlight – the way to carbon-neutral flying

Synhelion has developed a key technology for manufacturing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from renewable energy sources. The unique procedure uses concentrated solar heat to manufacture syngas which can then be synthesized into kerosene using standard industrial processes. This sun-to-liquid fuel closes the fuel carbon cycle: when combusted, it will only produce as much CO2 as went into its manufacture. The new fuel thus makes a major contribution to effectively decarbonizing air transport.

Synhelion will build the world’s first-ever facility for the industrial production of solar fuel in Jülich (Germany) this year. SWISS is set to become the first customer for the solar kerosene in 2023. Under the collaboration now concluded, SWISS and the Lufthansa Group will support the development of Synhelion’s planned commercial fuel production facility in Spain, too.

Swiss pioneer Synhelion, Swiss, Edelweiss and the Lufthansa Group have been working together since 2020 to help reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of Swiss aviation through the use of solar fuels.

Swiss plans pioneering role in the use of sustainable fuels from renewable sources

The Lufthansa Group and Swiss have been pursuing and promoting comprehensive measures to minimize their carbon dioxide emissions for several years now, and work closely with their partners to steadily further reduce the environmental impact of their business and operational activities. Swiss will be substantially increasing its use of sustainable aviation fuels in the next few years to help achieve its climate objectives. In view of the limited availability of biofuels, however, alternatives will be required. “This is why we are actively supporting the development of solar fuels,” stresses SWISS CEO Vranckx. “We want to be a pioneer in their use. So our involvement with Synhelion is a key element in our long-term sustainability strategy.”

Swiss stops all flights to Russia, will not use their airspace

Swiss International Air Lines made this announcement:

Due to the current developments, SWISS is no longer operating flights to and from Russia until the end of March. Affected passengers will be informed. SWISS will also no longer use Russian airspace until further notice and will continue to monitor the situation closely.