Swiss International Airlines, part of the Lufthansa Group, will take delivery of their first of nine new Boeing 777-300ERs (77W) on January 29, 2016. Miriam Oliviera, the airline’s Head of Marketing & Public Relations for the Americas, confirmed the date in a phone conversation on Thursday.
The 777 series is a new addition to Swiss’s previously all-Airbus fleet. Currently, the Zurich-based carrier relies on the Airbus A330/A340 series wide-bodies for long-haul service, as well as the Airbus A320 series for its narrow-body fleet.
SWISS 777-300ER: Routes
In an effort to modernize its long-haul fleet and expand its international network, Swiss placed an initial order with Boeing for six airframes in March 2013, and confirmed another three aircraft in March 2015.
Previously, the airline had loaded the following 2016 start dates for 77W service from Zurich International Airport (ZRH):
- New York on February 21
- Montreal on March 21
- Hong Kong on April 10 (thrice-weekly)
- Los Angeles on June 9
Oliviera further confirmed to AirlineReporter that 77W service to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) will commence on August 30. Prior to the launch of long-haul operations, familiarization flights start on February 8 to Geneva, Barcelona, Frankfurt, London-Heathrow, and Hanover, with service to Prague and Venice added in April.
SWISS 777-300ER: The cabin
Configured with eight seats in first class, 62 in business, and 270 in economy, the 77W will serve as the new Swiss flagship product, complete with an entirely redesigned interior in all classes to upgrade the passenger experience for all, starting right when customers step aboard into the dramatic entryway.
There are two rows of first class in a 1-2-1 configuration, creating an intimate cabin, and for additional privacy each suite will have sliding doors that fully close; a divider between the two center seats can be lowered for traveling companions, while the outboard seats have electrically-adjustable window blinds. A 32″ entertainment screen dominates the suite, which have personal wardrobes and seats that convert into a fully-flat bed at the touch of a button.
To highlight the exclusive and refined ambiance, a wall and doors separates first and business, replacing frumpy curtains for very clean and aesthetic lines.
Business class features a staggered arrangement of 2-2-1 or 1-2-2 that’s similar to what is found on the A330s/A340s, but with increased privacy and more room, thanks to the additional width of the 777 fuselage. These seats also lay flat into a bed, measuring over six feet in length with adjustable firmness in the seat cushion. In this staggered configuration, about 80% of the seats have direct aisle access.
Not to be left out, economy passengers will enjoy their own enhanced seat, with new, more comfortable cushions and a large entertainment touchscreen with USB charging and inputs for playback from personal devices. Additionally, a walk-up bar for economy passengers will be available throughout the flight.
The big drawback in the back of the plane? Economy seating goes from nine- to ten-across, in a 3-4-3 configuration.
Swiss released a slick video to highlight their new flagship, which will also have WiFi access available.