Short Runways And Mid-Haul For Swiss A220

swiss airbus a220-100
Credit: Swiss

Eight years after it became the first airline in the world to put the Airbus A220 into service, Swiss is making full use of the type’s versatility.

The aircraft, which Switzerland’s flag-carrier flies in both -100 and -300 versions, operates routes in its own right and also as a substitute for the larger A320 when demand and operational requirements are appropriate.

These range from operating the smaller -100 into London City Airport’s famously constrained runway – a short, 1,500m (4,950ft) strip requiring an unusually steep approach (5.5° rather than the standard 3°) – to hauling holidaymakers 3,400km /1,840nm to Egypt’s Red Sea coast, a four-hour trip.

The 125-seat -100 is the largest aircraft capable of operating into London City.

Swiss has one of the largest A220 fleets in Europe – nine -100s and 21 -300s. The aircraft were bought primarily to replace Swiss’s Avro RJ100s but have also been used to replace other older aircraft in the fleet and to expand the carrier’s route network.

Both A220 models are operated in two-class configurations. As with many European carriers’ business class offerings, the seats and configuration (2-3) are the same throughout the cabin, but business class passengers are allocated an empty seat next to them, to increase privacy.

Swiss deploys the aircraft across its entire short-haul network, primarily on European routes, but a spokeswoman said that they also serve a few destinations beyond Europe, such as Marrakech in Morocco and Hurghada in Egypt; the Geneva-Hurghada sector is the longest currently served by the carrier’s A220s.

Alan Dron

Based in London, Alan is Europe & Middle East correspondent at Air Transport World.