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Swissair Boeing 747-300

Sun Aug 22, 1999 3:46 am

Why is Swissair selling the 747-300
? They want to replace it with the MD-11 but the MD-11 doesnt have the same capacity.
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RE: Swissair Boeing 747-300

Sun Aug 22, 1999 3:59 am

The 747 is a little on the large size for flights to Switzerland. It's only a small country and even though it is a major business centre, loads on long-haul routes aren't that high. Yield is very high cos the passengers that do go there (other than tourists on multi-centre tours that start in Switzerland, and skiiers) are bankers, UN types, tax exiles and George Soros, which explains the MD11's 80-plus J-class seats, and Jefferey Katz (Swissair CEO)'s statement that Swissair will be the last airline in the world to get rid of First Class. They have already started flying A330s on most trans-Atlantic flights, and I would expect them to eventually buy (if they haven't already) A340s for the Far East, Nth American west coast (LA, YVR et al). But the 747 is too big for everything except JFK to Zurich, even JFK to Geneva (SR111) has been an MD11 for years. United operated 747-100s to Geneva for a while and lost a bundle (having now switched very sensibly to 767s, the perfect US to Switzerland plane).
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RE: Swissair Boeing 747-300

Sun Aug 22, 1999 4:02 am

Swissair wants to sell all 747-300 because they are too old and maintenances costs are too expensive...
In the future SR will replace 747-300 and MD-11 by A340-600. So they will have an all-Airbus fleet and I think it's more economic...
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Sun Aug 22, 1999 4:18 am

You forget that 90% of Switzerlands 7 Million population takes an overseas trip at least on time a year.
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Same Thing.

Sun Aug 22, 1999 4:22 am

To say that the 747-300 is not necessary is a little silly seing that Swissair has A340-600s which seat about the same on order.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
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RE: Swissair Boeing 747-300

Sun Aug 22, 1999 4:36 am

Sorry, I didn't know they'd already ordered A340s, and even if 90% of the population does take a foreign holiday every year, they're not all long-haul. Not even half. (Nor is 7 million that big a population.) I was just speculating, basing my thoughts purely on the fact that virtually no other airline fly sceduled 747s there (maybe Singapore and MAS? no-one else though). Swissair are one of my favourite airlines, last time I flew from Zurich to Heathrow it was in the cockpit jumpseat on a brand-new A321, chatting most of the way to the captain about flying DC8s to Africa in the 60s and 70s. Top airline.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
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RE: Swissair Boeing 747-300

Sun Aug 22, 1999 7:39 am

Hi! Mainly Swissair was the launch customer for the 300 version, and its quite old as someone said here. Also with the new policy for an all Airbus fleet jeopardized all the ones that expected that Swissair would choose something diferent, about the MD11 going too its just a matter of after Boeing said that they would drop production Swissair had to defend thenselfs too. This will be the last year with Swissair Jumbos. I'll be going to Zurich next September and I hope to get some photos of their Jumbos before they leave!
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Sun Aug 22, 1999 8:06 am

Their MD-11's are for Fedex well at least thats what my airlines to Europe book of 1999 says !!!!

Best Regards

Bradley (luftaom)
Sydney Australia
airliners.net's passenger - simultaneously connecting and flying direct.
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Cedarjet (a New One)

Sun Aug 22, 1999 11:03 am

United pulled out of Zurich and Geneva a few years ago (after the 767 switch). UA was losing a bundle on those routes, as the Swiss like to fly thier flag carrier. I personally think that UA could do very well in both of those markets now since UA has put so much focus onto their IAD hub, expanding departures, etc.

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RE: Swissair Boeing 747-300

Sun Aug 22, 1999 12:20 pm

I don't think the 747 type is the most ideal aircraft for Swissair. Zurich is a central point in Western Europe, but is an expensive place to develop a hub system because of the landing fees and other handling costs. The 747s fly trunk routes out of Zurich and they have to be fed with passengers from other routes.

Swissair is a premium airline flown by executives and rich people. They don't want to waste their time at Zurich Airport terminals. They want to fly direct. Therefore, I don't think the hub-and-spoke system is the best alternative for this airline. It should focus in the Swiss market (non-stop services) and forget the idea of becoming an European distribution point, like London, Frankfurt and Paris.
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RE: Swissair Boeing 747-300

Sun Aug 22, 1999 8:19 pm

Swissair sold three B747-300s to Air Atlanta Iceland which means they have most likely a colorful future!
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RE: Swissair Boeing 747-300

Mon Aug 23, 1999 5:16 am

Hi all,

The official line re: the 747s at SR was that they are now too costly to run and require much maintenance. As an interim measure (until the A340-600s arrive) SR acquired another 4 MD-11s from LTU, all of which are now in service.

Out of the 5 originally in service, only 2 now remain and are flying the daily BOS and ATL routes. The NYC service doesn't need the 747s any more because the frequency is much improved now. (ex ZRH 2 daily MD-11s to JFK, 1 A330-200 to EWR plus of course an almost daily A330-200 BSL-EWR and the daily MD-11 GVA-JFK).

By the way, load factors are pretty good. Overall around 72% and on trans atlantic during the summer holidays that increases to 90+% on most routes. Swissair wouldn't exist in its current form without the LARGE number of transit passengers.

Other scheduled 747s in Zurich ...
South African
Thai (sometimes, otherwise MD-11)

Former recent operators of 747s in Zurich
Air Canada (now A340)
Pakistan (now A310 because they dropped ZRH-JFK)
Malaysian (now 777)

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