Matt D
Topic Author
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am

What Happened To Swiss World Air?

Thu Dec 02, 1999 7:44 am's one. I don't really follow the non US airline scene too closely, but here's one maybe one of you can help me with. I remember back in '97 or '98, on a trip to EWR, I saw a 767-300, Swiss World Airlines. I had never heard of them before, nor seen the plane since (not at LAX anyway.) I thought it had a nice livery. Can anyone give me some info on them? Are they still around? What fleet did they have? Where can I see pix of them?
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RE: What Happened To Swiss World Air?

Thu Dec 02, 1999 7:51 am

Swiss World flew 767-200s (yes, -200s) from EWR to Geneva, I believe.

Despite high load factors, the venture somehow failed. They no longer operate.

Swiss World was formed by the French-speaking part of Switzerland as an alternative to traveling abroad via Zurich, in German-speaking Switzerland.
Free-thinking, left-leaning secularist
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Joined: Sat Jun 12, 1999 5:47 am

RE: What Happened To Swiss World Air?

Thu Dec 02, 1999 8:04 am

Swiss World also had leased a 757-200, and the aircraft was painted in their livery just before operations were stopped. I don't think it ever flew though.
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RE: What Happened To Swiss World Air?

Thu Dec 02, 1999 10:10 am

Swiss World, only lasted a couple of months.
They started with a B767-200, and was supoused to lease a B757-200, but
closed its doors before it got delivered.
They had plans to start transatlantic flights with the B737-700.
But as SwissAir knows, its not enough traffic from Geneva, to support the
available seats.
So they went out of business.

RE: What Happened To Swiss World Air?

Thu Dec 02, 1999 10:26 am

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Jurgen Verharen

Here's the Swiss World 757-200. PH-AHK, A.K.A. 24291, my namesake. It's now serving Air Holland with the same registration.

It used to be N916AW--America West's original ARIZONA theme jet. HP gave up the lease in late '97. It went to Swiss World very briefly before being turned over to Air Holland.

I hear Air Holland is in a bit of trouble now.
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Joined: Mon Jun 21, 1999 8:53 pm

The 767-200 Story/saga

Thu Dec 02, 1999 12:39 pm

The 767-200 used by Swiss World was the first 767 delivered to Air New Zealand in the 80's. It was registered ZK-NBA.

Air New Zealand wouldn't mind standardising thier 767 fleet to 767-300ERs so the 200s are off to anyone who will lease them.

NBA was placed with Ansett Australia for their international operations, but when the Asian crisis hit home Ansett began reducing its international routes and now only fly thier new build 767-300ER (VH-BZF And it's a stunning aircraft inside if you ever get a ride on it domestically in Australia). Therefore Ansett leased the aircraft to Swiss World.

When Swiss World was going broke Air New Zealand sent people to London to litigate the return of the aircraft and if my memory serves me correctly BA ground handled in the US and wanted to seize the aircraft or at least bits off it.

Anyway it turned up outside my office oneday in Auckland and stayed for a few days before returning to Melbourne. It later entered the Richmond Airforce base paintshop at Sydney and was painted in the Air New Zealand livery before returning to service as ZK-NBA once again.

I flew SYD-AKL in October in that aircraft and it had the old style Air New Zealand seats which were rather rudimentary (to make matters worse we sat on the tarmac for two hours waiting for a thunder storm to pass). The seat problem is a six month lead time - but I think Air NZ doesn't want to keep the aircraft in service long term and I wonder if this aircraft is leased to LOT for the Northern summer.
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RE: What Happened To Swiss World Air?

Fri Dec 03, 1999 6:00 am

Swiss World Airlines was a Geneva based airline which operated one Boeing 767-200 and was just to receive a Boeing 757-200.
Swiss World offered it's passengers high quality Bussines Class and an Economy Class where the pax had to pay their meals and drinks extra.
After many internal problems, the F/As didn't get their salary on time..., the management collapsed. That was the actual end of Swiss World, but maybe they will start operations again...
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RE: What Happened To Swiss World Air?

Fri Dec 03, 1999 6:43 am

Actually there is enough traffic between geneva and new york. Swissair operates a daily M-11 on this route.
The flight is called the ''UN-Shuttle'' because the headquarters of the united nations are in geneva and new york.
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Here's What Happened

Fri Dec 03, 1999 10:00 am

Swissair used to fly many long-haul routes from Geneva, but operating long haul from two cities a few hundred miles apart (if that) was cumbersome and unproductive, so after decades of evaluation, they finally bit the bullet and moved everything to Zurich (maintaining only the now infamous SR110/111 New York link, aka the UN Shuttle). Geneva was absolutely horrified, since it's long haul links were a big reason for it's high standing in the international community. Plus, French-speaking Switzerland has always been a little bit resentful of the German-speaking community (Zurich)'s hegemony in Swiss politics etc. The Swissair withdrawal was seen as part of a deliberate ploy to undermine Geneva and the French-speaking regions.

So a bunch of Geneva-based businessmen decided to start their own airline, and it was a very good idea. Just because Swissair consolidated their operation in Zurich didn't mean that their Geneva flights had flown empty or anything. Anyway, in the wake of the SR withdrawal there were dozens of lucrative long-haul destinations they could have flown to: Washington being the obvious one, also Dubai, Tel Aviv, Rio, Singapore and Tokyo. So which one do they serve? THE ONE CITY SWISSAIR MAINTAINED SERVICE TO! And whoever said Swiss World's load factors were high was talking out of his arse, since if this was the case, Swiss World would still be with us. No, they were running load factors of about 20%. A 757 would have been way too big. Who would you fly with, one of the world's top three airlines (SR) or some unknown where you had to pay for your meal (!) and fly into the US's most congested airport (while SR use the relatively smooth-flowing JFK)?

It amazes me that Swiss World were offered a monopoly on routes to and from one of the world's most wealthy cities, and blew it in such spectacular fashion. I mean, why start up on the ONE ROUTE where there is competition? They started up to fill the city's desperate need for air transport, and chose to serve just one single route, the only one that already had a well-established daily widebody flight. Morons.

Anyway, that was that. It's a miracle they lasted as long as they did. Bye bye idiots.

Talking of well established: it's the UN Shuttle, how many other flights in the world have a nickname known to the whole industry? I can think of: The Kosher Klipper (New York to Miami), the Kangaroo Route (Sydney to London)...mmm, there must be a couple of others.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz

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