SWISS will be ushering-in a new era in the history of its long-haul aircraft fleet next January with the arrival of the first of its nine new Boeing 777-300ERs. In SWISS configuration these new state of the art Boeing aircraft will seat a handsome 340 passengers.
In SWISS’s configuration the Boeing 777-300ER will offer eight in First Class seats, an impressive 62 in Business Class and 270 in Economy. And the totally-redesigned cabin interior of the new SWISS flagship will provide comfort and aesthetics to meet the most discerning of demands in all three seating classes.
Designed by London based Priestmangoode, the design agency had their hand in reimagining the carriers iconic First Class, Business Class, monuments, galleys, entrances as well as consulting on trim and finish in Economy Class. The designs may feel familiar and there is good reason for this. PriestmanGoode actually has a long-standing relationship with SWISS and designed the airline’s A330 First Class cabin back in 2009. The new designs are a natural evolution of those award-winning cabins and “aim to provide passengers with an enhanced version of the previous seat with more space, storage and privacy whilst maintaining key elements of the brand identity.” say PriestmanGoode.
The sleek contemporary residential feel in both First Class and Business Class is created by swathes of wooden veneer, rich deep textured fabric, and colour palettes that sit comfortable in the neutral and masculine colour spectrum, with a myriad of personal lighting options to further enhance the homely feel of the cabins.
The SWISS First seat (formed in 2 rows of 1 x 2 x 1 seating) will be transformable into the occupant’s own private suite that includes a 32-inch screen, the largest in the industry. SWISS First guests will also enjoy electrically-adjustable window blinds and their own personal wardrobe. Priestmangoode also employed acoustic materials including soft walls, woven fabric bulkheads and curtain screens to offer an even more quiet cabin.
Other features of the First Class seat include a two metre fully flat bed, three privacy modes that include fully open, semi-open or fully enclosed – which are created by pulling the door open of the individual wardrobe, and over 50% in personal storage compared with the previous incarnation of the seat and a perforated wood panel and bespoke reading lamp carry the design language from the SWISS airport lounge on to the aircraft. Passengers will also have access to two toilets now in first class.
Our favourite element is the Corian cocktail table surface which has integrated mood lighting to add that ‘precious feel’ of the cabin and highlights the attention both Priestmangoode and SWISS have to detail.
The Business Class cabin features seats developed from the airline’s previous Business Class seat, which was designed bespoke for SWISS. The colours and materials palette has been updated to tie in with the First Class cabin and offer a consistent design language throughout the aircraft. Key features like headphone hangers and straps for storing tablets/magazines have been added to create a comfortable and practical environment. Personal stowage has also increased considerably.
The seat itself sits somewhere between the Thompson Vantage and Vantage XL products, found on competing carriers. However with a few clever design finishes, Swiss’s business class product now feels like a micro-first class, with enhanced privacy due to the partitions between seats, although there are still a few seats which don’t offer aisle access. The good news, as always, is all the seats in the SWISS Business cabin can also be quickly and easily converted into a lie-flat bed that is over two metres long.
Comprised in rows of 2 x 2 x 1 seating, there are still the popular throne seats situated by the windows, which offer the greatest privacy and feature their own wooden veneer panel situated on the aisle to increase the privacy of what will become the ‘best seats in the house’. All seats will over a 16″ touchscreen, and a secondary screen found in the handset of each seat, which will offer useful information, and increase ease of use of the IFE.
The best seats will be in rows 3 and 4, which is a smaller cabin of Business Class seats, situated just behind First Class. Aim for 3A or 4K if you are a solo traveller
Sadly Swiss has brought in the narrower seat layout, featuring 10 across, with 3 x 4 x 3 seating through the cabin. But the good news is the trim and finish has also been updated in Economy Class. SWISS is one of the only airlines in the world to feature a light coloured seat in economy.
The good news doesn’t stop there. Economy class passengers will be able to enjoy a large personal touchscreen. The biggest development is the introduction of a new walk-up bar. Outside the regular cabin service, all SWISS Economy guests will be able to make use of a self-service kiosk offering a wide range of drinks and snacks.
All nine Boeing 777-300ERs will also feature wireless internet via a broadband connection, enabling passengers to surf or send emails on their laptop, tablet or smartphone device. “With our new Boeing 777-300ERs we will be setting new benchmarks in terms of our guests’ overall comfort and travel experience,” says SWISS CEO Harry Hohmeister. “And on top of that, with their state-of-the-art engines, our new twinjets will give us substantial savings in fuel consumption and carbon emissions terms.”
Completing the residential feel, SWISS have an entrance to the aircraft that is treated like a reception, creating a welcoming area as you board the plane. It features an illuminated welcome panel, and the illuminated world map in a wood finish mirrors that in the reception of the SWISS lounges at Zurich airport.
In First and Business Class, the front bulkhead features a Matterhorn print, referencing Switzerland’s most famous mountainscape as well as featuring fully customised lavatories to continue the design aesthetic including the SWISS European oak signature finish.
Nigel Goode, Co-Founding Director of PriestmanGoode comments “SWISS has always been a world class airline, and their commitment to the passenger is exemplary. We are very happy to have worked with them again, enhancing our previous award-winning design to create an even better, more comfortable experience. We took inspiration from Switzerland’s design and craft heritage, as well as SWISS’ own brand identity, including the airline’s headquarters and flagship lounges in Zurich. The resulting cabins are luxurious, elegant and timeless with a lightness of touch, precise craftsmanship and attention to detail that embody the SWISS brand.”
We love this new product, it’s clean, contemporary, functional and inherently SWISS. There is something Iconic about swiss interiors, that lift the carrier to a design carrier echelon, and instead of opting for off-the-shelf products, the carrier has invested into producing something that will provide their customers with an excellent inflight experience, no matter what class they fly.
But where will it fly?
The Boeing 777-300ER offers the ideal range to serve SWISS’s farthest destinations non-stop from Switzerland. From the 2016 summer schedules onwards, the new aircraft will be deployed primarily on services to Hong Kong, Bangkok and Los Angeles. San Francisco, São Paulo and Tel Aviv will also receive Boeing 777 service several times a week.
The first six SWISS Airbus A340s will be withdrawn with the arrival of the more fuel efficient replacement Boeing 777-300ER fleet. Three further A340s will be replaced by new Boeing 777-300ERs between 2017 and 2018. These A340 aircraft will be transferred to SWISS’s sister carrier Edelweiss.
The Big Picture