Swiss International Air Lines became the first airline in the world to operate the new Bombardier C Series today when its first CS100 aircraft took off from Zurich on its first commercial flight, as LX638 to Paris Charles de Gaulle.
The new jet left Zurich for Paris Charles de Gaulle after an appropriate inauguration ceremony at the departure gate. The new Bombardier C Series will gradually replace the present Avro RJ100s on Swiss’s short- and medium-haul routes between now and July 2017.
The historic first Bombardier C Series flight was duly celebrated at the gate before its departure.
Swiss Chief Commercial Officer Markus Binkert presented a special certificate to mark the occasion to passenger Thomas Marks Lee, the world record holder for first flights on a new aircraft type. This was followed by the traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was performed together with Dominique Rinderknecht, Miss Switzerland of 2013.
The CS100, which was named Kanton Zürich last week, was fully booked for its first-ever commercial flight.
“I am extremely proud that we are the first airline in the world to put this totally newly-developed aircraft into service,” said Swiss CCO Markus Binkert. “The Bombardier CS100 is a class act in every respect: comfort, economics and environmental credentials. And its service entry today ushers in a new era in short- and medium-haul air travel, for our customers in particular.”
Swiss has ordered 30 Bombardier C Series aircraft in all – 15 CS100s and 15 of the bigger CS300.
The new aircraft will primarily replace the present Swiss Avro RJ100s between now and mid-2017. This will be followed by further C Series deliveries which will partly replace other aircraft types and partly permit some modest growth of the Swiss short- and medium-haul fleet.
In addition to Paris Charles de Gaulle, Manchester, Prague and Budapest will be the first Swiss destinations to receive Bombardier CS100 service. They will be joined by Warsaw and Brussels at the end of August, and by Nice, Stuttgart, Hanover, Milan, Florence and Bucharest in September. Further points currently served with Avro RJ100 equipment will switch to C Series operation with each successive delivery. The Zurich-London City route is scheduled to change to C Series service in the first quarter of next year.