SWISS has announced that over the next 2 years, it will roll out upgrades and enhancements to the long haul fleet, focusing on their A330 and A340 aircraft.
Beginning in December, SWISS will begin to retrofit their 14 Airbus A330 aircraft with Wifi connectivity. Obviously this will not happen overnight, but SWISS anticipates that all of their A330s will have the retrofit complete by the end of 2017. Math suggests that approximately one aircraft per month will be taken out of circulation for a few days to complete the work. WiFi is currently available only on SWISS 777 aircraft.
SWISS has also stated that their A340s will receive the same First Class cabin as the Airbus A330. The big advantage of the newer F product is the increased size of the television screen and an enhanced IFE system. The fact that the seats will be brand new will also go a long way to refresh the cabins and give them a brand new look and feel. WiFi is also planned during this upgrade. SWISS expects that it will take through 2018 to complete this retrofit on their 10 A340 aircraft.
Related: First Class Aboard SWISS A330
Two weeks ago, I was flying from Michigan to Johannesburg via Chicago and Frankfurt which created a very nice and lengthy layover in Frankfurt between my inbound flight from the US and connecting flight to JNB. This routing gave me a unique opportunity take in plane spotting at night when Lufthansa sends a few of their long haulers to Asia and Africa.
On typical trips, I arrive in FRA during early morning hours and my departures for the States typically take place by early afternoon. Having a 10:00p departure from FRA gave me an opportunity to see LH aircraft in a different light, or lack thereof….
While waiting for 10p to roll around, I ‘abandoned’ my wife to the capable hands of the Senator Lounge and set out to walk the length of Concourse Z which is typically where you’ll find most of LH’s long haul activity, especially at night. Fortunately the glass was clean enough and glare was manageable so that the pictures actually turned out quite well.
747-8i, D-ABYL, ahead of her flight to Hong Kong
Another look at ‘Yankee Lima’
D-AISL, an Airbus A321, would head to Amman, Jordan
D-AISR, an Airbus A321, would head off to Bucharest, Romania.
D-AIGO, an Airbus A343, would head off to Qingdao-Shenyang
This would be our ride to Johannesburg. ‘D-AIMB’ aka Munchen is an Airbus A380, and is outfitted with the fantastic new Business cabin…..
Another look at ‘Michael Bravo’
D-AIMF, or ‘Zurich’ would head to Singapore.
In this final installment that covers Lufthansa’s recent announcement concerning the Long Haul Fleet for 2015, I look at changes taking place to the A330/A340 fleet. If you missed my previous posts concerning these updates here are the links: PART I (747-400) , PART II (A380) , PART III (747-8i). For the new seating charts reflecting Premium Economy across the fleet, please visit this post containing all the maps.
Starting with the A340-300, beginning on April 27, cabin configuration will change from 42 Business / 225 Economy to 30 Business / 249 Economy seats on the following routes:
Frankfurt – Atlanta
Frankfurt – Bangkok (On June 3 will change to 30 Business / 28 Premium Economy / 221 Economy)
Frankfurt – Chennai
Frankfurt – Dallas
Frankfurt – Dubai
Frankfurt – Kuala Lumpur (On June 3 will change to 30 Business / 28 Premium Economy / 221 Economy)
Frankfurt – Montreal (Beginning on July 3)
Frankfurt – Nagoya (On June 3 will change to 30 Business / 28 Premium Economy / 221 Economy)
Frankfurt – Nanjing
Frankfurt – Philadelphia (Beginning on April 29)
Frankfurt – Shenyang
For A340-300s that are based in Dusseldorf, they will switch on May 4 from 42 Business / 225 Economy to 42 Business / 28 Premium Economy / 181 Economy seats on the following routes:
Dusseldorf – Chicago
Dusseldorf – Newark
Turning to the A340-600s in the fleet, several changes are in store for the routes they fly:
Beginning on May 14, A340-600 flying on the following routes will change from 8 First Class / 56 Business Class / 217 Economy to 8 First Class / 44 Business Class / 245 Economy Class seats. Then on June 15 the cabin configuration will change to 8 First / 44 Business / 32 Premium Economy / 213 Economy seats:
Munich – Boston
Munich – Chicago
The A340-600 will debut a 4 class cabin (8 First / 44 Business / 32 Premium Economy / 213 Economy seats) on May 12 for the following routes:
Munich – Beijing
Munich – Los Angeles
Munich – Mexico City
Munich – Newark
Munich – San Francisco
Munich – Sao Paulo
Beginning on July 27 the same cabin configuration will debut on:
Munich – New York (JFK)
Beginning on August 20 the same cabin configuration will debut on:
Frankfurt – Bogota
Frankfurt – Detroit
Frankfurt – Tehran
For certain Premium Economy Routes that are scheduled to start in January from Munich, there will be a minor cabin layout adjustment. Initially these A340-600s will be configured with 8 First / 56 Business / 28 Premium Economy / 189 Economy seats. The cabin layout on the following routes will change to 8 First / 44 Business / 32 Premium Economy / 213 Economy seats:
Munich – Tokyo (HND) beginning on March 29
Munich – Hong Kong beginning on May 14
Munich – Seoul(ICN) beginning on May 14
Munich – Shanghai beginning on May 14
The A330 – 300 seating chart will change on May 1 from 8 First / 48 Business 161 Economy seats to 8 First / 36 Business / 193 Economy seats for the following routes.
Munich – Boston (Until May 15 when a 3 class A340-600 take over, followed by a 4 class A340 on June 15)
Munich – Charlotte
Munich – Dubai
Munich – Mumbai
Munich – New York JFK
Munich – Riyadh
Munich – Toronto
Munich – Vancouver (beginning May 14)
Munich – Washington Dulles
I know that this is a lot of information to digest, so in the event that you need more details or a deeper explanation of the changes and how they may impact your travels, please leave a comment or contact me directly.