When flight LX7545 arrived in Zurich after a short hop from Geneva on August 15, it marked the end of an era in SWISS aviation. With the completion of this flight came the retirement of SWISS’ last Avro RJ100 aircraft, one of 21 that had served SWISS dutifully for 15 years. In addition to the RJ100, SWISS had also operated 4 of RJ85 variant.
During its 2 decades of service, this workhorse earned the nickname of ‘Jumbolino’ due to the fact that it hung 4 engines from its wings as it sought to imitate much larger aircraft even though it served as a short haul specialist.
SWISS’ last RJ100 arrives to a water cannon salute after completing its final flight. (Photo Credit: SWISS).
According to SWISS, the RJ100 fleet flew over 700,000 hours and operated well over a half-million flights during its successful tenure with the airline.
The retirement of the Jumbolino was primarily due to the addition of Bombardier C-series aircraft to the fleet. With the C-series, SWISS gains substantial operational improvement and capacity over the RJ100. Currently there are 10 C-Series (8 of the -100, and 2 of the -300 variant), with plans for 20 more to join the fleet by the end of next year.
3 RJ100s remain in service with Brussels Airlines but their retirement is planned before the end of the year. Lufthansa Group will no longer operate the aircraft type after SN retires their 3 birds.
Lufthansa and SWISS are currently offering a fantastic fare for travel from Paris to California in Business Class. In looking over valid travel dates, it appears that the fares are available into early next year. However, it looks like the fares are valid for travel on Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday. Going into 2018, the fare seems to only work for Monday travel. Regardless, you can book a roundtrip ticket for only $1993.
Since this is not an advertised sale, I don’t know how long the fare will last, or if in fact it is an error fare which can be removed at any time.
As with any fare published by Lufthansa, the same pricing would apply to flights operated by other Star Alliance carriers that flight the same route.
Swiss has announced that it will be closing the Senator and Business Class Lounges located in Zurich’s Terminal A.
The closing is scheduled for August 27, and will last through April 2018.
According to SWISS, once the renovations are complete the Lounges will reflect the styling and concept of the Lounges that are located in Terminal E. In addition, more seating will be installed and workstations will be updated with modern amenities. So it will be worth the wait!
For now, passengers can use the Lounges located in Terminal B and E. Star Alliance Gold members, along with Miles & More Senators and those traveling in Lufthansa Group Business Class can also use the Aspire Lounge and ‘Coffee To Fly’.
Miles & More Frequent Travelers and Star Alliance Business Class passengers can use the SWISS Lounges, but cannot access the Aspire or Coffee To Fly lounge options.
Due to the ratcheting up of security measures instituted by the TSA at airports worldwide, passengers bound for the USA are being asked to arrive at the airport earlier than normal to account for the extra scrutiny.
Specific to Lufthansa, it is asking passengers flying to the USA from Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, and Munich to be at the airport at least an hour prior to their flight if flying in Economy or Premium Economy, and 40 minutes prior if flying in Business or First Class. LH is referring to this as the minimum time needed for ‘Check-In Acceptance’.
It may be a good idea to make sure you check in to your flight before coming to the airport. Easy to do via Lufthansa.com or the LH App. This way you can bypass the check-in process at the airport and head straight to your gate.
According to LH, this additional time requirement is not being instituted at any other airport where Lufthansa Group flights depart for the USA. Their press release also suggests that your small electronic devices may be subject to additional scrutiny before you are allowed to board your flight. That however, is a small price to pay for the ability to at least take your electronics on board.
Minimum connection times at the affected airports will not change.
The release did mention SWISS flights from Zurich, and is asking passengers bound for the USA to show up in ZRH at least 3 hours ahead of departure.
Swiss has extended their current promotion for First Class travel to most of Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East. The promo basically a 2-for-1 with fares ranging between €2200 and €3000 ( £1900 and £2600). Perhaps the best deal is the €2400 fare to Shanghai or the €2900 fare to Sao Paolo.
The sale has been extended and now ends on 12 July 2017. Valid travel dates for this deal extend all the way out to 31 March 2018 so there is plenty of availability for the deal.
So, as long as you can originate your travel from the UK, you can take advantage of this decent offer. Keep in mind you flights from the UK to Zurich will be in Business Class and can include flights operated by Lufthansa or Austrian that ultimately get you to ZRH.
If you play your cards right, you can book your UK flight to Frankfurt via Lufthansa, visit the First Class Terminal, and then fly to Zurich where you can enjoy the SWISS First Class Lounge before your First Class flight!
SWISS’ new First Class Lounge in Zurich
Alone In SWISS’ First Class Cabin