Yesterday marked an end of an era for Swiss International Airlines – with the airline withdrawing it’s last Avro RJ from front-line service.
— Swiss Intl Air Lines (@FlySWISS) August 15, 2017
HB-IYZ was the last aircraft to be withdrawn, operating the short hop between the Swiss hubs of Geneva and Zurich, performing a special flight between the two cities, and greeted with a water cannon salute.
Michael Weisser, Captain and Avro fleet chief for Swiss states:
“Making this final landing at our home airport aboard an Avro was a very emotional experience for me! The taking out of service of the Avro aircraft marks the end of an era in the history of aviation in Switzerland”
Swiss has used the Avro RJ/BAe 146 since the airline commenced operations in 2002 out of the ashes of SwissAir and CrossAir. At its peak, the airline had 21 Avro RJ aircraft in its European fleet.
HB-IBZ started operates with Crossair in 1998, and formed part of the founding part of SwissAir. The airline has been moved around various subsidiaries – Swiss European Airlines and Swiss Global Air Lines.
Some of these aircraft have found new homes, whilst some have been parted out and scrapped.
For now, the future of regional and smaller aircraft operations is in the hands of Bombardier and their CSeries family of aircraft – with Swiss operating both the CS100 and the CS300. Ten CSeries aircraft are currently in the fleet, with another 20 to join by the end of 2018.
Meanwhile, European operator of the Avro RJ/BAe 146 list is thinning out slowly, with Brussels Airlines, CityJet and Braathens Regional Aviation being the last operators in the region.
The time of the quad-engined short-haul jet is slowly coming to an end as Swiss moves to newer aircraft.
Header image – Swiss International Airlines HB-IBZ arriving at Zurich after its final flight with the airline – Image, Swiss via Twitter
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