SWISS leisure airline Edelweiss Air is to modernise its long-haul fleet with the airline selecting the Airbus A350-900.
The carrier will obtain six of the type which will join the Edelweiss fleet in a staggered manner from summer 2025. By the end of 2026, the existing five Airbus A340-300 long-haul aircraft will be replaced and Edelweiss’ long-haul fleet will be restored to pre-Corona levels
An Edelweiss A340 from the top – but not for much longer – Image, Edelweiss.
The move will give the airline room for growth, with the new aircraft offering a longer range than the existing fleet.
The aircraft, previously operated by LATAM Airlines, will initially have 339 seats and offer the proven Edelweiss comfort in all classes: 246 seats in Economy Class, 63 seats in Economy Max with more legroom and greater reclining angle and 30 seats in Business Class that can be converted into a flatbed.
All passengers will be able to enjoy inflight entertainment with large screens, and USB power at-seat, whilst those in Business Class will have 19″ screens. As for the rest of the cabin, it will be fitted with an Airspace by Airbus cabin, featuring wide aisles and large-capacity baggage bins.
Current plans call for the first Airbus A350-900 in the Edelweiss design to arrive in Zurich in the summer of 2025. Once at its Zurich hub, it will be deployed on Edelweiss’ entire long-haul network. This includes over 20 holiday destinations in North, Central and South America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Indian Ocean.
However, there will be some interesting cabin configurations…
For those looking for something new, the interiors are staying as they are for now. Edelweiss blames this due to worldwide material shortages and reduced maintenance & engineering capacities.
Thus, the first four aircraft will initially operate in the original operator’s configuration with slight modifications to the cabin and Edelweiss design.
Edelweiss will install a completely new cabin configuration with new seats and interior design at a later date.
Edelweiss CEO Bernd Bauer said:
“The modernisation of the long-haul fleet is a milestone in Edelweiss’ almost 30-year history. Edelweiss will thus operate one of the youngest long-haul fleets in Europe from 2026.”
“The design of the Airbus A350-900 sets new standards in efficiency with state-of-the-art technologies and outstanding aerodynamics. It is one of the most environmentally friendly long-haul aircraft in the world,” Bernd Bauer continued. Latest generation engines and the use of lightweight materials make the twin-engine Airbus A350-900 one of the most fuel-efficient wide-body aircraft. It consumes 25 per cent less fuel and produces 25 per cent less CO2 than the four-engine Airbus A340-300, and noise emissions are up to 50 per cent lower.
Jetting off to a new pasture
It was a matter of when, not if Edelweiss Air would upgrade their fleet, given they are in the Lufthansa group of companies, as well as tied at the hip with SWISS. As Lufthansa Group moves to phase out quad-engined aircraft
With SWISS moving to A350s, having the same sort of fleet nearby makes economic sense, allowing for the pooling of parts, knowledge and maintenance, while being able to deliver for their customers.
There are going to be some interesting configurations though, with the LATAM interior being delivered initially, bar some branding changes.
This could be fun.
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