Swiss Boeing 777-300ER Cabins & Routes Announced

Swiss is arguably Europe’s most well regarded airline. No, they don’t have the global reach of Air France, British Airways, or Lufthansa, but they are very well regarded for the niche they fill. They are, after all, known as the “premium” airline of the Lufthansa group. Personally I like Swiss but don’t love them — I find service to be a bit hit or miss, and I don’t think they have a great business class hard product.

Also keep in mind that Swiss is one of the most exclusive airlines when it comes to first class award tickets — Swiss restricts first class awards exclusively to Senator and HON Circle members of the Miles & More program.

That being said, Swiss is in the process of refreshing their longhaul fleet. Presently their longhaul fleet consists exclusively of Airbus A330s and A340s, though soon Swiss will be taking delivery of their first of nine Boeing 777-300ERs. This is one of the most efficient twin engine planes out there, and is really the backbone of many airlines’ longhaul fleet.

Swiss-777

Now Swiss has finally unveiled the cabin interiors we can expect to see on their new 777-300ERs. The new Swiss 777-300ERs will feature a total of 340 seats, spread across three cabins as follows:

  • 8 first class seats
  • 62 business class seats
  • 270 economy class seats

Here’s a short YouTube video showing the three cabins of service on Swiss’ new Boeing 777-300ER:

Across the board, the upgrades in all cabins seem to be “evolution” as opposed to “revolution.” In other words, they’re more or less keeping the “bones” of the old cabins, though are upgrading them slightly.

Swiss First Class Boeing 777-300ER

To start, here’s what Swiss’ first class looks like on the Airbus A330:

Swiss-First-Class-2

Meanwhile below are pictures of the new first class cabin. The cabin will continue to have just eight first class seats, spread across two rows in a 1-2-1 configuration.

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As you can see, though, they are doing quite a few updates to the seats. First of all, the 777 is considerably wider than the A330, so you can expect the cabin to feel much more spacious, given that you have the same number of seats distributed across a wider cabin.

What’s also interesting to note is that Swiss will have electric blinds in first class, much like British Airways has. Furthermore, the new first class seats will be fully enclosed, with a door. Swiss’ A330 first class just had a shield which extended, but didn’t close fully.

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But possibly the coolest part of the new first class product has to be that there seems to be a door between first & business class. I thought Lufthansa’s A380 first class “sliding” curtains were something, but this is just awesome.

Here’s how Swiss describes the new first class product:

The SWISS First seat will be transformable into the occupant’s own private suite that includes a 32-inch screen, the largest in the industry. SWISS First guests will also enjoy electrically-adjustable window blinds and their own personal wardrobe.

Swiss Business Class Boeing 777-300ER

Here’s what Swiss’ business class looks like on the A330:

Swiss-Business-Class-A330-03

Swiss’ new business class looks somewhat similar to the Vantage-style staggered seats they have on their Airbus fleet. However, it seems to be quite a bit more private and spacious. If you look at the area around the feet, it looks like there’s not just a small cutout anymore, so you’ll have lots more room when in the bed position. That’s great news.

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The entry area of the plane also looks really nice.

Swiss-777300ER-New-08

Here’s how Swiss describes the new business class product:

SWISS Business travellers will enjoy an inflight product that has been further enhanced and refined on the basis of customer feedback. The seating arrangement offers optimum privacy and freedom of movement, while the seat cushion’s firmness can be individually regulated. All the seats in the SWISS Business cabin can also be quickly and easily converted into a lie-flat bed that is over two metres long.

Swiss Economy Class Boeing 777-300ER

Economy on the Swiss 777 is what you’d expect. There are 10 seats per row, which is regrettably becoming the norm, but that’s hardly surprising. That being said, the cabin has a nice color scheme, and the monitors appear to be quite large.

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It looks like they might also have a self service bar setup for economy passengers in the back of the cabin.

Swiss-777300ER-New-10

Here’s how Swiss describes the new economy class product:

With new seat-cushion technology and further innovations that include a large personal touchscreen, SWISS Economy customers can also look forward to a new air travel experience. Outside the regular cabin service, all SWISS Economy guests will be able to make use of a self-service kiosk offering a wide range of drinks and snacks. All nine Boeing 777-300ERs will also feature wireless internet via a broadband connection, enabling passengers to surf or send emails on their laptop, tablet or smartphone device. “With our new Boeing 777-300ERs we will be setting new benchmarks in terms of our guests’ overall comfort and travel experience,” says SWISS CEO Harry Hohmeister.

Swiss 777-300ER routes

On which routes should we expect to see the Swiss 777-300ER?

The Boeing 777-300ER offers the ideal range to serve SWISS’s farthest destinations non-stop from Switzerland. From the 2016 summer schedules onwards, the new aircraft will be deployed primarily on services to Hong Kong, Bangkok and Los Angeles. And San Francisco, São Paulo and Tel Aviv will also receive Boeing 777 service several times a week.

So starting in summer 2016, Swiss will primarily be deploying the 777-300ERs to Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Los Angeles, and then will also be rotating them in on frequencies to San Francisco, Sao Paulo, and Tel Aviv. None of those choices are surprising, really.

The above is the permanent route plane. However, it looks like Swiss will be deploying the 777-300ER on shorter routes prior to next summer. Per airlineroute.net, the 777-300ER is scheduled for the following flights:

  • Zurich to New York February 21 through March 25, 2016
  • Zurich to Montreal starting March 27, 2016
  • Zurich to Hong Kong 3x weekly starting April 10, 2016
  • Zurich to Los Angeles starting June 9, 2016

The logic of flying it to New York and Montreal first is probably that it can do more rotations that way. It’s possible to do a daily roundtrip between Zurich and Montreal/New York with a single aircraft, though that’s not possible if flying to the west coast.

Bottom line

Kudos to Swiss on their new Boeing 777-300ERs. Ultimately there’s nothing they’re doing with the plane that’s revolutionary. That being said, the 777-300ER is a plane which more or less sells itself, given how fuel efficient it is, and how comfortable of a ride it provides. And that’s especially true in comparison to the A340-300 (which Swiss is using the 777 to replace), which is a gas guzzler.

Too bad most of us won’t easily see the first class cabin of the Swiss 777 due to the restrictions on redeeming miles for it.

What do you make of Swiss’ new 777-300ER?

Comments

  1. How is Tel Aviv one of SWISS’s farthest destinations? It must be 4-5 hrs from ZRH, no?

  2. Wow, those video screens in First Class look enormous, and I really like that the seats are now fully enclosed suites. The cabin seems really private.

    Is the 777-300ER considerably more fuel efficient than the -200?

  3. What I find interesting is how inconsistent the new business seats will be. They’re going to have:

    (a) “Throne” seats along both sides with dual consoles and aisle access
    (b) “Mini-throne” seats in the centre block with 1 single + 1 shared console and aisle access
    (c) Exposed seats in the centre and side blocks with only a shared console but aisle access
    (d) Window seats in the side blocks with only a shared console and no aisle access

    That’s quite a difference in hard product depending on which position you choose. I wouldn’t be a happy customer if I got crammed into the small centre seat while my neighbour enjoys a spacious mini-throne with all that extra storage.

  4. The other thing I find interesting is the routes they’ve announced. If the point of getting the 777 is to reduce fuel costs, you’d think replacing the A340 on long routes like SIN would be the priority. ZRH-SIN and ZRH-HKG are also premium-heavy routes with competition from top-tier carriers, so offering a decent product should be a priority. ZRH-SFO, on the other hand, is a monopoly route and could tolerate the old A340 better.

  5. @Lantean TLV is actually a strong C market for Swiss (they don’t even sell F on the route only M&M elites can choose them at the airport). They are among the only airlines to operate long-haul aircraft & cabins (vs others who use intra-europe ones) so it def makes sense to deploy it there sometimes, esp. when demand is high around holidays. I took the 5am TLV-ZRH flight a couple of months ago and C was completely full.

  6. It seems nice. How would you go about booking J class with, say, Air Canada miles? What are the patterns with Swiss releasing business class seats? I think Travis wrote about his friend Boston Bob getting 5 award seats, so presumably there’s a way to get award seats with some notice.

  7. Lantean, for as long as i can remember, Swiss has always deployed wide body aircraft on their Tel Aviv flights. Back in the 70’s & ’80s plying the route with their DC-10-30’s, then MD-11’s and ultimately their A340 & 330. SWISS has a lot of transit traffic in ZRH to and from Tel Aviv. Its actually a 3:45 hrs flight.

  8. Anyone happen to notice the discrete doors in the back of first class, closing off first class from the rest of the aircraft ? I guess no more sneaking into the F Class lavatory for the biz class pass seated in the min cabin behind First.

  9. The overview of the Business class cabin has the aesthetics of a 1990’s call centre, continuing the dated
    austere office look!

  10. i know we cant book first class awards. Any way to upgrade business class awards via cash or miles? Looking to spend some aero plan miles

  11. @Arcanum – I suspect the C throne seats will be reserved for M&M elites and most of us won’t get those anyway.

    Since there is no way to upgrade to F, it sort of takes the shine off the whole thing, but the seats do look better in all classes.

  12. The business class seat seems to be built on the same “bones” as ANA’s Square seats with quite a lot of customization going on. Looks very nice, I always like light tones in the cabin, this one is similar in design scheme to SAS’s recently revamped business class interiors too.

    Not sure how they can get away with doors separating First and Business in the front cabin, I’m quite sure there is some safety requirement preventing that but if true its a very good idea. Seat itself seems quite standard for modern First class, nothing groundbreaking just comfortable.

    Economy is a squeeze as long expected…although I’m very surprised at lack of Premium Eco. Not sure SWISS gets enough traffic to fill 270 seats in the back. A say 32 seat Premium Eco section with a 230-ish normal Eco makes more sense given their route profile.

  13. Another airline goes 3-4-3 with the 777 in economy 🙁

    It’s getting harder and harder to avoid!

  14. @ Apu — Heh, they do have a few fifth freedom routes, though it doesn’t seem like any of them are scheduled to be operated by the 777 as of now.

  15. @ Christian — Aeroplan is a great option, since they don’t impose fuel surcharges for travel on Swiss. Swiss is rather inconsistent when it comes to releasing award space. Sometimes you’ll see tons of space, sometimes very little. As a general rule of thumb, to North America you’ll find the most award seats to Boston and Montreal.

  16. @ BrooklynBoy — Well the -300ER is longer range than the -200, and is also good for higher density markets, since it really hits a “sweet spot” in terms of capacity. Ultimately fuel efficiency depends on many factors, but it is a very versatile plane.

  17. I guess you’ll just have to pony out the $$$ for a First Class ticket like the rest of us non-Americans who can’t poach our ways through signup bonuses. There are some attractive First Class fares from Scandinavia and the rest of Europe, where you can fly SWISS First Class.

  18. Very nice update to the A340. Will be a bit nicer ride with the new F seat for those of us flying up front to California and Asia.

  19. @Arcanum I doubt Swiss would put a 777 on ZHR-SIN for the simple reason that they probably don’t get a lot of business on their flight from premium passengers because their competing with Singapore Airlines A380 which has a far superior first class (Suites) and a more premium service for all classes one could possibly compare Singapore Economy service to Swiss Business Class Service (Note it does not include the seat and food just attentiveness) I don’t even know why Swiss still flies that route given they codeshare with that SQ flight and sell it when you want to buy a flight from ZHR-SIN

  20. Lucky….this is OMAAT…we neither need nor want pictures or descriptions of Y, not on any airline or equipment 🙂

  21. @Flyinryan~ have to disagree! Many readers wish to have a look at Y offerings, no matter how cursory! The focus remains on premium cabins which is the main interest for most. Not many would squander miles on Y seats I would agree. I think the balance is about right!

  22. Thanks for the comparisons with its current A330/340s! I really feel that Swiss has felt short of expectation, and all cabin classes saw little innovation. They definitely adopt the motto of the Lufthansa group – how to make more money through innovation, rather than comfort through innovation? First class is still nice with that Swiss design touch. However business class is just disappointing, as they simply pretty much improve on their partner airline – Austrian Airlines’ Boeing 777 business class with the five abreast seating arrangement, and the cutoff at the feet seem to be better than their current A330/340s. However, the seats look as narrow as their A330/340s. It is no longer acceptable for a first world airline to not to have direct aisle access on every business class seats, especially a luxury brand like Swiss. It goes with ten abreast in Y, but my question is can Swiss fill up a huge Y cabin like its partner, Lufthansa? I guess Swiss plans to release many cheap seats, or transition into a more hybrid leisure/business carrier. But ten abreast Y is a major turn off especially Swiss does not have a premium economy cabin to attract business travelers, who have to fly economy.
    Swiss has to compete with many big names, as most airlines put their best premium products on their Zurich and Geneva flights. Even AA uses its new 767s with all direct aisle access business class on their ZRH to JFK flights. This product is still behind… Other than loyalty, I will not see people rushing to fly this 777-300ERs, especially if they are in economy.
    Very disappointing!

  23. You can still use your miles to upgrade a paid business class ticket, mind you aeroplan miles are only good for flex tickets. The current F product is still awesome, had great flights from YUL and back 2 weeks ago. I do find that SWISS should update the F lounge. Its getting dated a little.

    Changes I see in F:
    – No more little touch screen with the seat adjustments. Makes sense, most people where overwhelm by all the adjustments.
    – Glad they are keeping the companion seat.
    – Nice to have some more storage, that was an issue.
    – Blinds are a nice touch.
    – The table seems smaller, but I think thats just because everything else is bigger.
    – Door between C and F… thats amazing.
    – Glad they put a screen mesh between the seats and the outer walls, lost a few items back there 🙂
    – Not sure how the table pops out, seems like you don’t have to flip open the wooden arm rest anymore.

    I don’t understand the comments about service in business, sure service in F is great but 30% or so of my flights are in business and I always get great service. You can’t seriously compare the service of AA or United with SWISS…

  24. Question

    The 777’s are beautiful but swiss only ordered 9 and have 15 A340’s so are they going to refit the remaining airbus planes or just leave them in the old state that they have been in. I know some are going to Swiss’ subsidiary Edelweiss for leisure routes and im sure they will get updated since edelweiss doesnt have first class.

  25. Does Swiss release many business award seats from USA to Zurich?
    When do they normally release these business award seats?
    Which city in the USA is best for finding award seats to Zurich?

    Thank you

  26. I got shocked when I saw their new economy cabin and decided to use miles to upgrade to business class rather than to spend 13 hours in the new economy class. It took me 65 000 LH miles and a week later they confirmed I was upgraded. It was a HKG-ZRH flight, seat 15K that is a “throne” seat. What a fab experience it was! The best seats I’ve ever seen. Twin C seats are also good but in a throne seat you can feel like in first class. The bed was very comfy; adjustable seat/bed softness and massage options were great! Most other airlines’ biz products feel like economy compared to the Swiss new planes. That of course applies if you can get a “throne” seat. Oh yes, the food was also really good but service was pretty mediocre.

  27. SWISS AIR is a very nice airline, I have tried the first,business and economy class,
    all the classes was very good, like the emirates the last time that I talked about it you remember ya.This is the best airlines in the history and the world (EMIRATES B777-300 and SWISS AIR B777-300er!!!!!!).

  28. Hi, I want to know which airline is better between this two (Lufthansa) .VS. (SWISSAIR) !!!!!, can any one of you answer me in a comment or a review about it please !!!.
    THANKS.

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