Swiss will begin a long-planned counter-attack to Easyjet’s growing dominance in Geneva on 1 June, with the delivery of its first Bombardier CS300.
The Lufthansa Group subsidiary took delivery of the 128-seat aircraft (MSN 55010) on 26 May, Bombardier announces today.
The CS300 will be the first CSeries family member in Swiss livery to be based outside of Zurich and to enter service. Bombardier has previously delivered eight 108-seat CS100s to the Star Alliance carrier and CSeries launch customer.
“Our first CS300 will be initially stationed in Geneva, where its superior comfort credentials will be excellently suited to this premium travel market,” says Thomas Klühr, chief executive of Swiss, in a statement.
Swiss has been on the defensive in Geneva for several years as European low-cost carrier Easyjet has come to dominate the market, leaving the Zurich-based airline with only a 20% share in Switzerland’s second-largest city.
One option considered by Swiss was to vacate the Geneva market, allowing low-cost sister carrier Eurowings to defend the local market against Easyjet. However, airline executives worried about retreating to a single short-haul base within Switzerland.
Instead, Swiss launched a plan to respond to Easyjet’s low-cost Airbus A320 layout with the CSeries family, the first all-new entrant to narrowbody market in 30 years.
As the CSeries launch operator, Swiss has orders for 10 CS100s and 20 CS300s, with 11 aircraft deliveries still to come.
The delivery is Bombardier’s 12th of the CSeries family and its fifth aircraft to date this year. The Canadian manufacturer plans to deliver 30 to 35 CSeries aircraft overall in 2017, with the rate accelerating in the second half as more Pratt & Whitney engines become available.