Edelweiss’ Big European Airbus A340 Flight Increase

Edelweiss’ operational widebody fleet now comprises only the A340-300, its A330-300s no longer being used. While the quadjets are obviously mainly deployed long-haul, use across Europe and Turkey has grown fourfold this summer. We take a look at the situation and Edelweiss’ whole summer operation.

Edelweiss A340
Nine European and Turkish destinations see the A340 this summer. Don’t get too excited, though. The type remains only a tiny part of its network there. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Flickr.

Big increase in A340 use within Europe

Edelweiss has four A340s, all active, all received from its parent in 2018, and all in a 314-seat layout. Its quadjets have 41% more seats than Swiss’, showing how the aircraft have been redeployed to leisure markets for which seat volume and lower cost are paramount.

This summer, Edelweiss’ A340s serve some 22 destinations globally. While Punta Cana is the most-served destination, what really stands out is how A340 use across Europe and Turkey has risen this summer.

It is up fourfold and eightfold if August specifically is looked at. Unlike in summer 2019 (S19), when only three destinations in Europe saw the twin-aisle, this summer there are nine: Antalya; Bodrum; Faro; Heraklion; Ibiza; Kos; Larnaca; Palma; and Pristina.

Edelweiss A340
Edelweiss’ A340 operations within Europe have risen eightfold this August. Photo: Markus Eigenheer via Flickr.

Overall, 63 routes this summer

Examining Edelweiss’ whole network, and not just by its A340s, it has 1.6 million seats scheduled this summer, 75% of what it had in S19. This is based on 63 destinations from Zurich – all bookable – a decrease from 66 over pre-coronavirus S19, OAG indicates. Some new routes, such as Newquay, were expected to operate, but they’ve been pushed to 2022 instead.

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Edelweiss’ network is solely from Zurich, at which it has a 14% share of seats this summer and is the airport’s second-largest airline. Its dominance has risen from 9% two summers ago, assisted by cuts by other airlines, especially Swiss, which has yet to recover even half of its pre-pandemic output.

Edelweiss A320
Zurich-Pristina is Edelweiss’ top route this summer. Photo: Aero Icarus via Flickr.

Pristina leads routes

Despite almost all of Edelweiss’ routes being vacation-orientated, it also has various visiting friends and family (VFR) markets too. These include Pristina – its number-one top route this summer by seats – along with Skopje and Tirana. Edelweiss used the A340 to Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, in July.

Edelweiss A320
Montenegro is the least-served country, with just a once-weekly operation to Tivat lasting for eight weeks in July and August. Photo: Edelweiss.

But Spain and Greece are the top countries

Of the carrier’s 28 served countries this summer, Spain and Greece are naturally by far the most significant, with 44% of total seats, a large amount. Its route map to Spain comprises 11 routes, two more than in S19. Leading by some margin is Palma, Edelweiss’ third-most-served route this summer, behind Pristina and Heraklion. Palma is a perennial favorite for Swiss and Germans.

As with other airlines, Greece has been somewhat of a savior for Edelweiss. It now has 12 routes to the country, with output there up by 20% over S19. This is from growth to Heraklion, Kalamata, Kos, Mykonos, and Rhodes, together with introducing Skiathos and Preveza.

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