Lufthansa Group airline and Star Alliance member SWISS took delivery of an Airbus A320neo on the last day of 2020. The aircraft made the short journey from Airbus’ assembly facilities in Hamburg to SWISS’ Zurich hub and is the third of its kind to join the fleet out of a total order of 25. Thus, the airline is expecting 22 more of these single-aisle jets, having had its very first A320neo delivered in February 2020.
Aircraft and delivery flight details
Other than taking place on the last day of a long and painful year, the delivery flight was as routine as it could be. The aircraft, registered as HB-JDC with MSN 10242, took off from Airbus’ Hamburg Finkenwerder facility on December 31st at 13:27. Flying a short 79-minute flight to Zurich, the aircraft covered nearly the full length of Germany and landed at 14.36. The flight number of this delivery was LX5215.
The aircraft has been nicknamed ‘Pontresina,’ which is the name of a mountain village in the Swiss canton of Graubünden.
According to AIB Family Flights, there have been a total of six test-flights accumulating a total of nine hours and 16 minutes of test-flight time.
The aircraft was assembled at Airbus’ Toulouse facilities and was first spotted at the end of September at TLS in primer, without its engines. About a month later, on November 23rd, the aircraft was spotted conducting a taxi check and RTO (rejected take-off) before making its first test flight the next day. It then flew from Toulouse to Hamburg on December 16th for a series of hour-long customer acceptance flights.
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SWISS’ fleet modernization
According to SWISS, the delivery of this newest aircraft marks the fifth A320neo family jet to join the airline. This consists of three A320neos, as previously mentioned, as well as two longer A321neos.
The airline’s first A321neo was delivered on September 18th, while the second arrived on November 6th.
Today, SWISS welcomed its third Airbus A320neo to its fleet. Aircraft HB-JDC has been named “Pontresina” after the beautiful mountain village in the canton of Graubünden. The SWISS fleet now numbers five aircraft of the advanced and fuel-efficient A320neo family. pic.twitter.com/U6lIVSixz9
— Swiss Intl Air Lines (@FlySWISS) December 31, 2020
The brand new A320neos will be used to replace SWISS’ aging fleet of A320-200s, also referred to as A320ceos. These jets have been flying for SWISS for over two decades with an average age of 20.3 years, according to Planespotters.net. With the very first A320neo arriving at SWISS less than a year ago, the average age of its A320neo fleet is just 0.6 years old.
Where will the aircraft fly?
Although the A320neo gets a boost in range over its older -200 counterpart, these new jets will fly short-haul service across Europe. If we look at another SWISS A320neo, HB-JDA, we can see the destinations it has served in recent weeks, with cities including:
- Palma de Mallorca
While SWISS also uses its A320s on its Zurich-Brussels service, the airline will also be deploying its widebodies on this route from mid-January. This extremely rare occurrence will provide additional cargo capacity as vaccine deliveries pick-up.
Have you flown on SWISS’ new A320neo or A321neo jets yet? If yes, we’d love to hear about it! Share your experience by leaving a comment.