The new year is off to a stylish start with Swiss taking delivery of its first Boeing 777-300ER, which touched down at Zurich Airport today after its inaugural flight from the Boeing 777 factory north of Seattle.
With five sister aircraft to follow by August, and then three more during 2017-18, the long-range Boeings will replace Swiss' older gas-guzzling Airbus A340s on routes to Hong Kong, Bangkok and Los Angeles, plus some flights to San Francisco, São Paulo and Tel Aviv.
The Boeing 777-300ER features all-new first class suites and business class seats shaped by leading design house PriestmanGoode as a natural evolution of Swiss' award-winning cabins – but with more space, more storage and greater privacy.
The colour palette throughout the cabin has been updated to richer, more sophisticated tones, while keeping very much on-brand for that unmistakeable Swiss look and feel – even in the entrance to the Boeing 777, which is a little more like a reception area.
"We took inspiration from Switzerland’s design and craft heritage, as well as Swiss’ own brand identity, including the airline’s headquarters and flagship lounges in Zurich" says Nigel Goode, Co-Founding Director of PriestmanGoode.
"The resulting cabins are luxurious, elegant and timeless with a lightness of touch, precise craftsmanship and attention to detail that embody the Swiss brand.”
Swiss Boeing 777-300ER First Class
Eight spacious private first class suites are nestled into the nose of the Boeing 777.
Each exudes a warm 'colour and materials' palette of browns, greys and accents of European oak wood, while soft walls, woven fabric bulkheads and curtain screens help dampen noise in the cabin.
There's a 50% increase in personal storage compared with the previous first class seat, including dedicated storage for amenities.
Luxe touches such as a 32 inch video screen, reading lamp and cocktail table surface with integrated lighting – plus electrically-adjustable blinds if you're at a window seat – help turn each suite into your own inflight haven.
Each passenger has their own personal wardrobe, with a sliding door which creates a partition between the seat and the aisle to offer greater privacy.
Swiss Boeing 777-300ER Business Class
The 62 business class seats represent a measured evolution of the current and highly-regarded design rather than a radical make-over.
New features include headphone hangers and straps for storing tablets and magazines, along with more personal stowage.
The business class cabin continue to boast a handful of those single 'throne' seats flanked by a pair of imposing side tables – ideal for the solo traveller.
For comparison, here's the current-gen Swiss business class: still superb, but now something a little less so...
As you'd expect, each seat converts into a fully flat bed that's over two metres long.
Also planned for premium passengers are 'more individual services' on board and in the lounges.
Swiss Boeing 777-300ER Economy Class
Travellers down the back of the bus can visit a self-service kiosk stocked with drinks and snacks.
The 270 economy seats each have a large touchscreen monitor plus USB sockets.
Inflight Internet – and phone calls, too
All passengers will have access to a new satellite Internet service, with prices ranging from 9 Swiss Francs (A$12.60) for 20MB through to 39 Swiss Francs (A$54.60) for 120MB.
Swiss will also allow calls to be made direct from your smartphone using special 'pico-cells' fitted to the aircraft which mimic the mobile network your phone would see on the ground.
However, the airline – sensitive to a possibly backlash against yappy seatmates – says this arrangement is being trialled for 12 months and calls will be blocked during the overnight period of any flight.
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