Swiss to upgrade Airbus A340s with new first, business class

By David Flynn, October 7 2016
Swiss to upgrade Airbus A340s with new first, business class

It's out with the old and in with the new for Swiss' Airbus A340s, with the big four-engine jets set to receive a tip-to-tail upgrade from first class and business class through to economy.

Although Swiss has been busy replacing the Airbus A340s with its factory-fresh Boeing 777-300ER jets – with a tenth now on order for delivery in 2018 – the airline will retain five A340s in its long-range international fleet.

Those five jets will all be upgraded throughout 2018 to largely bring them up to Swiss' 777-spec.

The new first class  cabin will be "closely modelled" on that of the Boeing 777-300ER, the airline says.

This will see the current and still quite decent A340 first class suites making way for these more private and better-appointed suites.

Business class will see the exact same seats as on the Boeing 777, which means a shift from this...

... to this.

And this...

to this.

And yes, it'll still include those 'throne' seats.

Down the back of the (Air)bus, in economy, Swiss says it will install an all-new "type of seat."

The inflight entertainment system will also be ripped out and replaced by that of the Boeing 777, with inflight Internet also being installed during the refit.

(Swiss will also upgrade its fourteen Airbus A330s for sky-high WiFi over the coming six months, with the project slated for completion by northern Spring.)

Also read: Swiss trials inflight phone calls on its Boeing 777


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 236

Thanks for the update.  

As for Business Class - seems like a silly waste of money - the seats are almost identical! (as the article seems to subtly suggests anyway). 
On the other hand there are airlines like Air France that are still flying circa 2002 quality angled beds on their A380s with no immediate plans to upgrade. 


31 Mar 2016

Total posts 621

"...for Business Class - seems like a silly waste of money - the seats are almost identical."

Yeah, go tell SQ and CX the same.  Their supposedly latest J seat designs, 1st deployed on their 350s, are even more 'identical' to their previous generation J.  Yet we still hear nothing but praises about the 'vast improvements' of these 'new' J seats on SQ & CX by many commentators here on this website.......brand worship over substance?
In the case of LX, the new J design @ least clearly offers much more privacy(e.g. when a pax lies flat on his/her seat/bed, basically no other pax can see him/her) over the previous generation J.

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 128

The seats on the A340 are quite old and worn with outdated IFE, even compared to the same seats on the newer A330s.  The planes were due for a refresh anyways, so it makes sense to use the newest products.

The biggest change will be in F, which is currently just a seat on the A340, not a suite as stated in the article.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Aug 2016

Total posts 54

woah they have real doors to J not curtains that a first?

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 542

Only in the PRs, I flew their 777 in row 5 twice and there was no door, just a curtain.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 621

@billy black:

"woah they have real doors to J not curtains that a first?"

Assuming U meant the door separating the F cabin with the galley/bulkhead/J section located immediately behind(i.e. not a door for each seat), yeah, I noticed that too on the photo(Photo #1 & #3).  I hv never seen such feature as it's usually just a curtain separating diff cabin sections.

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 128

LH also has a padded door between cabins they pull out after takeoff.  It reduces noise and improves privacy.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Oct 2016

Total posts 162

Privacy is definitely better with the wall where the table comes out
Pretty sure SIN and HKG flights are all 777 so no real change

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Mar 2012

Total posts 233

I think they're just refurbing the 5 they're keeping online. Nice to see product consistency though!

13 Nov 2015

Total posts 49

Excellent news, indeed.  Consider that LX could have (under pressure from owner LH) scrapped F altogether on the remaining aging A340s for just J class.  The seats look super!  Hope to try them out.

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