We have the pleasure of sharing a historic flight experience with you today. SWISS International Air Lines has been making a headlines this year with news of its fleet modernization. Earlier in the year, the Swiss carrier received its new Flagship, the Boeing 777-300ER. This time, SWISS is welcoming a brand new type of aircraft altogether. SWISS is not only the launch customer of this new aircraft, but also took part in its development. We’re speaking, of course, of the new Bombardier CSeries. On July 15th, the new SWISS CSeries 100 took its maiden commercial flight and we were there to catch a ride on this historic flight. We’ll take an in-depth look at the innovative cabin of this new aircraft. In Paris, SWISS operates from Terminal 1, along with the vast majority of Star Alliance carriers.
Upon arrival at the satellite, where the gate is located, after the security checkpoint, Business class and Star Alliance Gold passengers have access to the Lufthansa lounge.
Despite a decent offering, the lounge is a bit disappointing insofar as there is no view whatsoever.
The Business section isn’t really any different from the Senator / Gold section with an identical buffet.
Overall decent catering for a short-haul outstation lounge with 2 types of quiche, 2 soups, and several desserts.
There’s a decent selection of alcoholic beverages
For SWISS, Bombardier, and indeed the world of aviation in general, it is a historic day. However, in light of the previous evening’s tragic events in Nice, the inaugural ceremony was appropriately not ostentatious. Nevertheless, all passengers received some cake and drinks at the boarding gate.
The CCO of SWISS, who had been onboard the ZHR-CDG flight, took advantage of the stopover to inaugurate the new aircraft in the presence of Terminal 1’s Director.
There was a traditional exchange of gifts.
And to symbolize the beginning of commercial service for the new Bombardier jet, the red ribbon was cut by the SWISS Executive.
We were lucky to have the opportunity to watch the arrival of the CS100 from the tarmac.
The brand new Bombardier looks splendid in the SWISS livery. The winglets are also sporting the Helvetic cross.
The LH Group is well represented at CDG Terminal 1, with this Lufthansa A321 being just one many daily flights.
The new baby of the SWISS fleet is obviously wearing the company’s latest colors along with the Star Alliance logo.
The first SWISS CSeries is registered HB-JBA
The aircraft viewed from behind. The large Pratt & Whitney engines are a big change from the hair dryers on the Avro RJ that it will be replacing.
Around the aircraft, ground teams work to turn the aircraft. The ground agents seem fully prepared to handle this new aircraft type.
It’s boarding time !
Last view of the exterior before going on board!
This first SWISS CSeries has been baptised "Kanton Zürich" for the Canton of Zurich.
The CSeries cabin is configured in a 2-3 layout in a similar fashion to the Avro RJ100 fleet that i will be replacing progressively. The seats and aisle on the new CSeries are wider than on the old Avro jets.
Settling in to row 9.
The new brown CSeries seats with their white headrests are quite stunning. This new seat model was designed by German manufacturer Zim.
The finishes are impressive both in terms of design choices that have been made and the quality of the final product.
The seats are framed by a stylish metallic frame.
In front of them, passengers find a familiar element of SWISS seats with the seat pocket at eye level.
A rare Safety card!
The tray table has a unique shape as it is attached to the underside of the seat by a moveable arm.
Under the table: two seat back pockets located at knee level. The net is a bit difficult to open up but the items are firmly held in place.
A nice feature—a coat hook to hang a jacket on the seatback in front.
The armrests are nicely shaped and practical as they can be fully raised, folding completely between two seats
The ceiling panels are also interesting. There are ventilation nozzles and individual reading lights.
The real innovation in this new aircraft is a small IFE screen that displays flight information and the moving map. The no smoking and electronic device placards appear on the side, unlike on the A350 where they are displayed on a similar, though smaller, little screen.
The flight was just a few minutes late, not surprising considering the inaugural festivities.
The flight is fully booked with a large part of passengers sitting in the expanded Business class section.
Last few checks before departure.
Apparently the safety cards were popular on the inbound, so a flight attendant replaces the missing cards.
Water bottle and refreshing towel.
And here we go! An Airport agent takes our photo as we push back.
The PW1500G engines purr in a distinct way when they start up.
The small IFE screens display the route and flying time.
Taxiing to the runway. The aisle is really quite wide on this aircraft—people can easily pass each other down the aisle.
The safety video is played on the IFE screens. These small screens are much more practical and lightweight than traditional drop down IFE screens that need to be stored for takeoff and landing.
It is nice to have a screen over each row of seats.
Deployment of the flaps is completely silent.
The nicely shaped winglet looks great in the company colors.
Takeoff will be from Runway 27L. The CSeries is a powerful aircraft thanks to its latest generation engines.
A sharp turn to the right and we are headed southeast towards Switzerland.
New seatbelts for the CSeries.
Interesting detail—the upper part of the window is almost identical to the CRJ1000, which was previously the largest of the Bombardier aircraft prior to the arrival of the CSeries.
The many cabin crew present for this special flight are busy throughout the cabin.
For this mid-afternoon flight, a snack is served in Business class: A salmon sandwich and an apricot cream. A glass of Duval-Leroy champagne to accompany the snack.
The first Cheers photo aboard a Bombardier CSeries 100!
Shortly after the meal service, the chief CSeries pilot for SWISS comes around in the cabin to sign souvenir cards.
He writes a message for the Flight-Report community!
The CSeries is said to be a quiet aircraft, though it is not particularly noticeable. The cabin noise level appears to be similar to other aircraft in its size category. According to the iPhone, the noise level was on average 73 decibels
The flight continues on toward Zurich with magnificent weather.
The CS100 has a wide and short fuselage, which gives a feeling of spaciousness that you don’t get on other large regional jets.
The lavatories are pretty standard.
Some interesting features of the overhead bins: The handle is not attached to the rotating part, which can be a little confusing. Also, closing the bin doors does not make the normal clicking noise—it seems that the doors are kept shut magnetically.
At the end of the flight, Swiss chocolates in the shape of footballs are distributed.
The flight lasts less than an hour. The fasten seatbelt sign comes on and the Captain makes his arrival announcement.
We are approaching Zurich, the first hub airport of the CSeries.
A turn and then we lign up with the runway.
Flaps out. The flight is coming to an end.
Once on the ground, as we taxi to the A gates, we get a glimpse of the first SWISS Boeing 777-300ER.
Our arrival is awaited by the Zürich-Kloten ground staff.
Operations are running as normal in the rest of the airport, of course.
A SWISS A321, on the other end of the short/medium-haul fleet spectrum.
Last view of the seat before leaving the aircraft.
There is not yet a curtain separating the classes, only these small signs. Curtains will soon be installed on the CSeries fleet.
In the front of the cabin, the SWISS logo makes a nice decoration.
We had the opportunity to enter the cockpit. The screens are noticeably large as with all new generation aircraft.
The large screens simplify navigation and allow for clearer display of information.
The CSeries is equipped with HUD, generally used in bad weather.
Thanks for joining us for this first flight aboard the SWISS CSeries!
SWISS is the very first airline to operate the CSeries. The fuel-efficient CSeries will breathe some new life into the European network as it replaces the old 4-engine Avro RJ fleet. The CS100 can seat up to 125 passengers, putting it at the very upper limit of capacity for regional jets; it is getting into the territory of smaller mainline aircraft. The wide and tall fuselage and 2-3 seating configuration make for an exceptionally comfortable right and overall pleasant passenger experience.
After Paris, the CS100 will be flying the Manchester, Prague, and Budapest routes from Zurich. Starting in late August the new aircraft will also be flying to Warsaw, Brussels, Nice, Stuttgart, Hanover, Milan, Florence, and Bucharest. The variety of destinations and distances shows the flexibility of the new CSeries capable of reaching even longer distances.
Flight Reported by Florent & Flavien as a guest of Swiss International Air Lines. Translation by Kévin
Video of the flight:
SWISS is one of the most dynamic airlines in Europe at the moment when it comes to news in 2016. After the arrival of the new Boeing 777-300ER flagship and its new cabins, SWISS has welcomed the world’s very first CSeries to fly commercially.
The CSeries will be a game changer for SWISS’ European operations as it will greatly reduce costs as is replaces the older inefficient Avro RJs. The CSeries provides an superior passenger experience with a spacious cabin and wide seats, large overhead compartments, large windows, and overhead IFE screens. As far as the passenger experience goes, the seats are really the most important element and the Zim seats are an excellent design. The new seat colors are very nice, though not too different from the current SWISS cabins. The seat is very comfortable and flexible with nice finishes. The leather headrests and metallic trim are elegant design elements.
THE PLUSES: - Spacious cabin - Wide seats and wide aisle - Nice finishes - Very large windows and overhead bins
THE MINUSES: - Relatively noisy aircraft - non-adjustable headrest
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