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Helvetic Airways is a Swiss Airline based at Zurich Airport and operates to 34 destinations worldwide.
Destinations include Bordeaux, Calvi, Larnaca, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife, Corfu, Heraklion, Kos, Rhodes, Shannon, Brindisi, Lamezia, Olbia, Pristina, Skopje, Ohrid, Bern, Zurich, Birmingham, Manchester and Inverness. Helvetic Airways was established in the autumn of 2003 and was Switzerland's first budget carrier.
Since 2006 it has had a new management team who have changed the focus of the airline, dropping business routes (like London) and concentrating on holiday destinations not offered by competing airlines from its home base at Zurich. Recently Swiss aviation has been in a recovery phase following the shock demise of its grand dame Swiss Air. Helvetic - with its distinctive pink paintwork - is a good value option for flights to holiday destinations from Zurich.
Baggage per passenger (Economy)
|Baggage Allowances||23 kg|
(measurements max. 55 x 40 x 20 cm)
|1 carry-on bag weighing up to 5 kg|
6th September 2017
Swiss to grow CS100 operation at London City
At a media briefing before the type's first commercial flight to London City on 8 August, Swiss's CSeries chief pilot Peter Koch said it intended to eventually operate five CS100 flights a day to the UK capital's downtown airport, without specifying a timeframe.
FlightGlobal schedules data shows that on weekdays Swiss operates five to six London City flights from Zurich and two from Geneva. The Lufthansagroup carrier plans to start CS100 flights from Geneva in March 2018.
Most of Swiss's London City flights are being operated with Embraer 190s wet-leased from Zurich-based Helvetic Airways. Swiss is still deploying its remaining BAE Systems Avro RJ100 to the UK airport, but this will be retired on 14 August, says the airline.
Koch says ground space restrictions at London City will for the time being restrict the CSeries operation to one aircraft at a time. The airport has three parking positions – at the apron's east end – to accommodate the CSeries. But the jet's 35m (115ft) wingspan prevents it from using a taxiway alongside the apron to access runway 09, says Koch.
For easterly departures, pilots need to roll on to the runway via taxiways D or E – the only two taxiways approved for CSeries operation – and backtrack to the 09 threshold. Koch says this manoeuvre – without an option to vacate the runway at the end – has an impact on the airport's runway capacity.
For westerly departures, all aircraft need to backtrack to the 27 threshold. But at that end, there is an area in which to turn around and vacate the runway.
London City's chief operating officer Alison FitzGerald says the airport is "testing" operations with two CSeries aircraft at a time. Expansion plans for the airport involve extension of the apron to the east with seven additional aircraft stands and a taxiway to runway 27 by 2022, she adds.
Koch says the new taxiway and aircraft stands will accommodate the CSeries and will simplify the type's operation at London City. When Swissconducted an initial test flight to the airport, on 17 July, the trial included 2h of taxiing to evaluate ground manoeuvring. The tests also involved several landing approaches and missed approaches, notes Koch.
Until 21 August, Swiss will restrict CS100 flights at London City to a maximum of 91 passengers. Thereafter, the limit will be raised to 108. Koch says that this restriction – the aircraft can seat up to 125 – is linked to reduced braking capability in wet conditions, and that Swiss opted to initially lower the threshold further until pilots had accrued more operational experience with the type on London City's 1,200m (3,945ft) runway.
Swiss CS100s' 125 seats are laid out two-plus-three per row, but two seats are typically left unoccupied in each business-class row.
The 108-passenger limit still provides more capacity than is available on E190s, says Koch.
In April, Bombardier gained approval for the CS100 to operate at London City. Koch does not rule out the approval's extension to the 145-seat CS300. "Never say never," he says, noting that the E190 was cleared for the airport's steep approach after the smaller E170. But as of now, Swiss has no plans to operate the CS300 to London City.
Bombardier partnered Swiss to tap the airline's experience of operating from the airport, says Koch. He recalls that Swiss's predecessor Crossair in 1992 became the first operator to fly regional jets – BAe 146s – to London City.
In order to make the CS100 fit for the airport's 5.5 degree approach, the Pratt & Whitney PW1500G powerplants' full-authority digital engine control system has been adjusted to lower idle power versus normal operations, says Koch. The aircraft's fly-by-wire flight control system has been modified to extend two spoiler panels on each wing – at slightly different deflection angles – to stabilise speed during descent, and changes have been made to cockpit systems to adapt the aircraft's flare guidance display to the steep approach. Koch adds that the cockpit modification includes an indicator for maximum elevator deflection, to avoid potential long-landings.
Swiss already operates eight CS100s and two CS300s, and another 18 CS300s and two CS100s are scheduled to be delivered through 2018, says the airline.
Helvetic Airways was set to experience competition on flights into Sion.
This week brand new airline Powdair, launched ticket sales through its website for flights from Southampton to Sion, in the heart of Switzerland’s winter sports region, the Valais. A new winter service out of Southampton Airport will link the south’s skiers with the Swiss Alps.
Flights commence from December 15, and Powdair say the new service will cut transfer times significantly to some of the region’s most popular ski resorts including Zermatt, Verbier, Saas Fee, Crans Montana and Nendaz. Currently only Helvetic Airways and Swiss International Airlines serve Sion.
Helvetic Airways announced it was operating direct flights between London and Sion, in the southwest of Switzerland in the next winter period.
The airline has decided to re-offer the convenient direct services between London and Sion in the upcoming winter season, as appealing to those interested in risky sports. The services will be provided on behalf of SWISS by Helvetic Airways under a wet-lease lease agreement.
The connections will be operated with Embraer 190 aircraft that has a capacity of 112 passenger seats.
5 Fokker 100s
7 Embraer 190 and operates from the Zurich and Bern-Belp airports.
Palma de Mallorca Zakynthos
Zurich Airport is the largest airport in Switzerland and is the main hub of Swiss International Airlines and Helvetic Airways. Other airlines which fly to and from Zurich Airport include Edelweiss Air, Germania Flug, Swiss Global Airlines, Austrian Airways, British Airways, Corendon Airlines, Croatia Airlines, American Airlines and many others. The airport has three runaways and can handle nearly 30 million passengers every year.
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