It’s always a pleasure to experience Business Class on Swiss Airlines. Even on relatively short European routes, the service is unparalleled. In other words, the anticipation of flying Swiss is one of the greatest pleasures.
This time, the Swiss flight from Hamburg to Zurich was operated with a nearly brand-new Airbus 220-300 (A220-300), formerly known as the Bombardier C-Series (CS300). Airbus took over the C-Series program from Bombardier and renamed the aircraft. Swiss alone has ordered 30 A220 aircraft, including 10 A220-100 and 20 A220-300, as well as an additional 30 options for this type of aircraft. The A220-100 has 125 seats (16 Business / 109 Eco), while the larger A220-300 has 145 seats (30 Business / 115 Eco).
The A220 features a new type of engine for the first time, called a “geared fan,” which is an engine with a gearbox. The PW1500G engine from Canadian manufacturer Pratt & Whitney was installed. The German traditional company MTU was involved in the construction by around 17%. Due to the gearbox, the fan (engine blades) can rotate slower, while the propulsion turbine rotates much faster, resulting in a significantly lower carbon dioxide emission and fuel consumption of around 15%. This also reduces noise pollution, and the engine is quieter than conventional engines.
Check-in and Lounge
Check-in in Hamburg went smoothly, as usual, with no waiting time and a separate security line. The Lufthansa Business-Class Lounge is available as the lounge option. It is located on the upper floor of Terminal 2, which requires taking the elevator or stairs to the end of the hall. The lounge was already quite busy for a Saturday afternoon. It offers everything you would expect from a typical Lufthansa Business Class Lounge. Nothing outstanding, but nothing subpar either. Solid. Warm and cold snacks, a wide range of drinks (hot/cold, alcoholic, etc.) are available.
I arrived at the gate on time for boarding and noticed that a lot of people were waiting. I assumed it was going to be a full flight, and I was right. It appeared that there were still passengers on the waiting list, especially Swiss employees. Shortly after, boarding started through our bus gate with a total of three buses. As per protocol, business class guests were allowed to board the bus first through the gate. However, this is relatively insignificant since all passengers arrive at the aircraft at the same time. As soon as we arrived at the stand, I climbed up the front aircraft stairs and was warmly greeted by the crew. My seat already had mineral water and a refreshing towel, which is mandatory for Swiss Business Class. It is always a great gesture.
Seat and Entertainment
The Swiss A220 planes have a new type of seat installed. I mention this explicitly because this seat stands out visually from all other previous airplane seats, and the design is an absolute masterpiece. It is noteworthy that a relatively small airplane seat manufacturer on the German side of Lake Constance is responsible for this. It is the EC00 – ZIMunique Economy Class seat from the ZIM Flugsitz Manufaktur in Markdorf (D). The construction and support of the table, as well as the silver aluminum strip around the backrest, are particularly remarkable and contribute to an outstanding appearance. The brown covers with perforated leather are also eye-catching. Here, the seat manufacturer also relied on German engineering and production quality. The seat covers were developed and manufactured in collaboration with the international aviation supplier ACM – Aircraft Cabin Modification GmbH in Memmingen (D). I clearly claim that this is currently the best airplane seat available for short- and medium-haul flights. It is truly impressive!
The entertainment system on the Swiss A220 planes cannot be compared to a Swiss long-haul flight, but it is also not comparable to the tried-and-true Swiss A319/320/321. Each row has a small mini-display installed on the ceiling or overhead panel. It is located directly next to the reading lights and ventilation inlets. The display shows information about the flight, for example.
Of course, catering is one of the highlights of a Swiss Europe Business Class flight. We were served a warm cheese quiche together with a crème brûlée and an excellent raspberry sorbet including mint leaves. The usual drinks service was available for all kinds of beverages. The whole meal was served on rectangular white porcelain dishes. I think it’s an excellent combination – clear shapes, excellent food, and an absolutely courteous crew. Pure Swissness!
I arrived in Zurich on time and well-rested. Once again, we parked at a remote stand, and as is customary for Swiss Business Class flights in Zurich, a small business-class bus was waiting for the guests. This upgrades the Swiss Business Class product even more and saves valuable minutes for the esteemed passengers upon arrival. It’s incredibly great and especially relaxing! Keep it up, Swiss!