Lufthansa subsidiary Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS)—which took delivery of its first Bombardier CSeries 100 June 29—could benefit from a swift entry-into-service (EIS) period, according to a Bombardier executive.
“About 20 Bombardier specialists will be based in Zurich to support SWISS at the beginning,” Bombardier VP-CSeries Rob Dewar told ATW in Zurich July 6. “For us, the first aircraft delivery to SWISS is very rewarding after a long journey [in aircraft development]. In Zurich, we have all the [spare] parts, suppliers and people. We are ready to support SWISS. It is critical for us to have a successful EIS.”
ATW understands Dewar has been involved in the CSeries project since 2004.
SWISS is scheduled to launch the first commercial CSeries flight July 15, from Zurich-Paris Charles de Gaulle. The Star Alliance member is the first operator of the CSeries. A second aircraft is expected to arrive in Zurich by the end of July.
Asked how much time the EIS will take, Dewar said it depends how everything works. “It typically takes about two years to get to a mature level [for both airline and aircraft manufacturer]. You get to the full life-value [in about two years]. We will try to do this in a much shorter time [period]. Our target is to beat that—our objective is a one-year timeframe,” Dewar said.
The latest technology installed on the CSeries allows issues to be identified early so they can be addressed quickly, “so we can speed up [the EIS],” he said. Technicians get much more real and more precise information from the aircraft. “This saves more time for troubleshooting; that’s the difference from other aircraft.”
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Fred Cromer told ATW his former airline experience will be also helpful for the EIS period. “Producing an aircraft is one part; putting it into service, with all the support around, is the next, exciting step.”
“More than seven years and two billion [US dollars] later, the result [first CSeries aircraft] arrived in Zurich,” CEO Thomas Kl?hr said during the press conference. However, the delivery of the first CSeries to SWISS is two-and-a-half years later than originally planned.
Kl?hr said the new CSeries fleet will create about 150 new jobs at SWISS over the next few years. “We are embarking a new generation in medium- and short-haul flight sectors. The aircraft delivers 25% lower unit costs and produces 50% less noise [compared to other aircraft],” he said
SWISS originally ordered 20 CS100s and 10 CS300s, plus 30 options, but then converted five 100s to the 300 variant. The carrier expects to have nine CS100s in service in 2016.