Edelweiss, the leisure airline subsidiary of Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS), has announced that six Airbus A350-900 aircraft are set to replace its aging Airbus A340s.
According to the carrier, the six aircraft will join its fleet in a staggered manner from summer 2025, replacing the existing Airbus A340-300s by the end of 2026.
“The modernisation of the long-haul fleet is a milestone in Edelweiss’ almost 30-year history,” Bernd Bauer, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Edelweiss, said, adding that with the retirement of A340s, the airline will operate “one of the youngest long-haul fleets in Europe”.
Edelweiss pointed out that the six aircraft were previously operated by LATAM Airlines. While the airline plans to use its cabins, with a layout of 246 Economy, 63 Economy Max, and 30 Business Class seats, the first four aircraft will use LATAM Airlines’ cabins due to supply chain issues.
Edelweiss said the “worldwide material shortages and reduced maintenance & engineering capacities” has resulted in its decision to introduce the four Airbus A350s with the former operator’s cabin “with slight modifications to the cabin and Edelweiss design”.
“Edelweiss will install a completely new cabin configuration with new seats and interior design at a later date,” the airline said, mentioning that the investment in the new cabin will be a “three-digit million sum”.
Lufthansa, which Edelweiss is a subsidiary of through its parent company SWISS, has already added four second-hand Airbus A350-900 aircraft to its fleet. According to ch-aviation.com data, the quartet, now registered as D-AIVA, D-AIVB, D-AIVC, and D-AIVD, previously belonged to Philippine Airlines and were delivered to Lufthansa between March and May 2022.
Six more are scheduled to join the German airline’s fleet, according to ch-aviation.com data. However, four of these A350s were formerly operated by LATAM Airlines Brazil and are now registered as N264AR, N285BN, N286BN, and N287BN, which could indicate that the quartet will be used by Edelweiss rather than Lufthansa itself.
Ch-aviation.com data showed that the other two belonged to South African Airways, with the airline phasing out the duo in 2020.
In total, LATAM Airlines has had 13 Airbus A350-900s that were eventually phased out, with the last aircraft of the type exiting in October 2021. Some of those were delivered to Delta Air Lines, according to ch-aviation.com data.