SWISS’ leisure subsidiary, Edelweiss Air, has announced plans to completely overhaul its long haul fleet.
Edelweiss acquiring six A350-900s as of 2025
Zurich-based Edelweiss Air currently has a fleet of 18 aircraft, including 13 Airbus A320s and five Airbus A340-300s. The carrier has an average fleet age of nearly 20 years, and now plans to modernize its fleet. Edelweiss Air will acquire six Airbus A350-900s, which will replace the carrier’s five Airbus A340-300s:
- The first A350-900 will join Edelweiss’ fleet by the summer of 2025
- By the end of 2026, all existing A340-300s will be retired
- With this fleet renewal, Edelweiss’ long haul fleet size will be restored to pre-coronavirus levels
- Edelweiss is acquiring some A350-900s that used to fly for LATAM, as the airline retired these aircraft during the pandemic; Delta also flies some ex-LATAM A350-900s
- These A350s aren’t part of the Lufthansa Group’s overall A350 order, as the airline has dozens of those jets on order
Here’s how Edelweiss Air CEO Bernd Bauer describes this fleet renewal:
“The modernisation of the long-haul fleet is a milestone in Edelweiss’ almost 30-year history. Edelweiss will thus operate one of the youngest long-haul fleets in Europe from 2026.”
“The design of the Airbus A350-900 sets new standards in efficiency with state-of-the-art technologies and outstanding aerodynamics. It is one of the most environmentally friendly long-haul aircraft in the world. Latest generation engines and the use of lightweight materials make the twin-engine Airbus A350-900 one of the most fuel-efficient wide-body aircraft. It consumes 25 per cent less fuel and produces 25 per cent less CO2 than the four-engine Airbus A340-300, and noise emissions are up to 50 per cent lower.”
I’ve gotta say, I’ve always been a fan of Edelweiss’ livery, and I think it looks absolutely gorgeous on the Airbus A350!
Edelweiss Airbus A350 cabins & interiors
What should we expect from the interiors of Edelweiss’ Airbus A350s? For the first four aircraft, Edelweiss will initially just offer the same product that LATAM used to offer on these planes, with slight modifications to the branding. That means the plane will feature 339 seats, including:
- 30 fully flat business class seats, in a 2-2-2 configuration
- 63 extra legroom economy seats, in a 3-3-3 configuration
- 246 economy class seats, in a 3-3-3 configuration
All seats will have personal entertainment, plus USB outlets. Unfortunately the aircraft won’t feature Wi-Fi, though, at least initially.
Eventually Edelweiss plans to introduce new cabins on its A350s, representing an investment that’s “a three-digit million sum.” Edelweiss is claiming not to be initially reconfiguring these aircraft “due to worldwide material shortages and reduced maintenance & engineering capacities.”
For what it’s worth, Edelweiss’ A340-300s currently have a staggered configuration in business class, almost identical to what you’ll find on SWISS’ A340-300s. For a leisure airline, it’s also noteworthy that Edelweiss doesn’t have a premium economy cabin. I can’t help but think that this will be added in the future when new interiors are introduced.
I’m kind of going to miss Edelweiss’ very unusual A340-300 configuration. The airline puts business class between extra legroom economy and economy, which you don’t often see.
Edelweiss Air is refreshing and growing its long haul fleet, as the airline is replacing its five Airbus A340-300s with six Airbus A350-900s. You can expect the aircraft to join Edelweiss’ fleet in 2025 and 2026, and for all A340s to be retired by late 2026. These A350s will initially feature former LATAM interiors, and at some point in the future the airline claims to be investing in new cabins.
What do you make of Edelweiss acquiring Airbus A350s?