In response to the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the global aviation industry, Helvetic Airways is diversifying its fleet capacity with the acquisition of four larger type E195-E2 Embraer aircraft. In addition, the carrier advances the launch of an innovative route network at the end of July.
As part of its strategy to tackle the current situation in the aviation industry and position itself as ideally as possible for the future, Swiss regional airline Helvetic Airways has upgraded an order for four E190-E2 aircraft to the larger Embraer E195-E2. ‘The Embraer E195-E2 strikes a good balance between seating capacity, range, fuel consumption and environmentally friendly operation. With a seating capacity between 120 and 150 seats, it has virtually no competition in the regional aircraft segment. Operating a single fleet – in terms of cockpit crew qualifications – with varying seating capacities will enable us to expand our organisation’s operational flexibility and autonomy,’ explains Tobias Pogorevc, CEO of Helvetic Airways.
“Helvetic Airways is powered by a high-performance culture, the airline already manages to deliver greater fuel and emissions efficiency from its current E2s than Embraer advertises; and the E2 is already the most efficient single-aisle aircraft family on the market”, said Martyn Holmes, Vice President Europe, Russia and Central Asia at Embraer Commercial Aviation. “Innovative and successful airlines operating our jets is the greatest advertisement for our aircraft, and acting now to ensure the best capacity diversity for their fleet sets Helvetic Airways up for further success, even in these challenges times.”
The Embraer E195-E2
The E195-E2 is the queen of the Embraer E-Jets E2 family. Measuring 41.5 metres in length, with a wingspan of 35.1 metres and a maximum starting weight of 62 tonnes, the aircraft can transport up to 146 passengers for up to 4,815 kilometres. The figures speak for themselves: in comparison to the E195 (current generation), the fuel consumption in the E195-E2 is 25.4% lower per seat. What’s more, the E195-E2 is the most environmentally friendly aircraft in its class, certified, with exceptionally low exterior noise and emissions levels.
Ongoing fleet upgrades
Now that the fourth and fifth Embraer E190-E2 aircraft – registered as HB-AZD and HB-AZE – have been delivered, Helvetic Airways has a fleet of 13 aircraft comprising eight Embraer E190-E1s and five Embraer E190-E2s. The remaining seven E2s will be delivered in stages starting from the end of 2020. As reported previously, Helvetic Airways ordered 12 E190-E2s in total from Embraer in September 2018, with an option to purchase 12 more. If the company makes use of this option in full, the transaction would amount to about USD 1.25 billion in total, according to the catalogue price. Helvetic Airways has declared that it wishes to operate the most modern, environmentally sustainable regional fleet in Europe by 2021.
Helvetic POP-UP flights
The Swiss regional airline is adapting to the new situation in the aviation industry by launching an innovative network of routes. ‘Instead of a traditional network with the same frequency of flights, we’re being flexible and innovative with our operations. Helvetic POP-UP flights are an opportunity for our Swiss and international customers to visit a unique selection of high-end destinations – all bookable at short notice and in compliance with strict hygiene measures. If travel restrictions mean that a route has to be changed, we can be very flexible in how we go about it. In other words, there is no risk for our passengers,’ explains Pogorevc.
The first Helvetic POP-UP flight will be run in collaboration with Meersicht, specialists in travel to south-eastern Europe, and the Chedi Lustica Bay hotel from 24 to 26 July. The destination is Tivat, Montenegro. ‘In these challenging times, we welcome the initiative launched by Helvetic Airways and its dynamic response to the market situation. These innovative POP-UP flights will give us a unique level of access to the Swiss market,’ says Jan Albers, EAM i/c Marketing & Sales of the luxury resort in Montenegro.
From 27 to 30 July, Helvetic Airways passengers can relax on the white sandy beaches of the Croatian island of Brač – a hotspot for windsurfing.
There are no direct flights to these two destinations from Zurich. Helvetic Airways will whisk its passengers away to these dream destinations in just under two hours.
Flight 2L8164 24/07/2020 ZRH 10:00 TIV 11:50
Flight 2L8165 26/07/2020 TIV 18:00 ZRH 20:00
Flight 2L8140 27/07/2020 ZRH 10:00 BWK 11:35
Flight 2L8141 30/07/2020 BWK 16:30 ZRH 18:15
All destinations are served by the flagship aircraft of the Helvetic Airways fleet: the latest generation of the environmentally friendly Embraer E190-E2. Two other POP-UP destinations – Dubrovnik and Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania – will be added to the Helvetic network in August.