Yesterday evening, Thursday 2 September 2021 saw an important debut for London City Airport. At 5:49 pm, an Embraer E190-E2 made its first commercial flight into the iconic airport in the centre of the British political and financial capital. The Helvetic Airways aircraft, registered HB-AZG, flew from Zurich to London in 1 hour 20 minutes, also re-establishing an essential link for the global financial community.
Flight LX 464, operated by Helvetic Airways on behalf of its partner company Swiss International Air Lines, was welcomed by a water salute from London City Airport’s fire service. On board the sold-out flight were 110 passengers, including representatives of the international media, business travellers and those visiting friends and family.
Re-establishing connectivity between the UK and Switzerland
Commenting on the arrival, LCY’s Chief Operating Officer Alison FitzGerald said: “Welcoming Swiss and Helvetic back, and with the newest LCY-capable aircraft, Embraer’s E190-E2, is a significant milestone for London City. It demonstrates how we are collaborating with manufacturers and airlines to introduce more low-emission, low-noise aircraft to our airport, as well as re-establishing a vital business connection which we believe will go from strength to strength as the UK Government begins to further reduce barriers to travel. Our ambition is to be one of the most sustainable airports of our size in Europe, and it is my expectation that we will be welcoming more of these aircraft with more airlines as the industry recovers from COVID-19.”
The Embraer E190-E2: the perfect aircraft for London City
With LCY’s runway length of only 1,508 metres and descent angles of up to 5.5 degrees, the Embraer E190-E2 is particularly suitable for operations at the legendary Thames-side airport. “Thanks to a reduction of almost 20% in fuel consumption and a noise footprint at take-off that is 63% smaller than our previous-generation aircraft, the E190-E2 delivers not only significant reductions in emissions but also a much quieter experience for local residents,” enthused Cesar Perreira, Embraer’s Vice President Sales & Marketing EMEA, shortly before the first flight left Zurich for London.
It should be noted that Embraer aircraft account for nearly 90% of all movements at London City Airport. At the same time, the E190-E2 almost doubles the available range from the airport to more than 4,000 kilometres, bringing destinations such as Istanbul, Casablanca and Moscow within reach for the first time.
Helvetic Airways: the first E2 operator into London City
“With this world premiere, we are particularly proud to be able to offer a product of the highest level in terms of comfort, quiet and sustainability. We are convinced that the Embraer E2 is perfectly suited to the requirements of business customers flying between the financial centres of London and Zurich,” said Tobias Pogorevc, CEO of Helvetic Airways, during the inaugural flight.
With the coronavirus pandemic bringing a more regional emphasis to air transport along with a trend towards the use of smaller aircraft types, Helvetic Airways is ideally equipped both to provide reliable and cost-effective flight operations and to take full and fruitful advantage of the new opportunities currently offered in markets worldwide. With a fleet of 12 Embraer E2 aircraft, Helvetic Airways is presently the largest Embraer E-Jet E2 operator in the world, strengthening its position as a regional airline based in Switzerland and serving Europe and beyond.