BAE Systems Regional Aircraft has presented an engraved glass plaque to representatives of Swiss Global Airlines to commemorate 27 years of continuous operations by the airline and its predecessors of the BAE Systems-built and supported BAe 146 and Avro RJ regional jetliners.
The presentation by Mr John Stevens, Head of Customer Support for BAE Systems Regional Aircraft was made to Mr Patrick Fritz, Technical Pilot Avro RJ of the airline at the BAE Systems Flight Operations Support Conference held at Prestwick recently.
Mr Fritz complimented BAE Systems for its 27 years of continuous support, particularly paying tribute to the Flight Crew Operating Manual (FCOM) introduced in 2008 which he described as a 'benchmark' for other aircraft types.
He also added that in recent weeks Swiss has achieved 100 % Dispatch Reliability on their RJ100 fleet.
August 2017 will see the final operations by Swiss of the Avro RJ100 which is being replaced by the Bombardier C Series. As the RJ100 fleet is gradually withdrawn from service so numbers of these aircraft have been placed via third party lessors to new operators, highlighting the continued utility and popularity of the aircraft.
So far, three aircraft have been placed with Aerovias DAP of Chile and two with Air BVI of the British Virgin Islands.
First Swiss operations of the BAe 146 started with Crossair in 1990 with three Series 200s, dubbed the 'Jumbolino', followed by a Series 300 in September 1991. The whisperjet qualities of the aircraft proved popular in Switzerland, especially for operations from noise-restricted Lugano. In March 1992 Crossair became the first BAe 146 operator to fly services into London City Airport - routes which 25 years later were still being operated by the current RJ100.
The BAe 146s were replaced by four later build RJ85s in 1993 and throughout 1995/96 the Avro RJ fleet was increased with the addition of 12 RJ100s, with four more following a few years later.
In 2002 Crossair became Swiss International Airlines and took over all Swissair's operations on April 1 that year. A further six RJ100s were added in late 2005/early 2006 and the RJ85s were sold.
The Avro RJ fleet, which eventually stabilised at 20 RJ100s, has been the regional backbone of Swiss European operations serving dozens of cities across the Continent.
BAE Systems Regional Aircraft has held its Flight Operations Support Conference every year since 2006 and this year there are attendees from airlines, training organisations, specialist suppliers and aircraft lessors. It was followed by the 19th Performance and Dispatch Course, which has also proven popular over the years.