SWISS has ended a chapter of their company history. The airline has retired their last Avro100 RJ aircraft. The airline flew the plane as the backbone of their regional fleet. SWISS has since scaled back the use of the aircraft, ultimately ordering its replacement. When SWISS ordered the C-Series from bombardier, the days of the Avro were numbered. After the airline had received enough aircraft to replace the Avro, the airline operated the last commercial flight a few months ago.
Last SWISS Avro100 Flight
Yesterday, SWISS flew the last flight of their Avro100. After much fanfare, the special flight took off from Geneva to Zurich. I followed the flight on the airline’s Instagram Story. The aircraft took an incredible route above the Swiss Alps, and passed over the Matterhorn. Once it landed in Zurich, the airliner received a water cannon salute. The company CEO congratulated the pilot, and gave the aircraft door one final close. With that, the airliner’s history with SWISS ended.
What Will Happen with the Avros?
According to the press release, the airline is very happy that most of their Avros will find a new life with other carriers. They did not specify where would they fly or who had purchased them. The aircraft has long been a master of short take-off airports, providing the comforts of jet-powered flights to airports like London-City. The issue with the Avro was its most unique feature. The Avro’s four jet engines consumed a lot of fuel, which made it difficult to compete with others. In the end, the aircraft lost the battle to newer planes such as the E-Jets and the C-Series.
The Avro RJ family always has been one of my favorite aircraft of all time. I found them to be weird. They had four engines yet flew regional flights. I think the only US carrier who flew them was American Airlines, after their purchase of AirCal and PSA Airlines (which is also now part of AA. In that instance, however, the aircraft flown as the Avro’s older brother. The original 4 engined aircraft was the BAe 146. This family of quirky aircraft holds a special part in my heart. I had one chance to fly them. I took a Brussels Airlines flight from Brussels to Copenhagen on one of these planes. The ride was loud, but comfortable.
It’s sad that the era of four-engined aircraft is coming to a close. I expect a similar fate is held for the Avro’s larger friends: the A380 and the 747. Only time will tell what will happen with the King and Queen of the Skies. As for the Avro, the largest operator of the type still out there is CityJet. The contract carrier is planning on replacing them with Sukhoi SuperJets. When the airline receives their SSJs, it will be even more difficult to fly this plane. So, of you have a chance, fly this oddball plane, it is one of its kind.
What do you think? Did you ever fly an Avro or BAe 146? How was your experience? Which airline did you fly it with? Let us know!
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H/T: Air Transport World