SWISS marked a further chapter in the naming of its aircraft fleet at Zurich Airport this morning when its Airbus A330-300 HB-JHL was formally named ‘Sarnen’, after the capital of Canton Obwalden in Central Switzerland. With the aircraft having just arrived from Nairobi, the official ‘champagne naming’ was performed by Manfred Iten, the present Mayor of Sarnen, in a ceremony which was also attended by SWISS CEO Harry Hohmeister and numerous Obwalden guests.
“Being part of Switzerland’s founding cantons, and being at the geographical centre of the country, Obwalden has always been a byword for Swissness and tradition,” said SWISS CEO Harry Hohmeister at the naming event. “So we are all the more delighted that we can add the ‘Sarnen’, as the ambassador of your canton, to our advanced Airbus A330-300 fleet.”
Sarnen Mayor Manfred Iten was equally pleased. “‘Our’ Airbus A330-300 is an excellent example of how the traditional and the modern can exist side by side, and can actually spur each other on to even greater heights,” he said. “And our town of Sarnen is proud to have its name taken by SWISS and flown all over the world.” HB-JHL was due to perform its first flight under its new identity later in the day, departing for Boston at around 17:30 with some 230 passengers on board.
HB-JHL is one of fourteen Airbus A330-300s in the present SWISS fleet. The airline has a policy of naming its aircraft after Switzerland’s cantonal capitals, tourist destinations and airport municipalities. The A330-300 is 63.7 metres long and 16.8 metres high, and has a wingspan of 60.3 metres. SWISS’s A330s seat 236 passengers in a three-class configuration and offer a state-of-the-art cabin product throughout. With its range of some 8,400 kilometres, the ‘Sarnen’ will serve such SWISS long-haul destinations as Dubai, New York, Montreal, New Delhi and Nairobi.