Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Our charity partner SOS Children’s Villages

Gieri Hinnen, Environmental & Aeropolitical Affairs

Our charity partner SOS Children’s Villages gives needy children all over the world a permanent, loving home. In its latest campaign SOS Children’s Villages shows how a 3-year-old girl in South Africa can be helped directly and efficiently for only 50 cents a day. See for yourself!

Passengers on our flights are given donation envelopes which they can use to deposit small change in any currency. The proceeds go to the international aid organisation SOS Children's Villages. Since 2002, our passengers have donated between CHF 100,000 and 200,000 annually, either directly on board our aircraft or at Zurich and Basel airports. These funds have so far made it possible to finance seven family houses in SOS Children's Villages in the following locations: Caldonazzo, Dar-es-Salaam, Phuket, Mombasa and Quithing/Lesotho. Last year's contributions were used to finance a family house in the new SOS Children's Village in Cartagena, Columbia. Regular donations from our employees are used for the monthly maintenance of a family (mother and children) at the SOS Children’s Village in Sao Paulo, Dar-es-Salaam and Phuket.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Inside look at Swiss WorldCargo (SWC 5)

Ines Gutierrez, Account Manager Swiss WorldCargo Miami

In my role as account manager I look after local customers of Swiss WorldCargo in Miami. Our Marketing Communication team in Zurich informed me they were sending us an SFO model aircraft.

After the arrival of LX 64 in Miami the shipment from Zurich is transferred to our service provider who handles its processing through Customs and then contacts us by telephone. He informs us that the shipment is in his hands and that once it has cleared Customs it will arrive at our office.

Alternatively, our colleagues in Zurich could have had the package shipped through a branch of Swiss Post, but the delivery would have been slightly different if they had done so.

In that scenario, the package containing the SFO model aircraft would have been submitted at a post office counter, where the relevant postage would have been charged. It would then have been placed in a mail bag for transport via courier to a distribution centre for sorting.

Our shipment would arrive at Zurich Airport along with all the other letters and packages bound for destinations outside Switzerland. At this point it would be sorted by destination. All of the material bound for Miami would be placed in a mail bag to be loaded aboard our SWISS aircraft.

Because Swiss Post always requires cargo capacity on specific SWISS flights, it purchases an annual allotment of cargo space rather than register every single item. The capacity purchased is based on historic trends. Having arrived in Miami, the package from Zurich would be first transferred to a local mail distribution centre along with other letters and packages in the mail bag. At the mail distribution centre, the items are sorted and delivered to the corresponding post offices.

The SFO model would then be sorted according to the appropriate delivery route and finally delivered to the customer by mail carrier to the address given on the package.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Inside look at Swiss WorldCargo (SWC 4)

Ueli Meier, Cargo Contribution Optimizer

I have been working as a contribution optimiser in the Contribution Management unit of Swiss WorldCargo for about a year now. The objective of Contribution Management is to sell as much of the capacity of the aircraft belly as possible and thereby earn money for the company. Our daily work includes processing the requests from stations outside Zurich and planning the use of cargo capacity on long-haul aircraft, which involves calculating the remaining capacity still available on a specific flight. The stations abroad sell this capacity and enter their corresponding bookings in our IT platform SWX. Depending on the shipment’s element of specialisation, the booking is either automatically confirmed or subjected to a review to determine whether we can actually transport the shipment as booked. The evaluation process considers such factors as weight, volume, dimensions, rate, special cargo and available capacity, which collectively influence if and when the shipment can be transported aboard our flight.

In the case of the SFO aircraft model to be transported, we received a request from the Export office regarding cargo to Miami. Every effort is made to have the cargo transported on the desired flight. Because this particular case involves the transport of goods for internal purposes – the model aircraft is needed by our SWISS colleagues in the USA – this shipment can be accepted only if space is available. The transport of cargo for paying customers obviously takes priority.

The real action starts between 12 and 24 hours prior to departure. We recalculate the palette and container capacity for cargo and mail, check what has already been booked and allocate the necessary units to the respective shipments. The finalised cargo documentation is then sent to our handling agent, Cargologic, which then organises the actual loading on location.

I find my job very interesting and varied. Although the basic nature of the work is the same each day, no two days are alike. The biggest challenge is planning the flights in order to achieve maximum capacity utilisation so that our customers receive the service they have paid for. After all, this is the basis of our company’s success. Things can get pretty hectic whenever the weight of a flight has to be reduced on short notice, due to weather conditions for example. Some quick decision-making is then called for regarding how to best use the existing cargo capacity.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Zucchero takes off again

Interview: Manuela Gretener, Manager Inflight Entertainment
Photos: Universal Music

The Italian superstar Zucchero just released his latest album “Chocabeck” that went already multi – platinum. His music, largely inspired by blues and rock music, delights people all over the world since more then three decades now. Zucchero has wrote over 300 songs, released 15 studio albums and worked with many world-famous artists. For SWISS, he compiled an exclusive musical mix containing his own songs and personal favourites. He also told us a bit more about himself and his amazing work.

Where does the name “Zucchero” come from?
In elementary school when I was 6 years old my teacher gave me the name “Zuccherino”, this name developed soon to “Zucchero” and all my friends and family started to call me by this nickname.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Why change a great service? (FCL 1)

Sarah Klatt-Walsh, Head of Inflight Products & Services

We are proud to launch a new SWISS First Inflight Service concept today. But why change when the “old” concept was so appreciated by our guests on board?

Here at SWISS, we don’t change products and services for the sake of change - but rather we listen to our customers and adapt as necessary to better align our services to their needs, always keeping in mind what we at SWISS stand for and what is expected of us as a premium network carrier.

So what did our customers tell us that led to the start-up of this project? We held a series of customer focus groups in different countries to even better understand what they appreciated – and did not appreciate - about the SWISS customer experience. Though it was good to hear that they were generally very happy with the service (great Flight Attendants, top comfort with the seats and beds, great food), they did bring up some points where they felt there was room for improvement, both on the ground and in the air. We quickly realized there was a consistent message coming in from the different regions of the world – topics such as tranquility on board, consistency of services, and simplicity of meals. And an even more individualized approach to services and personal care are important elements of a great SWISS First Customer Experience.