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Cargo in the cabin

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On 5 April 2020 at 17:45 LX2689 (HB-JMC) has landed in ZRH. It is a sunny spring evening and representatives of various companies are gathering at the Delta 13 stand. This time there are no passengers on board, but medical protective equipment, which is needed more than ever in our hospitals these days. This is the very first flight in the history of SWISS to carry cargo in the cabin as well as in the regular cargo hold.

Until this point was reached, intensive preparatory work and clarifications with various specialists were necessary. Following a risk assessment, a five-hour test was conducted in collaboration with Swiss WorldCargo, Ground Ops and the Cabin Maintenance department of SWISS Technics to verify the feasibility of implementing the planned measures on the A340 aircraft. This was necessary to ensure that the aircraft could be prepared for in-flight cargo transport in accordance with the FOCA (BAZL), the manufacturer’s and Swiss WorldCargo’s requirements.

The requirements were clear: to transport and secure as much cargo as possible without damaging the cabin – especially the seats. This would result in considerable costs. In the afternoon before the scheduled departure, the seats were well packed and covered with specially designed cargo nets.

On the morning of April 4, JMC took off for Shanghai (PVG). On board: the crew, a loadmaster and a cabin engineer from SWISS Technics. After 12 hours of flight time, the A340 landed in Shanghai at 3 am.

Sleeping in the cabin, “walks” around the plane

To avoid having to go through the extensive and not entirely risk-free entry procedure of the Chinese authorities, a short ground time of only eight hours was planned. During this time the crew slept on board, rested and took “walks” in the immediate vicinity of the aircraft. Then, together with the Chinese Swissport crew, the colleagues loaded the aircraft with urgently needed medical supplies. At first, it was a big chaos, but after some clarifying discussions between cabin engineer, station manager and the Swissport crew, the cabin was loaded and secured within only half an hour.

During the return flight, the colleagues checked the cabin at regular intervals and inspected the cargo and the securing cargo nets. After a little less than 12 hours flight time, JMC landed the valuable cargo safely in Zurich. The aircraft was unloaded, the cabin was then thoroughly checked for any interference and made ready again for the next cargo flight.

Impressive teamwork

These special flights are an impressive example of how, within a very short time, employees from different departments and companies can work hand in hand and face previously unknown challenges with a positive attitude. Thanks to the collegial exchange of ideas, the corresponding know-how and the mutual trust between the various companies involved, SWISS now flies numerous important cargo flights to Asia and brings urgently needed medical supplies to Switzerland every day.

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58 Comments

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  1. Great team work, congratulations 👍

  2. I have traveled Swissair, Crossair and Swiss over 5 decades. Best way to fly, especially when I flew in the jumpseat of the Jumboliner from Zurich to Birmingham in 1994 courtesy of the CEO !

  3. Admirable Swiss efficiency! What a feat. I’m anxious to fly back to Zürich. With SWISS, of course.

    1. Hi Gertrud, thank you very much. Kind regards, Annina

  4. What a Swiss precision and dedication. Although I’m not Swiss, I’m very proud of this country and its people! Go Swiss, Go!

  5. Quite impressive but expected from Swiss Air.

  6. Dear mr’s Mr.
    as we are not able to use the booking of june 11 2020
    why ther is no clear information how we can refund
    The ticket cost?

  7. We were flying frequently with Swiss to Zürich and working between Switzerland and Germany. As we are holding Israeli passport, it seems that we are not free to move between Switzerland and Germany. What do you suggest to do.

  8. I prefer to fly with Swiss

  9. Fantastic! Bravo and Thank you!!

  10. I couldn’t have imagined this being possible! Also, loading the whole aircraft, carrying boxes between the seats – and securing them! – and all this in 30′ is pretty amazing!

  11. Good morning from Mumbai.I am reading this blog on 15th May. Heartening to know SWISS touch to operations. My confidence in your airline increased again. I travelled on your airline on 25April 2018 and 7th May 2018. Unfortunately missed your and Lufthansa flight to Boston on 6thMay2020. All best wishes to your efforts, and hoping to meet my daughters in US soon on your flights .

  12. My congratulations for this important work. I know how urgent was the delivery of this goods and the difficulties with common shippers because I’m an importer in Italy. The needed time and cost for transportation in this coronavirus time are much more long and expensive.

  13. Great, Admirale Job!

  14. Swiss (LX) is my favorite airline all the time! It was before this disaster and always will be! The best crew in the world, the smile, the kindness and professionalism makes me feel the 8-9 hours of each flight like my second home.Thank you so much!

  15. Im just wondering if I have a voucher for Swiss can I use it for a 2021 booking

  16. Previously, I have relied on a travel planner to organize my European trips. One of those trips was on a SWISS flight from Chicago USA to Zurich. Subsequent trips, not involving SWISS have been less than pleasant. From this point, it will be SWISS all the way. Your participation in helping your citizens return home and your assistance in bringing much-needed medical cargo to Switzerland from Asia doesn’t surprise me. Stay safe. I hope to see you soon.

  17. Swiss air service @ the top of choices when I require international destinations.
    Excellence in all categories.

  18. Well done and great team work Swiss!
    Look forward flying with you guys again soon

    1. And we are looking forward to having you on board soon. Kind regards, Annina

  19. Great work Swiss Air and well done to the crew. Looking forward to travelling with you soon.

  20. STAY WELL AND SAFE……..if we can help….please dont hesitate to ask…..www.e8ppe.com

  21. This is great that you coordinated this to help with protecting hospital staff!
    However, I would like the same to be done for people from the U S that are looking for refunds for flights that we couldn’t go on due travel restrictions starting in late March into April. We look forward to helping us too. Thanks

    1. Hi Jim, thank you for your comment. Due to the high number of customer requests we are currently experiencing longer processing times. We count on your understanding that our focus is currently on handling urgent requests (rebooking/getting people home safely). We kindly ask you to contact our service center at a later stage for your refund request. Best regards, Benny

  22. Fantastic job, the prep team, the crew, the load staff, and the authorities. Its another example how we all can be innovative and safely contribute in the fight against a global evil.

  23. Congratulation for the successful teamwork! Thank you for taking care of us!

  24. Interesting to see how you have adapted to the unusual needs we face right now – thanks for sharing 🙂

  25. Impressive!

  26. Well done Swiss. Always a committed airline. Keep safe, crew

  27. wow amazing

  28. a new meaning to the phrase “thinking out of the box.” Bravo.

  29. Bravo Swiss people!

  30. Proud of Swiss (our national airline). Thanks to all the crews

  31. Since 1956, I have traveled to Switzerland, only with Swiss Air. I purchased 2 tickets for July travel to Zürich. Due to Corona Virus, I do not feel comfortable leaving my home until a vaccine is found.. I tried to rebook for the same dates in 2021, Now Swiss tells me the tickets are only good until April 2021. If not used by then, it’s gift to Swissair, I lose all my money.. How in the world can you do something like this, please alow me to at least rebook and fly again in July 2021. It is littorally stealing money from Loyal customer.. I’m just devastated by these buisness tactics.. please allow me to fly in 2021 with my purchased tickets for 2020.

    1. Hi Andreas, we just updated our rebooking policy. Previously, if a rebooking was made, the new trip had to start by 30 April 2021. This period has now been extended to 31 December 2021. You may find all information here: https://www.swiss.com/ch/en/various/breaking-news Best regards, Benny

  32. Reading this post itself was a new experience. A big salute to the boldness which wrote lines such as “At first, it was a big chaos..”. This makes a difference with truthfulness while the usual tendency would be to show only positive and successful steps only. Special thanks to all the front-line staff in all those areas where this pandemic is handled. May we all get the right courage and determination to cross this difficult time across the world. All the best!

    1. Hi Paulson, thanks for your kind feedback. It is always important to us to communicate in a transparent manner. All the best to you too! Kind regards, Benny

  33. Appreciate the fabulous team work. Thank you

    1. Hi Chantal, thanks for your kind words. Take care and best regards, Benny

  34. Well done. Your efforts are much appreciated.

    1. Hi Emma, thanks for your kind words. Take care and best regards, Benny

  35. Fantastic! What a great way to adapt to a new situation! Congratulations and we look forward to flying wit Swiss again soon. If you fly it, we will be there!

    1. Hi Leo, thanks for your kind words. We hope to welcome you on board again soon. Best regards, Benny

  36. I am so proud of my friend Reto who is a pilot for SWISS and has flown a few of these cargo flights. I know how hard this can be on the body but his dedication and love of his job makes the task an honor. I am also so impressed by the professionalism of SWISS and I look forward to flying to Zurich hopefully this year.

    1. Hi Ali, thanks for sharing. We are also overwhelmed by the dedication of our staff. We hope to welcome you aboard again soon. Best, Benny

  37. I am really pleased to see the demonstrated flexibility and professionalism of Swiss at this challenging time. I have only just started to fly Swiss and have been grounded by this pandemic for now and have a flight credit hopefully that I can use as Switzerland opens up again. My experience with Swiss during my past flights from LAX to ZRH and LHR to Geneva and Nice have been most enjoyable with typical Swiss hospitality and efficiency. I look forward to flying with Swiss again.

    1. Hi David, thanks for your kind words. We hope to welcome you aboard again soon. Take care and best regards, Benny

  38. Splendid, Swiss! Well done! Congratulation for your efficiency.
    Typical Swiss (CH) and Swiss (LX) efficieny.
    I too look forward to travelling again. Meanwhile stay safe!
    With best wishes,

    1. I’m American living in the U.S. but fly Swiss often. Your so correct, the CH and LX efficiency is always impressive to me> Keep up the good fight, we will win.

  39. Looking forward to fly again with Swiss ! Well done to all crew members !

  40. nice

    1. Great work. Well done everyone!

  41. Great work nice to see everyone working together

  42. When will you resume NBo-zhr route

    1. Hi Hiram, as soon as our flight schedule is published, you will find all information on our social media channels. Best, Benny