Swiss fly an A340 to and from Cairo once per day from Zurich. An oddly large plane, which when flying on its normal routes, offers a 3 class service. On this segment it is sold as just Business and Economy. The First Class cabin is a crew refuge. The business class cabin has the full flat beds installed.
The aircraft compares well to the smaller airbuses flown by Lufthansa and Austrian.
Swiss uses the Egypt Air lounges at Terminal 3 in Cairo. Not the most luxurious, they do provide a haven before the flight.
The novelty of old fashioned ring-pull cans was the highlight.
The clocks had changed so I was one of the last to board the plane, passing through an additional, and pretty strict security check at the gate.
The Business cabin is divided in 2, with two rows in front of the exit row and the balance of the seats behind the exit. I did not manage to get a seat in the mini cabin on the way out from Cairo, but did on the return.
There are basically two types of seats – singles and doubles. Having said that they are arranged in a large number of different ways. The singles, can be next to the aisle with a table at the window or next to the window with a table at the aisle or in the middle with tables on either side. The really nice seats are held back for Senator status passengers but can sometimes be picked up at check-in.
This is a view of the double seats in the centre of the large rear cabin:
This is the single seat adjacent to the window, in the mini-cabin.
View of First Class from the mini-cabin
The screen is quite small but there was a decent range of films and TV, especially for only a 3 1/2 hours flight.
The plane pulled back on time and taxied to the runway fairly quickly. The crew came around to take meal orders and I have to say where universally pleasant. They were in the cabin all through the flight, offering more drinks and making sure everyone was OK.
The meal was served as below:
Starter and Cheese – and yes they let me have two rolls:
This was pretty tasty in fact, although not a large portion.
Chocolates – selected from a big box – when did you last get that! Plus, the crew came around with them several times.
We landed at the E gates in Zurich and had to take the train to my connecting flight to London, going through Zurich security. They were chatty and helpful, especially as I was the only one using the x-ray at the time.
On the return, I had connected from Newark and the flight was an early morning departure. There was priority boarding for Business Class and I was quickly in my seat. This time in the mini-cabin at the front.
The menu this time was interesting, as I had expected breakfast but they served lunch:
I passed on the meal and slept most of the way to Cairo.
There were super views as we left ZRH.
All round a great product. It’s nice to fly large planes on relatively short segments and I hope that Swiss keep this up. There is often United award availability from Zurich on this flight mid-week. Both my segments were mid-week which might explain how quiet they were.