It’s finally time for SWISS to retire the Avroliner. After being the regional workhorse since 2002, the Jumbolino will leave the fleet. It has flown over half a million flights and flown the equivalent of 45 times to the moon and back, but now it only has 2 more flights remaining and by the time this report is live it will have finished service. I was one of the lucky people to get a seat on the last international flight from Zurich to London City, one of the most iconic routes the Jumbolino served.
I had flown out earlier in the day from London Gatwick with EasyJet and had a few hours to spot before the big flight, however there was a small scare at the gate when Flightradar confirmed the aircraft as a CS1, luckily my mate who was running ramp operations confirmed that it was the ARJ for me, phew!
Bus boarding of course. No other way to get to the Avroliner. At the remote stand we took a few minutes to take photos of the old bird along with many other avgeeks.
Once onboard and in my seat I was amazed by the legroom, I had heard stories that the ARJ had good legroom but it was simply amazing, now I see why this aircraft will be missed so much.
The aircraft bares similarities to the Jumbo and A380 because of the curve of the aircraft. I had a lot of space between the seat and the window as well as infront and underneath. The crew were friendly, as always. SWISS have never had me think otherwise. I love all of the quirky features of the ARJ such as the half window blinds, personally i think this is a better design than todays aircrafts.
Time for takeoff! Takeoff is always special inside an Avro, powerful and steep! Banking over the SWISS countryside made for an amazing sight and gave me some great shots. I had a windowseat towards the fairlings underneath the wing which gave me a good view infront and behind.
The flight was incredibly smooth and todays small snack was some Mango Sorbet, tasty! British Airways you need to step up your game! I was also offered the classic SWISS chocolate shortly before descent. Also before the descent the captain made a final speech about the Avro and its long service for SWISS Global and how it will be greatly missed.The landing was one of the smoothest I have witnessed for city, despite it being a bit blowy on final.
No water salute for us unfortunately, that was being saved for the flight back out to Zurich, but that enabled me to catch it from the river bank. We had to redo the famous London City parking maneuver because of a failed first attempt but I was able to get into the cockpit briefly once we were safely parked (albeit behind a very long queue). On the ground at City I was able to take some great shots of the Avroliner. It had been one truly special flight and an honour to fly on the Avro’s last flight into London City.