LONDON, UK – On Thursday, 2 September 2021 saw an important debut for London City Airport. At 5:45 pm, an Embraer E190-E2 made its first commercial flight into the iconic airport in the centre of the British political and financial capital. Registered HB-AZG, the Helvetic Airways aircraft flew from Zurich to London in 1 hour 20 minutes, also restablishing an essential link for the global financial community.
Flight LX 456, operated by Helvetic Airways on behalf of its partner company Swiss International Air Lines, was welcomed by a water salute from London City Airport’s fire service. On board the sold out flight were 110 passengers, including representatives of the international media, business travellers, as well as those visiting friends and family.
Re-establishing connectivity between the UK and Switzerland
Commenting on the arrival, LCY’s Chief Operating Officer Alison FitzGerald said: "Welcoming Swiss/Helvetic back to London City, and in the newest LCY capable aircraft, Embraer’s E190-E2, is a significant milestone for London City. It demonstrates how we are collaborating with manufacturers and airlines to introduce more low emissions, low noise aircraft to our airport, as well as restablishing a vital business connection which we believe will go from strength-to-strength as the UK Government begins to further reduce barriers to travel.Our ambition is to be one of the most sustainable airports of our size in Europe, and it is my expectation that we will be welcoming more of these aircraft with more airlines as the industry recovers from COVID-19."
Embraer E190-E2: the perfect aircraft for London City
With LCY’s runway length of only 1,508 metres and descent angles of up to 5.5 degrees, the Embraer E2 is particularly suitable for operations at the legendary Thames-side aiport.
“Thanks to a reduction of almost 20% in fuel consumption and a noise footprint at take-off 63% smaller than Embraer’s previous generation aircraft, the E190-E2 not only delivers significant reductions in emissions, but also a much quieter experience for local residents,” enthused Cesar Perreira, Embraer’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing EMEA, shortly before the first flight left Zurich for London.
It should be noted that Embraer aircraft account for nearly 90% of all movements at the airport. At the same time, the E190-E2 nearly doubles the available range from LCY to more than 4,000 km, for the first time bringing destinations such as Istanbul, Casablanca and Moscow within reach.
Helvetic Airways: the first E2 operator into London City
"With this world premiere, we are particularly proud to be able to offer a product of the highest level in terms of comfort, silence and sustainability. We are convinced that the Embraer E2 is suited perfectly to the requirements of business customers flying between the financial centres of London and Zurich," said Tobias Pogorevc, CEO of Helvetic Airways, during the inaugural flight.
With the coronavirus pandemic bringing a more regional emphasis to air transport along with a trend towards the use of smaller aircraft types, Helvetic Airways is now ideally equipped both to provide reliable and cost-effective flight operations and to take full and fruitful advantage of the new opportunities currently offered in markets worldwide. With a fleet of 12 Embraer E2 aircraft, Helvetic Airways is currently the largest Embraer E-Jets operator in the world, strengthening its position as a regional airline based in Switzerland, Europe and beyond.