Swissair HB-IOC

SWISS Retires its Oldest Fleet Member, the ‘Olympic Plane’

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) has bid farewell to its oldest fleet member, the Airbus A321 HB-IOC, after over 27 years of distinguished service. Fondly known as the ‘Olympic Plane’ due to its IOC (International Olympic Committee) registration, the aircraft has now been retired and dismantled in Castellón, Spain.

The ‘Olympic Plane’, also referred to as ‘St. Moritz’ during its SWISS tenure, had an illustrious service history. It carried over seven million passengers, completed roughly 47,000 takeoffs and landings, and logged over 73,000 revenue-earning service hours. Built in 1995, it was initially named “Neuchâtel”, later renamed “Lausanne”, and affectionately called the “Old Lady” by many SWISS employees.

SWISS is harnessing this phase-out as an opportunity to implement a pilot project exploring the sustainable reuse and recycling of various aircraft parts. The project aims to find eco-friendly and economical solutions for decommissioning aircraft.

Many of HB-IOC’s components will be repurposed as spares for the active members of SWISS’s Airbus A320 family fleet. Moreover, parts of the cabin interior will be employed elsewhere within the Lufthansa Group, including upgrading cabin simulators. Additionally, SWISS specialists will recycle non-reusable items to recover valuable materials, focusing on aluminum and other high-value alloys.

Beyond practical applications, the airline will be creating unique souvenirs from the legendary HB-IOC. Aviation fans and design enthusiasts can expect designer furniture items and other accessories made from parts of the retired aircraft starting this fall.

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