Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) has undertaken one of the final steps before the start of its Bombardier CSeries services to London City Airport (LCY) Aug. 8.

One of the airline’s CS100s visited LCY for the first time July 17, to carry out pilot familiarization and parking trials.  It will be the largest aircraft to use the small airport, which is located in the capital’s Docklands area. The airport has a single runway jutting out into one of the former docks and apron space is also at a premium. A major expansion program aims to improve the latter situation, as well as adding a parallel taxiway to improve capacity.

The Lufthansa Group subsidiary plans to operate its inaugural service into LCY with its CS100 fleet Aug. 8 on a flight from Zurich.

Earlier this year, Bombardier received clearance  from the European Aviation Safety Agency and Transport Canada to operate the steep approach necessary for services into LCY, which has several tall buildings in the nearby financial district on its western approach. Aircraft have to adopt a descent angle of up to 5.5 degrees, instead of the normal 3 degrees.

The SWISS aircraft’s visit also allowed ground handling crews to practice parking and fueling procedures on the new type, which returned to Zurich later yesterday.

The arrival of new-generation regional jets such as the CSeries and the Sukhoi Superjet will bring new destinations as distant as Moscow and the Middle East within range of London City.

Alan Dron