By Matteo Giardini
Swiss Returns Broad Group of Routes, Capacity Remains Below Pre-Pandemic Levels
Swiss International Airlines announced on Wednesday that it will continue to ensure Switzerland’s connection to the rest of the world, bolstering its network to include more than 90 destinations from both Zurich and Geneva. However, while the number of points served from the two airports is similar to 2019, capacity will be at roughly 50% of what it was pre-pandemic.
“We have crafted our schedules for the coming winter timetable period to give our customers the widest possible range of air services and connections while still maintaining a robust and reliable route network,” Swiss Chief Commercial Officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour said in a statement.
Regarding fleet composition for the 2021-2022 winter season he said, “Of the 92 aircraft that make up the Swiss fleet, our winter schedules will see us operating up to 47 short-haul transports plus four aircraft of our wet-lease partner Helvetic Airways, along with 22 long-haul aircraft.”
The majority of the fleet is based in Zurich, which will lead the airline to continue to serve the greatest number of destinations — 81 – out of Switzerland’s largest city. The airline plans to serve 60 short-haul and 21 long-haul destinations from the city during the upcoming period.
Cities from Zurich with the most number of frequencies include Berlin; Hamburg, Germany; Lisbon, Portugal; London; Malaga, Spain; Stockholm; Belgrade, Serbia and Kyiv, Ukraine. With regard to long-haul destinations, Swiss will focus on routes to U.S. cities including Chicago, Miami and New York as well as elsewhere, with current plans to fly to Tel Aviv, Israel; São Paulo; Dubai and Johannesburg. Certain destinations that were previously exclusive to the summer season — a list including Alicante, Spain; Malta; Marseille, France; Palermo, Italy; Thessaloniki, Greece; Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Tallinn, Estonia and Tirana, Albania — will continue to be operated during the winter months from Zurich.
Geneva will also see the reintroduction of a vast majority of destinations with flights to 26 cities currently planned. The reintroduction of services between Swiss’s only long-haul destination from Geneva, New York, will be reintroduced in mid-December. The airline plans to operate the route four times per week starting on Dec. 14.
The remaining 25 destinations will mainly focus on European and North African destinations. Cities with the most frequencies include Athens, Greece; Lisbon and Porto, Portugal. Similar to Zurich, certain summer exclusive destinations will be rolled over to the winter season with the continuation of flights to Madeira, Portugal; Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt and Tenerife, Spain. Swiss also plans to introduce new services between Geneva and Copenhagen, Denmark. The start date of the new service has yet to be confirmed. Furthermore, the airline will focus on the large winter sports season from Geneva especially from the U.K. and Scandinavian markets.
The current winter period will run from Oct. 31 to March 27, 2022, with definite schedules to be posted in mid-October.