Route of the Week: Swiss International Air Lines’
Zurich to Beijing
The ribbon for Swiss’ new route to Beijing was cut by Wu Ken, China’s ambassador to Switzerland; Doris Leuthard, Switzerland’s minister of transport; Bruno Gehrig, Swiss International Air Lines’ chairman; and Harry Hohmeister, CEO Swiss.
On arrival in the Chinese capital, the crew received a warm welcoming and the dignitaries alongside the airline’s chief representative in China, Li Yuan, were presented with a rose creation of the airline’s tailfin.
- Swiss International Air Lines launched two new routes in the last week; one short-haul and one long-haul. On 10 February, the Lufthansa-owned Star Alliance member stationed its tenth aircraft in Geneva (GVA), an A319, and began operating twice-daily to Nice (NCE); a distance of 300 kilometres. At the start of the summer season, frequencies will increase to thrice-daily. Competition on the route comes from easyJet’s 17 flights a week. On 11 February, Swiss launched a route from its main hub at Zurich (ZRH) to China’s capital Beijing (PEK). The route, which is operated daily with 219-seat A340-300 aircraft, is Swiss’ third to China after Hong Kong and Shanghai Pudong. The airline’s leisure subsidiary Edelweiss Air previously operated the Beijing route once weekly between July and October last year. Competition on the route comes from Hainan Airlines’ twice-weekly operations. “We warmly welcome this new non-stop service between Zurich and Beijing,” said Swiss Minister of Transport Doris Leuthard. “Well-functioning air links are vital to good relations between Switzerland and China. Over 400,000 Chinese travellers visited Switzerland in summer 2011 alone, and trading volumes between our two countries increased 11.6 per cent last year to more than CHF 15 billion. I’m convinced that everyone will benefit from the new service.”