[photopress:swissailines_and_lufthansa.jpg,full,alignright]Swiss International Air Lines will launch its Shanghai-Zurich direct flight in March 2008, using its Airbus A340 fleet. There are no direct flights at present between the Chinese mainland and Switzerland.
The bankrupt Swissair (how can a Swiss airline go bankrupt? It seems totally against the odds – but it happened. And Swiss International ended up being owned by Lufthansa) suspended its direct flight from Shanghai and Beijing to Zurich in 2002.
With Air China and Shanghai Airlines due to join the Star Alliance next year, Swiss International is also expected to collaborate with two domestic partners to offer its customers services from Shanghai to other Chinese destinations.
Beijing is also set to appear on the company’s timetable next spring, under a code-share operation with Lufthansa via Munich.
Swiss International Chief Executive Officer Christoph Franz said, ‘Our new services should ensure that Switzerland enjoys attractive air connections with what is currently the world’s fastest-growing market.’
In truth it goes much further than that. Typically, fares out of Switzerland are much lower than fares from London. Many companies have so constructed their company’s travel plans that their executives fly first to Zurich and then on to the final destination. So this flight will not just be attractive to Swiss customers. It has implications throughout Europe.
Since last November, Switzerland’s national airline has added five Airbus A320-family aircraft to its European fleet and has introduced two additional Airbus A330s.
Source: Shanghai Daily