SWISS will be reintroducing numerous destinations from Zurich and Geneva to its flight schedules in the 2020/2021 winter schedules. This means that some 85 per cent of the original destinations in the SWISS route network will be offered again. In view of the large number of travel restrictions and quarantine regulations, the winter timetable will be only 30 to a maximum of 40 per cent of the previous year’s level. The originally planned flight programme has had to be substantially revised downwards and will now only see the volume of flights originally planned for October towards the end of the winter. Further changes depend largely on the future design of the worldwide quarantine regulations. SWISS remains committed to the introduction of corona rapid tests to make travel meaningful again and to ensure international mobility.
Only 30-40 percent of the previous year’s capacity
In these very challenging times, SWISS will continue to strive to provide Switzerland with the best possible connections to the world, and to offer the most stable and varied flight programme possible with the 2020/2021 winter schedules. Flight planning, however, is becoming increasingly difficult in view of the diverse and rapidly changing constraints on international mobility. “Due to the worldwide development of the pandemic and the resulting travel restrictions and quarantine regulations rather than effective corona testing procedures, our planned flight programme for the coming winter falls short of our original expectations,” notes Tamur Goudarzi Pour, Chief Commercial Officer at SWISS.
Whereas capacity of up to 50% had been planned until a few weeks ago, SWISS has now been forced to reduce this capacity to around 30 to a maximum of 40 per cent of last year’s level, taking developments into account. All in all, SWISS plans to return to flying to some 85% of its destinations next winter, 67 of them from Zurich and 21 from Geneva.
High demand for cargo secures SWISS’s long-haul programme
In the long-haul sector, SWISS will return to Boston (USA) in October. The city on the US coast will initially be served twice weekly, and from March onwards three times weekly. Johannesburg (South Africa) will also be served again, with three flights a week planned. SWISS will also be operating three flights a week between Zurich and Dubai (United Arab Emirates) from the end of October onwards, and in the medium term Dubai is to be served at least five times a week from Zurich. Edelweiss Muscat will now operate a direct flight from Zurich. SWISS also plans to introduce three weekly flights to Los Angeles and Miami in the USA and to the Indian capital New Delhi from March 2021 onwards.
The following long-haul destinations will continue to be served from Zurich: Newark, New York JFK, Chicago, San Francisco, Montreal, São Paulo, Tel Aviv, Mumbai, Bangkok, Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The wide range of long-haul services can be offered mainly due to the continuing high demand for freight.
SWISS will also be operating three weekly flights to the African cities of Nairobi (Kenya) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) from the end of October onwards.
SWISS expands European route network
Despite all the uncertainties, SWISS is likely to resume services to the following short-haul destinations from Zurich in its winter schedules Munich and Wroclaw (Poland) at the end of October, Luxembourg, Birmingham, London City and Nuremberg in February 2021, and Graz in March 2021. During the Christmas season, when there is usually a high volume of visitors, Palma de Mallorca, Bilbao, Sylt, Naples and Thessaloniki will also be served.
From Geneva, the airline will be flying directly to Pristina again at the beginning of October and to Marrakesh in mid-October. Prague will be added at the end of October and Moscow at the beginning of November. SWISS will resume services to the following destinations from mid-December onwards: Malaga, Valencia, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Dublin, Hurghada, Kittilä (Finland), St. Petersburg and London Gatwick. SWISS will also resume direct service between Geneva and London City from February 2021 onwards. The destinations with the most flights from Geneva during the winter months include London Heathrow, Frankfurt and Moscow.