29 September 2020, Basel, SWITZERLAND
SWISS will be restoring several more destinations to its flight schedules from Zurich and Geneva in the coming 2020/21 winter timetable period. As a result, some 85 per cent of the airline’s previous route network will now receive SWISS service. In view of the numerous current travel restrictions and quarantine provisions, however, the new schedules will offer only 30 to (at the most) 40 per cent of the capacities provided for the same period last year. SWISS’s initially planned 2020/21 winter schedules have had to be substantially downwardly revised, and the capacity levels originally envisaged for October will now only be achieved towards the end of the coming winter period. Further adjustments may also be required, depending primarily on future global developments on the quarantine front. SWISS continues to advocate the adoption of rapid-result COVID-19 testing capabilities, to make travel a viable option again and ensure international mobility.
In these still highly challenging times, Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) remains resolved to keep Switzerland optimally connected with the world and to continue to offer a range of air services that are as robust and extensive as possible in the coming 2020/21 winter timetable period. Such scheduling is proving increasingly challenging, however, in view of the various and ever-changing restrictions on international mobility. “As a result of the current pandemic’s global development and the associated travel restrictions and quarantine provisions instead of effective corona test procedures, the schedules we have devised for the coming winter timetable period are well below our original expectations,” concedes SWISS Chief Commercial Officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour.
While production for the period had been planned to be as high as 50 per cent of its prior-year level until just a few weeks ago, the latest developments have prompted a reduction in capacity to only 30 to (at the most) 40 per cent of that of last year. SWISS aims to serve some 85 per cent of its established destinations in the coming winter timetable period, with 67 served from Zurich and 21 from Geneva.
A sizeable long-haul network thanks to still-strong cargo demand
On the long-haul front, SWISS will resume scheduled service to Boston (USA) from October onwards. The route will initially receive twice-weekly service, rising to thrice-weekly from March 2021. Johannesburg (South Africa) will also see SWISS services restored with three weekly frequencies. SWISS will further provide three weekly flights on the Zurich-Dubai (UAE) route from the end of October, which should rise to at least five weekly services in the medium term. Muscat will in future be served non-stop from Zurich with an Edelweiss flight. SWISS also plans to perform three weekly flights each to Los Angeles and Miami in the USA and to Delhi in India from March 2021.
Service will be continued on the existing long-haul routes between Zurich and Newark, New York JFK, Chicago, San Francisco, Montreal, São Paulo, Tel Aviv, Mumbai, Bangkok, Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai. SWISS is primarily able to offer such a range of long-haul services thanks to the continuing strong demand for cargo transportation on the routes concerned.
The African destinations of Nairobi (Kenya) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) will not be served in Winter 2020/21.
Additional European destinations for the Christmas period
Despite all the present uncertainties, SWISS expects to add the following short-haul destinations to its Zurich-based network in its coming winter schedules: Munich and Wroclaw (Poland) from the end of October; Luxembourg, Birmingham, London City and Nuremberg from February 2021; and Graz from March 2021. In the Christmas period, which traditionally sees high leisure travel volumes, services will also be added to Palma de Mallorca, Bilbao, Sylt, Naples and Thessaloniki.
From Geneva SWISS will offer non-stop services to Priština from the beginning of October and to Marrakech from mid-October. Prague will be added at the end of October and Moscow at the beginning of November. Mid-December will see services from Geneva resumed to Malaga, Valencia, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Dublin, Hurghada, Kittilä (Finland), St. Petersburg and London Gatwick. And non-stop SWISS services between Geneva and London City will be restored from February 2021. London Heathrow, Frankfurt and Moscow are among the destinations with the most frequencies from Geneva in the coming winter timetable period.
Ticket refunds for any cancelled flights
The finalization and publication of SWISS’s 2020/21 winter schedules also sees a number of flights cancelled which were planned before the coronavirus pandemic and can now in some cases not be performed. Any customers whose flights are cancelled in this way can rebook free of charge or have their ticket refunded. SWISS will continue to closely monitor further developments in the current global travel restrictions. “In this regard, we will also continue to advocate among others the adoption of rapid-results COVID-19 testing, to help to enable people to travel again to a reasonable degree and ensure optimum international mobility,” concludes Tamur Goudarzi Pour.
Source and photo: SWISS