SWISS still going strong
Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is all set to become the first airline in the world to operate the new Bombardier C Series with its decision to put a CS100 into service on July 15. These aircraft, however, are only for the European sector and will be perfect for onward connectivity from Zurich for GCC customers of SWISS.
Operations in the Gulf remain the same for the last four years, Mark Pey, head of SWISS Gulf and Pakistan, tells TTN, on the side lines of the recently concluded ATM. 'Muscat/Dubai remains a strong product despite the huge capacity increase into the market from regional competitors and so far this seems to be the right way to connect people to Switzerland and beyond. It doesn’t make commercial sense to add more capacity to this market.'
Emirates started a second daily A380 service to Zurich in October last year and in June this year, it starts its second daily Boeing 777-300ER service to Geneva.
'We could think of a second operation and have a morning flight in the same sector for business class travel – this scenario is always discussed – considering we have a night flight right now. Speaking of Pakistan, due to the current political situation, we don’t operate into the country, though we know that it has huge potential.
'Our group’s charter airlines – Edelweiss Air and Eurowings – are keenly watching the Oman market for direct charter flights to Muscat, especially for the winter season.'
This February, SWISS has also expanded its ground product for intercontinental premium travellers with the opening of new lounges in Zurich Airport’s Dock E for First, Senators and Business Class guests. A more than 3,000-square-metre zone has been designated for the new lounge facilities on the dock’s top floor.
Each lounge will be divided into various zones: a restaurant area, a bar, a working area and a relaxation zone. Guests will have access from all three lounges to a terrace that has great views of Runway 28 and the Alps beyond. The First Class Lounge will feature a wine rack with 1,000 bottles and an à la carte restaurant. In winter, fondue and raclette will be offered outside on the terrace for First Class guests.