Spokesperson: Felix Rodel, area manager, Middle East & Africa, Swiss Inter-national Air Lines
Plans for 2007?
Swiss is increasing its fleet by seven additional Airbus aircraft in 2007, which will increase our capacity by around 17 per cent. We will use the additional capacity to compact our flight plan, increase existing frequencies such as East Africa, KSA, Europe, South Africa and the North Atlantic). We may also look into additional destinations in the Far East.
Strategy in the face of competition?
We are concentrating on our strengths; the position we have as a top-quality network carrier based in the centre of Europe, and operating through Europe’s leading airport, Zurich.
Is Swiss bullish about 2007? If yes, why?
Overall we believe that 2007 will be a very positive year for the airline industry as a whole, with a steady overall economic growth environment. As for Swiss, we are looking for a second year of profitability and more awards for our exceptional service levels. The industry has taken a bit of beating over the last five years, yet passengers are still travelling, they still seek quality travel solutions and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.
At this stage we are concentrating on the destinations we currently service, in strengthening those routes. We are looking to expand the existing network through additional frequencies.
New for passengers?
We will have improved and more comprehensive schedules on our network. Our hub at Zurich will feature new Star Alliance facilities, and become the third star terminal after Frankfurt and Munich. Our European fleet will feature new seats with more legroom, while the inconvenient centre seat is being removed from our business class on Airbus aircraft. In addition, our long haul fleet will receive upgrades including a great choice of movies on the in-flight entertainment system and new seats, as well as lie-flat seats for business class as of winter 2007-08.
We will continue with our award-winning Swiss food concept, and have introduced a limousine meet-and-greet service for premium travellers at Zurich, while Air Concierge services will offer personal care and recognition to passengers on the ground, such as lounge upgrades in both Zurich and Geneva.