Tag Archives: Swiss International Air Lines

Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines will be offering a selection of food and beverages in Economy Class on short- and medium-haul flights starting in spring 2021

Lufthansa Group has made this announcement:

In the near future, Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines will be offering g their customers a new range of services in Economy Class. Starting in spring 2021, passengers on short and medium-haul routes will be able to purchase a broad selection of high-quality foods and beverages on board to suit their needs.

High quality standards are implemented in the new range from selection to preparation and presentation. With the new concept, the airlines are also investing more heavily in sustainability by selecting environmentally friendly products and packaging and by reducing food waste through more customized production.

“Our current snack offer in Economy Class does not always meet the expectations of our guests,” explains Christina Foerster, Member of the Executive Board Lufthansa Group responsible for Customer, IT & Corporate Responsibility. “The new offer was developed on the basis of feedback from our customers. With the high-quality offer available for purchase, our passengers will be able to decide what they want to eat and drink on their journey.”

The range of food and beverages will be available from the individual airlines in various forms, some of which will have regional references. The focus will be on fresh products and a selection of snacks. The standard, complimentary snack will no longer be served in the future.

The new offer will be introduced in phases as of spring 2021: Austrian Airlines will begin, followed by Swiss and Lufthansa; the new products will be revealed by individual airlines over the coming months.

Coronavirus crisis continues to severely impact earnings at Swiss

Swiss made this announcement:

The actions being taken in response to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic continue to weigh heavily on the global aviation sector, including Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS). The company reports total revenues for the first nine months of 2020 of CHF 1.54 billion, a 61.8 percent decline on the same period last year (1st to 3rdquarter 2019: CHF 4.02 billion1)). The operating loss increased to CHF 414.7 million (1st to 3rd quarter 2019: + CHF 489.6 million). Thanks to sizeable cost reductions and an increase in production in the summer months, the operating loss for the third-quarter period was lower than it had been in the second quarter. But with growing travel restrictions and the pandemic’s current rapid spread, SWISS will be further reducing its capacities in its 2020/21 winter schedules. The operating loss is expected to further increase by the end of the year. Stable and standardized parameters are now urgently required to restore confidence in travel.

The actions being taken in response to the coronavirus pandemic continued to impact substantially on global aviation and thus also on Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) in the 2020 third-quarter period. SWISS was able to gradually restore services – to an extent beyond initial expectations – in the summer months. But growing travel restrictions thwarted the nascent revival in demand from mid-August onwards. Total revenues for the first nine months of 2020 amounted to CHF 1.54 billion, a 61.8-per-cent decline on the CHF 4.02 billion1) of the prior-year period. The operating loss further increased, and amounted to CHF 414.7 million for the first nine months (compared to an operating profit of CHF 489.6 million for the prior-year period).

“Given the paralyzing effect that the various quarantine provisions have had on our customers’ booking behaviour over the past few months, this nine-month operating result is in line with our expectations,” says Markus Binkert, SWISS’s Chief Financial Officer. “With rigorous cash and cost management, we were able to minimize the cash drain in the third-quarter period. And despite the extremely difficult market environment, we are on course in bank loan terms, and our liquidity is not at risk.”

 

In view of the recent global increases in coronavirus cases and the associated tightening of travel restrictions worldwide, demand for air travel will further decline in the fourth quarter of this year. As a result, SWISS’s operating losses in 2020 are likely to further increase, and for the first time in 15 years the company will report a negative annual earnings result.

Further cost reductions in the winter timetable period

SWISS has launched a comprehensive restructuring programme to ensure that it can repay its state-backed bank loans as swiftly as possible and can secure its future viability and competitive credentials. The actions being taken here include deferring all projects and investments companywide that are not essential to business operations. SWISS is also pursuing three socially reasonable courses of action to reduce its personnel costs: a freeze on new hirings, attractive part-time employment models with associated salary reductions and early retirement options. In combination with natural workforce turnover, these should reduce the SWISS payroll by some 1,000 positions over the next two years. The company is also discussing these and further cost reduction measures with its social partners. In a further effort to lower costs, SWISS has also resolved to temporarily withdraw its 28 older Airbus A320 family aircraft for the winter timetable period. The company’s short- and medium-haul winter schedules will be operated solely with its more efficient Airbus A220 fleet and its new-engine-option or “neo” Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft.

Brief recovery in the third-quarter period

Having gradually restored services from June onwards, SWISS also saw an upturn in the demand for air travel, especially to tourist destinations and in the visiting-friends-and-relatives segment. As a result, the airline was able to operate up to 40 per cent of its originally planned programme in the summer months, which was slightly above expectations.

Growing and ever-changing travel restrictions and quarantine regulations extinguished this nascent revival, however, from mid-August onwards. As a result of the expanded production and substantial cost reductions, SWISS’s operating loss for the third-quarter period was lower than the second quarter’s at CHF 148.3 million (Q3 2019: operating profit of CHF 244.3 million). Total third-quarter revenues amounted to CHF 370.5 million (Q3 2019: CHF 1.45 billion1)).

Drastic decline in nine-month passenger numbers

SWISS2) transported a total of 4,315,992 passengers in the first nine months of 2020, some 69.8 per cent fewer than it had carried in the same period last year. A total of 41,294 flights were performed in the period, 64.1 per cent fewer than in January-to-September 2019. Nine-month systemwide capacity was 63.2 per cent down in available seat-kilometre (ASK) terms, while total traffic volume, measured in revenue passenger-kilometres (RPKs), saw a 71.9-per-cent decline. Nine-month systemwide seat load factor stood at 64.2 per cent, 20 percentage points below its prior-year level.

SWISS’s passenger volumes were 77.2 per cent down in July, 76.7 per cent down in August and 84.0 per cent down in September. Systemwide seat load factor for the third-quarter period stood at 43.0 per cent. Third-quarter seat load factor amounted to 71.5 per cent for European services, but was substantially lower for long-haul services to and from all traffic regions.

Demand for cargo services remained high. By the end of September, SWISS’s Swiss WorldCargo division had performed over 880 cargo-only flights and transported more than 18,000 tonnes.

Sizeable range of long-haul services thanks to high cargo demand

Keeping Switzerland connected with Europe and the rest of the world remains SWISS’s paramount objective. But a host of travel restrictions and quarantine provisions and a coronavirus pandemic that is raging more strongly than ever are making this increasingly difficult to do. As a result, SWISS’s originally planned flight schedules for the coming winter have had to be substantially downwardly revised. The company currently expects to offer services that amount to 25 per cent at the most of its prior-year capacity.

Thanks primarily to continuing strong demand for cargo services, however, SWISS is able to offer a comparatively wide range of long-haul flights. Since the start of the winter timetable period at the end of October, the company has been serving 16 of its 24 established long-haul destinations, and two more will be added in March. As a result, SWISS is serving a disproportionately large number of long-haul destinations (compared to its sister Lufthansa Group airlines) from its Zurich hub, albeit with fewer frequencies than originally planned.

“We will continue to do everything in our power to perform our mission of keeping Switzerland optimally connected with the world and providing our customers with a safe travel experience,” confirms SWISS CEO Thomas Klühr. “We are unlikely to see a recovery in the air transport sector until this pandemic subsides and the present immigration bans and quarantine requirements are lifted. But if the next summer timetable period is to bring the kind of upturn we desire, we must have parameters in place by then that are stable, standardized and favourable to mobility.”

Thomas Klühr to step down as Swiss CEO at the end of 2020

Swiss International Air Lines has made this announcement:

Thomas Klühr, who has been CEO of Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) since 2016, has asked the SWISS Board of Directors to release him from his duties at the end of 2020. The Board of Directors has acceded to his request with the greatest regret, but with respect for the personal reasons behind his decision and with its express thanks and appreciation for his substantial achievements at SWISS and his more than 30 years of service with the Lufthansa Group. Following his departure, Thomas Klühr will in future serve on the new and yet-to-be-established Swiss Aviation Foundation. The Board of Directors will decide on his successor as SWISS CEO in the fourth-quarter period.

Swiss marks ticket refund milestone and fulfils Swiss government requirement

Swiss International Air Lines has made this announcement:

Swiss has completed by the end of September its processing of the ticket refund requests which it had received from Swiss tour operators up to the end of July, thereby complying with a corresponding requirement from the Swiss Confederation. The refund requests from direct customers dating from the same time period have also been processed and settled. More recent ticket refund requests continue to be processed on a rolling basis, and October will see the processing times involved shorten further to their usual pre-pandemic levels. SWISS has now processed over 1.1 million ticket refund requests in 2020 and issued refunds totalling more than CHF 585 million.

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) has now processed the ticket refund requests which it had received up to the end of July from Swiss-based tour operators who are subject to the Swiss Federal Package Travel Act. In doing so, SWISS has fulfilled a corresponding requirement from the Swiss Confederation. A handful of such requests which require more extensive processing remain pending, but these should also be concluded in the near future. “I am very pleased that we have been able to eliminate the previous backlog with these ticket refund requests and fulfil the Swiss Confederation’s requirement as planned,” says SWISS Chief Commercial Officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour. “Travel agents and tour operators have also been able to use the automated refund function in our GDS again since the end of July, which has also helped to normalize the refund payment process for our distribution partners.”

SWISS has also settled by the end of September the ticket refund requests which it had received from its direct customers up to the end of July. Here, too, a few complex cases remain open; but these should also be resolved in the very near future. “We have kept our promise,” Tamur Goudarzi Pour confirms. “But I would still like to offer our sincere apologies once again to all the customers concerned for the inconveniences they have incurred.”

SWISS has now processed over 1.1 million ticket refund requests worldwide in 2020 to date and issued refunds totalling more than CHF 585 million to the customers concerned.

Refund processing times back to pre-pandemic levels

SWISS will continue to process more recent ticket refund requests on a rolling basis. These are constantly being received as flights have to be cancelled owing to new travel warnings or customers simply find themselves unable to travel. In view of this, the numbers of pending refund requests will continue to evolve and gradually decline, but will not be eliminated entirely. The waiting times for such refunds will, however, diminish as early as October to the usual levels experienced before the present coronavirus pandemic.

Customers can continue to plan their travels with maximum flexibility. All SWISS tickets in all fare categories are rebookable free of charge as many times as the customer wishes or needs. The option applies to all new bookings worldwide, be they for short-, medium- or long-haul travel.

Swiss to keep Switzerland connected with the world in Winter 2020/21 despite strict quarantine provisions

Swiss International Air Lines made this announcement:

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 percent 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 percent 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 percent 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 percent of that of last year. Swiss aims to serve some 85 percent 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 nonstop 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.

Swiss aircraft photo gallery:

Swiss reports first-half operating loss

Swiss International Air Lines issued this statement:

The consequences of the coronavirus pandemic impacted severely on SWISS’s business results for the first six months of 2020. The Airline of Switzerland reported an operating loss of CHF 266.4 million for the period, which compares to an operating profit of CHF 245.3 million for the first half of 2019. Total 2020 first-half revenues amounted to CHF 1.17 billion, a 55-per-cent decline from the CHF 2.57 billion1 of the prior-year period. SWISS2 transported 64.0 per cent fewer passengers in the first half of 2020 than it had in the same period last year. First-half systemwide seat load factor amounted to 71.2 per cent, 10.8 percentage points down from its prior-year level. SWISS’s European services are seeing some revival in demand. But the corresponding trends on the intercontinental network, which is key to any substantial business recovery, have been markedly more modest to date. In view of the still highly dynamic situation, no full-year earnings forecast for 2020 can currently be made.

The massive restrictions on global air travel that have been imposed in response to the coronavirus pandemic have hit Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) severely, too. For several weeks in spring only a minimal timetable of SWISS services could be offered, substantially reducing income levels. Total first-half revenues amounted to CHF 1.17 billion, 55 per cent down on the CHF 2.57 billion1 of the same period last year. The operating result (or Adjusted EBIT) for the period declined accordingly: SWISS reported a first-half operating loss of CHF 266.4 million (which compares to an operating profit of CHF 245.3 million for the first half of 2019). In view of the still highly dynamic overall situation and the unpredictability of further developments, no forecast can yet be made for the 2020 full-year Adjusted EBIT result.

“Thanks to the prompt actions we took to safeguard our liquidity, our fixed costs have been substantially reduced,” says Chief Financial Officer Markus Binkert. “With the loans from the Lufthansa Group and the prospective bank credit facilities backed by the Swiss Confederation, our liquidity is secure. But we still need to further reduce our structural costs, to ensure that we can repay our loans as swiftly as possible.”

SWISS will make further comprehensive economies to enhance its cost structure over the next few months. These will include a thorough analysis of the deployment of its present aircraft fleet, and the cessation companywide of all investments which are not essential to flight and business operations.

Second quarter hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic

While its effects were already felt in the first-quarter period, it was in the second quarter of 2020 that the coronavirus pandemic impacted particularly hard on SWISS’s business activities. With travel restrictions of growing severity increasingly imposed all over the world, the company was compelled to reduce its flight schedules to a minimum and park a large part of its aircraft fleet for several weeks. Revenues declined accordingly: the CHF 243.7 million generated for the second quarter of 2020 was 82.8 per cent down on the CHF 1.41 billion1of the prior-year period. The period also produced an operating loss of CHF 182.3 million, which compares to an operating profit of CHF 196.9 million for the same period last year.

Massive declines in passenger numbers

SWISS2 transported a total of 3,167,624 passengers in the first half of this year – 64.0 per cent fewer than it had in the prior-year period. A total of 29,667 flights were operated, 59.5 per cent fewer than in the first half of 2019. Some 57.1 per cent less capacity was offered systemwide in available seat-kilometre (ASK) terms, while first-half total traffic volume, measured in revenue passenger-kilometres (RPK), declined by 62.7 per cent. Systemwide seat load factor for the period amounted to 71.2 per cent, a decline from the prior-year period of 10.8 percentage points.

The steepest monthly year-on-year decline in passenger volumes was April’s 99.2 per cent. Passenger numbers for June were still 92.2 per cent down on 2019. June 2020 seat load factor amounted to 41.6 per cent, 45.5 percentage points below its prior-year level.

A focus on repatriation and cargo flights

In addition to maintaining a minimal network of air connections between Switzerland and the world, SWISS and its sister airline Edelweiss operated 35 repatriation flights until beginning of July 2020 flying some 7,400 travellers – mostly Swiss nationals – to Switzerland from all over the world as part of the largest repatriation programme ever conducted by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The company’s Swiss WorldCargo division has also performed just under 600 dedicated cargo flights until the end of June, transporting over 15,000 tonnes of goods (primarily medicines and further medical items) to supply the Swiss people and support the Swiss economy.

Further service resumptions planned

SWISS’s minimal flight operations were steadily ramped up in June to 15 to 20 per cent of originally-planned capacity. By this autumn, around one-third of the company’s capacities should be on offer again to some 85 per cent of the destinations which enjoyed SWISS service before the crisis began. Two-thirds of the 91-aircraft SWISS fleet have been back in operation since July – 41 short-haul and 17 long-haul aircraft, the latter including three Boeing 777s that have been temporarily converted to carry cargo on their main deck, too.

SWISS has also developed a comprehensive protection concept to keep its customers’ air travel as safe as possible. The provisions here include the compulsory wearing of face masks on board, intensified aircraft cleaning and modified inflight service. And in addition to its flexible rebooking options, the company has also introduced a guaranteed return flight provision for all its European routes.

The present summer holiday season has brought strong demand – especially for European flights – and high seat load factors that are almost at their prior-year levels, albeit with substantially lower capacities. The increases in passenger numbers are mainly being seen in the tourist travel and the visiting-friends-and-relatives segments: demand remains extremely weak on the business travel front. Intercontinental traffic volumes are also recovering only very slowly, in view of the many immigration restrictions which are still in place here.

“These positive trends in the demand for air travel in Europe make us cautiously optimistic,” says SWISS CEO Thomas Klühr. “We are well aware, though, that we still have a long way to go before this crisis is overcome. And one crucial factor for our substantial and sustainable recovery will be the further developments in our intercontinental business, particularly to and from the key North America region.”

1 SWISS adopted new accounting principles at the end of 2019 in compliance with those of the Lufthansa Group. Total revenues of CHF 1.42 billion for the second quarter and of CHF 2.58 billion for the first half of 2019 were previously reported in July 2019.

2 excluding Edelweiss Air

Swiss International aircraft photo gallery:

Swiss International aircraft slide show:

https://airlinersgallery.smugmug.com/frame/slideshow?key=X2HDvM&speed=3&transition=fade&autoStart=1&captions=0&navigation=0&playButton=0&randomize=0&transitionSpeed=2

Swiss to increase its capacity in June

Swiss International Air Lines Boeing 777-300 ER HB-JNG (msn 62752) ZRH (Ton Jochems). Image: 949940.

Swiss International Air Lines has made this announcement:

In the coming days and weeks, entry requirements of various European countries will be gradually open. This leads to an increased demand for air travel. Swiss therefore plans to substantially expand its services with the June timetable, in line with the respective entry requirements. “We plan to resume around 15-20% of our original services in June, and are very pleased to be able to offer Switzerland greater connections to the world,” says Swiss CEO Thomas Klühr.

Swiss plans to operate approximately 140 weekly flights from Zurich to 30 destinations in Europe, and approximately 40 weekly flights from Geneva to 14 destinations in Europe. The airline will still serve the three weekly long-haul flights to Newark in the USA, further intercontinental destinations will be added in June. In addition, Swiss and its Swiss WorldCargo division will continue to operate their cargo-only flights to various destinations globally.

The changes and additions to the June timetable will be published shortly in all the booking systems. The expansion of the flight schedules is taking place step by step, following the needs of the customers.

Swiss recommends wearing a mouth-nose face covering on board for protection against SARS CoV2 transmission.

With effect from Monday, May 4, 2020, all Swiss passengers will be asked to bring their own mouth-nose face covering to wear on board all flights. The airline also advises use of a face covering at the airport before or after flights, whenever sufficient social distancing cannot be adequately observed. Despite adjustments to procedures, social distancing is not always possible, and this measure provides an additional layer of protection against SARS CoV2 transmission for everyone.

The recommendation will initially apply until August 31, 2020.

The current rule whereby every second seat in Economy Class is kept vacant will no longer apply as sufficient protection is afforded by mouth-nose face coverings. The likelihood of infection by the coronavirus while traveling by air remains low: there are no known cases of infection on board Swiss flights since the outbreak of the pandemic. All Swiss aircraft are equipped with high-performance air filters to guarantee air quality of the same standard as in an operating theatre and ensure vertical air circulation instead diffusion in the cabin.

Top Copyright Photo: Swiss International Air Lines Boeing 777-300 ER HB-JNG (msn 62752) ZRH (Ton Jochems). Image: 949940.

Swiss aircraft slide show:

Swiss reconfigures three Boeing 777-300s into cargo aircraft

Swiss International Air Lines has conducted a total of seven charter cargo flights from Shanghai (China) to Switzerland on behalf of the Swiss Red Cross. The flights, which brought medical equipment and testing materials to Switzerland, were performed with the close support of the company’s Swiss WorldCargo division.

In total, the flights brought in over 20 million protective facemasks and 300 000 protective overalls. The flights were performed with Airbus A340 and Boeing 777-300 aircraft. To make maximum use of the space available, the cargo was carried not only in the hold but also in the passenger cabin.

Above Photo: The first cargo-only flight landed in Geneva. On behalf of Geneva University Hospital and the Canton of Geneva, the Swiss Boeing 777-300 carried syringes and several million surgical masks from Shanghai to Switzerland.

Swiss and its Swiss World Cargo division have performed more than 80 cargo-only flights since the end of March, transporting over 1,300 tons of airfreight between Asia and Switzerland. The cargoes concerned have consisted mainly of medicines and medical supplies and equipment for the Swiss healthcare system.

Swiss plans to operate over 100 further cargo flights on behalf of various private and public entities between now and the end of May. The Airline of Switzerland will also introduce a new network of cargo-only services offering regular cargo flights between Zurich and Shanghai (up to three times daily), Beijing (up to twice daily), Chicago and Tokyo (twice weekly) as well as Bangkok and Singapore (weekly). Further destinations are expected to be added to the new network over the next few weeks.

In a further development, Swiss is considering to remove the Economy Class seating from three of its twelve Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to meet the growing demand for air cargo capacity. More than 800 seats would be deinstalled at Zurich airport for this purpose. The modifications would help ensure consistent and regular goods deliveries and thereby help keep Switzerland optimally connected with the world in the difficult present conditions – particularly for the provision of medical and humanitarian supplies to and from the country.

Above Photo: On April 22, two machines for the production of FFP2 protective masks arrived in Switzerland. We are proud that we were able to transport the machines from Shanghai to Zurich on behalf of the Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) and the Health Department of the Canton of Zurich.

All above photos by Swiss.

Swiss aircraft photo gallery:

Swiss performs repatriation flights and cargo-only flights

Swiss International Air Lines made this announcement:

Swiss is to operate its first flight to Santiago (Chile), as part of Swiss and Edelweiss’s support of the unprecedented repatriation program that has been initiated by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA).
The outbound Boeing 777 flight is expected to depart from Zurich on Friday 27 March. The return flight from Santiago will arrive on Sunday 29 March with up to 330 passengers on board. The aim of the flight is to bring Swiss travelers blocked abroad back to Switzerland. Further repatriation flights by Swiss and Edelweiss on the FDFA’s behalf are being planned, with a particular focus on destinations in Latin America, Asia, Oceania and Africa.
Any persons who are interested in taking such a repatriation flight because they have been unable, despite their best efforts, to arrange their own transport home should contact their local Swiss diplomatic representation. The FDFA also urges all Swiss nationals abroad seeking to return home to Switzerland to register their desired travel as soon as possible on the corresponding FDFA Travel Admin app.
With immediate effect, Swiss will also be using its passenger aircraft to perform pure cargo flights. Two aircraft will depart for Hong Kong this week transporting only freight, and further such flights are currently being planned.
With immediate effect, Swiss will also be using its passenger aircraft to perform pure cargo flights. Two aircraft will depart for Hong Kong this week transporting only freight, and further such flights are currently being planned.
Swiss aircraft photo gallery:

Lufthansa Group publishes flight schedule for returnees

Lufthansa Group has made this announcement:

  • Lufthansa Group Airlines’ flight schedule geared to returnees
  • Return flight schedule initially valid until 19.4.
  •  Lufthansa Group provides 920,000 face masks to health authorities

From the beginning of next week, a return flight schedule will be in effect for the airlines in the Lufthansa Group. This will initially be valid until April 19, 2020.

Harry Hohmeister, Member of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG: “This situation has a historic dimension. Hardly anyone wants to or is currently allowed to travel. That is why our returnee flight schedule is now essentially geared to the needs of European citizens who want to return to their home countries. We are now flying as many people home as possible!”

The intercontinental return flight schedule in detail

Long-haul flights are offered as scheduled from Frankfurt and Zurich. Lufthansa’s intercontinental flight schedule from Frankfurt is as follows: three times a week to Newark, Chicago (both USA), Montreal (Canada), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Bangkok (Thailand), Tokyo (Japan) and Johannesburg (South Africa).

In addition to a substantially reduced short- and medium-haul timetable (48 services from Zurich), Swiss will in future offer three weekly long-haul flights to Newark (USA).

Lufthansa’s short- and medium-haul schedules

From its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich, Lufthansa still offers around 40 daily connections to the most important cities in Germany and Europe.

Short and medium-haul flight schedule of Eurowings

Eurowings flight program focuses on the basic supply of the airports of Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Cologne.

Special flights for governments and tourism companies

In order to bring as many people as possible back home quickly, the airlines of the Lufthansa Group are currently operating numerous special flights all over the world in close consultation with the governments of their respective home countries and on behalf of tourism companies. With around 130 extra flights operated by Lufthansa, Eurowings, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Edelweiss, around 25,000 passengers have so far flown home. Around 100 further flights are already being prepared.

Renunciation of the use of face masks

The Lufthansa Group is waiving the purchase of more than 920,000 permanently ordered face masks and making them available to the health authorities. In this way, the company assumes social responsibility and supports medical facilities that urgently need these masks. The Group has a sufficient quantity of masks in stock for Lufthansa Group employees.

In addition, Lufthansa Group employees who have completed medical training can now be released quickly and unbureaucratically on a voluntary basis for specific work in a medical facility.