Codeshares next as Swiss grows

Codeshares next as Swiss grows
By admin


Swiss is looking to strike codeshare deals into Australia, most likely with fellow Star Alliance carriers, in the next stage of its Asia Pacific expansion after announcing plans to fly from Zurich to Singapore.

The daily non-stop A340 services will launch on May 12, four years after the carrier last served Singapore, via Bangkok.

Swiss will now turn its focus on securing codeshares, something the airline does not currently have in the local market. It serves Australia today through interline arrangements with several carriers.

Anil Rodricks, Swiss Australia manager, described the addition of Singapore, its eight port in the region, as the “central piece” in its Asian network and one that trade partners in Australia have “long waited for”.

“It demonstrates the confidence head office has, knowing we’ll be able to support the flights with traffic out of Australia,” Rodricks told Travel Today. “This is a major development. Singapore is the hub leader to Europe despite all the talk of the Middle East.”

Codeshares will most likely to forged with Star Alliance carriers, including Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways, with Rodricks predicting they could be finalised by the end of the year.

“We have the flight to Singapore and the rest will follow in the coming months,” he said. “It’s definitely our vision to have a strong codeshare product out of Australia.”

Developing codeshares has not previously been pursued by Swiss partly because limited traffic rights did not make it commercially viable – a situation that was recently resolved, according to Rodricks – and also because Swiss has insufficient partners to serve all major Australian ports.

“When we do codeshares we like to have country-wide solution. We wanted to avoid having a good codeshare solution in Sydney, but a bad one in Brisbane and maybe none at all in Perth,” Rodricks explained. “Schedule is critical and we did not have partners with ideal connections between Australia and Asia.”

A piecemeal codeshare network “complicates distribution”, but the addition of Singapore as a hub will solve that, Rodricks added.

Codeshares will also ensure better distribution with online travel agents, he said.

The Zurich-Singapore flights will be bookable in Australia from October 9.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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