Swiss unfazed by Qantas, Emirates plan

Swiss unfazed by Qantas, Emirates plan
By admin

Swiss International Air Lines has emphasised the appeal of the Asian stopover, with the carrier confident the impending tie-up between Qantas and Emirates will not negatively impact its Australian business.

The airline will launch its new Zurich-Singapore service in May, with Australia in the top three markets for the new route.

"Asia will remain a very attractive transit point irrespective of how the Middle East develops," Swiss manager Australia Anil Rodricks told Travel Today.

The airline is hopeful that China will also soon become a gateway for its Australian customers. Both Shanghai and Beijing are currently stopover destinations for Swiss, with no direct connections to Australia currently in place with any of its partner airlines.

But Rodricks was confident burgeoning capacity between Australia and its Chinese ports would soon see a suitable connecting partner present itself.

"One day we expect that there will be connecting capacity, so today we don't have partners that connect to our flights, but we would expect it some time in the future," he said.

Although there is no timescale in mind, Rodricks insisted the connection would be driven by a potential partner rather than Swiss itself.

Arved Von Zur Muehlen, the airline's new managing director intercontinental markets, highlighted the appeal of the Asian airports it serves over Dubai, along with that of its Swiss hub.

"Zurich is extremely efficient," he said. "It is a very good offer that we can give customers."

Meanwhile, Swiss has followed through on its plan to invest in its long haul fleet as it committed to an order for six Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

The $1.9 billion order, flagged by Travel Today yesterday, will see the airline grow its capacity on profitable long-haul routes.

Chief executive Harry Hohmeister described the 777 as the "ideal" size and range for the airline.

"We have made a landmark decision to further invest in an advanced aircraft fleet to retain our competitive edge over many of our competitors which are operating aircraft with more than 300 seats on similar routes," he said.



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