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Swiss: New long-haul destination in talk

Swiss: New long-haul destination in talk

Swiss is expanding its long-haul offering. In April, it launched direct flights to Washington D.C. First flights to Seoul and Toronto will follow next week. An additional expansion of the route network is planned.

On the one hand, the expansion will be possible because four A340 aircraft are expected to be replaced by five A350 aircraft from next year. On the other hand, the airline still has capacity on flights that it suspended during the coronavirus crisis and has not yet resumed – such as those to Nairobi, Beijing and Osaka.

Ambassador announces direct flights to Mexico City

Now a new long-haul destination is coming into play. Pietro Piffaretti, Swiss ambassador for Mexico and Belize, recently wrote on the online platform Linkedin that direct flights from Zurich to Mexico City could become an issue.

He had met with Carsten Spohr, the CEO of Swiss parent company Lufthansa. They discussed the Group’s plans to launch a direct Swiss flight from Zurich to Mexico City. This is expected to take place in 2026. There is a solid business model for such a flight – thanks to Swiss investors coming to Mexico, but also thanks to more and more people from Mexico travelling to Switzerland for holidays.

In fact, the number of passengers travelling between Zurich and Mexico City has risen, according to the «Luzerner Zeitung» Abo by 35.6 per cent between 2019 and 2023 alone. Last year, almost 37,000 people travelled from Zurich to Mexico City. They all had to change planes.

However, the number of passengers alone says nothing about whether a connection can also be offered profitably. Other decisive factors are the willingness to pay on the route, the proportion of business travellers, who often generate higher revenues, and the cargo volume, which also contributes to profitability.

The fact that Swiss will one day fly to Mexico City is not yet a done deal. A Swiss spokeswoman says that no such plans can be confirmed at present. In principle, the airline is constantly reviewing the network for adjustments and additions. Any changes will be communicated «at the appropriate time». It would be unusual for the airline to officially confirm new routes two years in advance. However, it is clear that the long-haul network is being expanded.