First SWISS flights to Sofia, St. Petersburg and Florence

31 March 2008

A SWISS Avro RJ100 took off from Zurich at 07:35 today on flight LX 1678, the airline’s first service to its new destination of Florence. Around 90 minutes later, an Airbus A319 departed on LX 1310, the carrier’s first flight to St. Petersburg. Sofia also received its first-ever SWISS service today with flight LX 1860, whose Airbus A319 had taken off from Zurich shortly after noon. Three new European destinations have thus joined SWISS’s Zurich-based network. SWISS is also adding a new Belgrade flight from EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg; and the SWISS Geneva-based network has been expanded with new services to Bucharest and Istanbul.

Harry Hohmeister, SWISS Chief Network & Distribution Officer, was on today’s first flight from Zurich to St. Petersburg. “I am delighted that, alongside Moscow, we now have this second Russian destination in our route network,” he says. “With our daily SWISS flight and Lufthansa’s five further daily frequencies from Frankfurt and Munich, we can offer SWISS and Lufthansa customers an excellent range of services to and from St. Petersburg.” Russia’s second city is a popular tourist destination that is gaining in importance among the business community. Business and leisure travellers visiting Switzerland from Russia will also welcome the new daily non-stop flights.

In introducing its new thrice-daily Zurich-Florence service, SWISS is acknowledging the Italian city’s importance as a prime tourist destination. Florence is also home to sizeable industrial and service sectors which should generate business-travel traffic, too.

Sofia, SWISS’s third new European destination from Zurich, is currently seeing above-average economic growth. Various Swiss companies have already set up operations in or around the city; and the new non-stop service should also prove popular with tourists visiting Bulgaria’s capital.

As part of its gradual expansion of its European route network in response to demand, SWISS is not only providing new services to St. Petersburg, Florence and Sofia from its Zurich hub, but is also introducing flights to the tourist destinations of Faro and Las Palmas in its new summer schedules. Geneva receives a new thrice-weekly service to Bucharest, and Geneva-based customers also enjoy non-stop flights to and from Malaga and Palma at weekends. SWISS service from EuroAirport Basel is expanded with the addition of a new weekend Belgrade flight.

The new points and routes expand SWISS’s European network from 43 to 48 destinations.