Swiss airspace to be temporarily closed

16 April 2010

Actual update 21:00

Air services across much of Europe are being severely disrupted by a cloud of volcanic ash. The cloud, which originates from an eruption in Iceland and has been carried and spread by the prevailing winds, has prompted several European countries to close their airspace and airports down.

Swiss airspace is temporarily closed as of tonight until at least tomorrow morning. There will thus be no further arrivals or departures at Zurich, Basel, Geneva or Lugano airports from this time until further notice.In view of this, SWISS is forced to cancel all its departures from Switzerland tomorrow, April 17th until 15:00. For operational reasons, SWISS must also cancel tomorrow’s long-haul services from Switzerland until at least 17:30.

It is currently impossible to predict with any accuracy how Europe’s air services will continue to be affected by these ash cloud developments. SWISS is confident, however, that flight operations can be resumed in Swiss airspace in the course of the weekend, as Switzerland lies on the edge of the area affected. SWISS is in close contact with the authorities and airports involved, and aims to provide its customers with a further update on developments tomorrow morning.

Further information on the current situation and flights is available at SWISS.COM. Customers may also contact a SWISS Service Center or the place they booked their flight. In view of the present situation, however, and the large volumes of calls that the Service Centers are receiving, it may take some time for their call or email to be answered. SWISS asks its customers to check up on the latest situation and developments regularly, either online or via Teletext. SWISS customers whose flights are cancelled are asked not to go to the airport.

Customers with a SWISS booking for between 15 and 19 April who find that their flight is cancelled may rebook free of charge onto a later SWISS flight in the same booking category, provided they start their new travel by 31 May. Such customers who do not wish to rebook will have their fare refunded in full. Needless to say, SWISS is doing its utmost to minimise any inconvenience suffered by its customers.