SWISS to retain its Lugano services

23 December 2003

Lugano is to remain in the SWISS route network. Services to and from the airport in Southern Switzerland will be operated by the carrier’s Avro RJ85/100 and Saab 2000 aircraft from January 2004 using a special visual flight rules procedure which complies with the airport’s new approach regulations. The new arrangement is one of several considered by SWISS during a two-month grace period granted by the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Aviation for the company to modify its existing approach procedures.

In imposing its new approach regulations for Lugano Airport with effect from November 1, 2003, the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Aviation (FOCA) granted SWISS a two-month extension to its existing operations to and from the airport, during which the carrier was asked to devise new operating arrangements that would enable it to continue to serve the airport while complying with the FOCA’s new regulations. The visual flight rules procedure now selected will permit SWISS to continue to serve Lugano with flights operated by its own aircraft.

Lugano thus remains a firm fixture in the SWISS route network, with four flights to and from Zurich a day. The route will be operated by Avro RJ85/100 and Saab 2000 aircraft from January 2, 2004 onwards. Departure and arrival times remain unchanged. SWISS has been deploying only Avro RJ85/100s on the route during the transitional two-month period.

SWISS continues to study the possibility of serving Lugano together with a partner airline from the start of the 2004 summer schedules. Discussions on this are continuing with candidate partners.