SWISS announces 80 new measures to combat delays this summer

SWISS announces 80 new measures to combat delays this summer

In a bid to be more punctual, SWISS has announced 80 new measures designed to cut down on delays this summer. As Switzerland’s flag-carrier airline continues to expand its offerings, officials say that while they will try to cut down on disruption, they are still at the mercy of bad weather and technical problems at airports in Switzerland and the rest of Europe.

SWISS faced with high demand and more delays

As Swiss schools begin to break up for the summer holidays, people across the alpine nation will be packing their bags and heading to the airport. Faced with this heightened demand, SWISS confirmed that it would be increasing the number of services it offers by 13 percent compared to the summer of 2023.

However, at the same time, the airline admitted that customer satisfaction has declined precipitously, especially when it comes to delays. Indeed, according to their own data, only 62 percent of SWISS flights landed on time between January and September 2023, with the worst delays occurring during the summer. In a 2023 report by AirHelp, SWISS was ranked below easyJet and Wizz Air for punctuality.

Swiss flag carrier announces new measures to cut flight delays

In response, the airline confirmed it has implemented 80 new measures to reduce delays and improve customer satisfaction over the summer. Speaking to 20 Minuten, SWISS spokesperson Oliver Buchhofer confirmed that 2.000 new workers have been employed since the pandemic to work both on the ground and in the air.

"Thorough flight planning is the starting point," he explained, adding that more staff and better weather forecasting systems should help reduce delays in the coming weeks. For those that are delayed, more customer service staff have been employed to deal with rebooking and cancellations. Today, the airline estimates that 5.000 people call their passenger hotline every day, with each having to wait for an average of 40 seconds before being connected.

In the future, passengers will also be able to use the SWISS app on mobile phones to be notified about compensation and lost luggage. Finally, the brand new baggage system in Zurich should improve lost and delayed luggage rates in the future.

What causes delays on flights to and from Switzerland?

However, despite the measures, Buchhofer admitted that there are things beyond SWISS' control which will produce delays. For one, the last few weeks of terrible weather in Switzerland has had “a major impact” on operations - in the last two weeks, only 36,4 percent of SWISS flights landed on time. "If such extreme weather conditions occur again on a peak day during the summer holidays, it will be difficult… If several problems occur at the same time, operational disruptions occur," he added.

Switzerland’s position in the centre of Europe - one of the busiest airspaces in the world - is also a major challenge: "Last Friday there were delays due to thunderstorms around Switzerland, among other things. This obviously makes it very difficult when flying from Zurich," Buchhofer noted. 

Finally, he explained that while the new baggage system in Zurich should reduce issues eventually, technical problems with the new system mean the proportion of baggage arriving late has actually increased, from 1,6 percent in 2023 to 2,3 percent in 2024 so far. While this will improve in the future, it will probably not be fixed by the summer.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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