SWISS customers earn Lufthansa 3 times more than German passengers

SWISS customers earn Lufthansa 3 times more than German passengers

New data revealed by national broadcaster SRF has suggested that the Lufthansa Group earns three times more from passengers in Switzerland than they do from those in Austria, Germany and Belgium. They found that SWISS is one of the most profitable parts of the airline group.

SWISS makes up 30 percent of Lufthansa Group sales

According to the data, SWISS accounts for 30 percent of gross sales in the Lufthansa Group - a group headed by the German airline of the same name, which includes subsidiaries such as Brussels Airlines, Austrian Airlines and Eurowings, among others. SRF explained that the reason for SWISS’ dominance on the balance sheet is due to how much people flying out of Swiss airports are charged.

According to the data, while Lufthansa itself earns 14,4 euros in net profit from every passenger flown, SWISS earns a whopping 41,3 euros per passenger, three times more than the German flag carrier and more than six times more than Brussels Airlines (6,4 euros).

The news follows accusations that the SWISS experience has been lessened in recent years, with the airline scrapping complimentary snacks on short-haul flights in the spring of 2021. Delays have also become a topic of concern, with the airline itself admitting back in July 2023 that its punctuality record over the summer was not good enough.

Why are SWISS flights more expensive than Lufthansa?

Speaking to the national broadcaster, Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr argued that the reason why SWISS passengers are more profitable is that unlike Lufthansa - which flies to several unprofitable destinations to maintain the size of the network - “SWISS focuses on the most profitable markets in the world.” He claimed that if Lufthansa flew to the same destinations from their base in Frankfurt, instead of transferring passengers to SWISS in Zurich, they would probably reach the same profit margins.

Mathias Binswanger, an economics expert from the University of Applied Sciences in northwestern Switzerland, said that while the findings will likely make Swiss consumers angry, Lufthansa is simply taking advantage of economic conditions in the alpine nation. “Switzerland is an attractive destination for airlines. There is a wealthy population living there who flies relatively often and is also prepared to pay a relatively high amount for these flights,” he argued.

Spohr himself noted that Switzerland is a goldmine for airlines: “[It] is an interesting market, on the one hand from Switzerland with the high purchasing power of the Swiss. On the other hand, the Swiss market is visited by many wealthy guests from abroad.” “Lufthansa Group would not be what it is without SWISS…But SWISS would certainly not be what it is without the Lufthansa Group,” he added.

Binswanger concluded by noting that not all flights from Switzerland are expensive and that passengers can still find cheap deals if they choose a budget carrier, fly from alternative airports, add transfers to journeys and fly at less sociable hours of the day.

Thumb image credit: Michael Derrer Fuchs /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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