SWISS to expand network for 2022 with new European destinations
Switzerland’s flag-carrier airline SWISS is to expand its network in 2022, with plans to serve customers along several new European routes from airports in Switzerland.
Zurich to Bologna, Geneva to Brussels
The news from SWISS will come as a glimmer of hope for European holiday resorts that have been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. New routes that are included in the plans for 2022 see more flights from Zurich to Bologna, Nantes, Sofia, Odessa and Vilnius, while Geneva will offer a new service to Brussels.
In total, the SWISS summer 2022 schedule boasts 119 destinations from Zurich and Geneva. The company has said that its main focus in the next year will be on European flights, with 93 of those 119 destinations being based within the continent. The remaining 26 routes are longer-haul intercontinental flights.
The company has said that its planned European flights are concentrated on "visiting-friends-and-relatives destinations", while intercontinental flights are prioritising North American destinations. SWISS has also stated its intention to return to 80 percent of its 2019 capacity by the third quarter of 2022.
A large proportion of the SWISS fleet will fly in 2022
Out of the 91 aircraft in the SWISS fleet, up to 59 short-haul aircraft could be deployed next summer, along with up to 26 long-haul aircraft on the intercontinental routes. Many of the aircraft were placed into storage during the pandemic, due to the lack of demand for flights.
The aviation industry and travel sector have been hit hard by the COVID. Many people in both industries have lost their jobs, and the lack of international travel has hit airports, airlines and travel businesses hard.
Earlier in the year, Zurich airport predicted that it would see 10 million passengers in 2021, which is just one-third of the number of passengers seen in 2019. Similarly, the airport in Geneva saw huge losses of around 129,5 million Swiss francs in 2020 - the hub’s first loss in its history.