Where did people in Switzerland fly to the most in 2022?

Where did people in Switzerland fly to the most in 2022?

After years of COVID-related travel disruption, the second half of 2022 was the first time since early 2020 that people in the alpine nation could confidently head to the airport and fly to most destinations uninhibited. Now, a new report from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) has revealed where people in Switzerland chose to fly to last year.

Passenger numbers at Swiss airports more than double

In the study, reported by Watson, the FSO found that the number of people flying out of Zurich, Geneva and Basel doubled in 2022 compared to the year before, as most governments gradually lifted COVID-related travel restrictions on international arrivals. 

Although well below the pre-COVID peak of 59 million passengers in 2019, 43 million people passed through Swiss airports last year, 122 percent more than the year before. Local desire to jet off on holiday or for work also grew, with Swiss citizens and holders of residence permits choosing to fly 18,6 million times in total in 2022, almost 10 million times more than the year before. 

Spain on top as the United Kingdom surges back to second

In 2022, Spain was by far the most popular destination for Swiss passengers, with more than 2,4 million people visiting the country from the alpine nation. Having come in ninth place in 2021, the United Kingdom bounced back significantly to take second place with 2,17 million passengers.

On the flip side, despite occupying places in the top 10, Greece, Portugal and Germany all saw their positions drop. The only country (apart from Turkey, which straddles both Europe and Asia) outside of Europe that featured in the top 10 was the United States of America, which registered 830.403 passengers from Switzerland in 2022.

The most popular destinations from Switzerland in 2022

In all, here are the top 10 most popular destinations for people from Switzerland in 2022:

  1. Spain
  2. United Kingdom
  3. France
  4. Portugal
  5. Germany
  6. Turkey
  7. Italy
  8. United States of America
  9. Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo
  10. Greece

For those interested, the FSO was also able to reveal which countries were visited the least by people from Switzerland. Last year, only one person flew to the Marshall Islands and to the archipelago of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, while two jetted off to the island of St. Helena and three chose Vanuatu as their final destination.

London Heathrow the most popular airport to fly to from Switzerland

In terms of specific airports around the world, the most popular destination from Switzerland was London Heathrow with 767.000 passengers recorded in 2022 - more than all the people who travelled to Greece combined. What’s more, if we combine arrivals from the three largest airports that serve the city of London (Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted), this figure rises to 1,38 million.

The five most popular airports for travellers from Switzerland are:

  1. London Heathrow, United Kingdom
  2. Porto, Portugal
  3. Barcelona, Spain
  4. Pristina, Kosovo
  5. Amsterdam Schiphol, the Netherlands

For more information, check out the official FSO study (in French).

Image: / Natali Glado

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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