Swiss sees strong summer demand

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is preparing for what promises to be its busiest summer to-date.
The airline estimates maintaining a seat load factor in excess of 85 percent during the outbound travelling months of June and July.

Felix Rodel, Area Manager, Middle East and Africa, said:

“With our integration in to the Lufthansa Group, now complete, our combined offering with Lufthansa German Airlines, and our recent membership to the Star Alliance, we now offer a comprehensive product for travellers moving in and out of the Middle East region. We have been working tirelessly over the last few months to develop summer packages that will offer the highest levels of comfort, family fun and exciting destinations for the 2006 summer period.”

Switzerland has long been a popular destination with travellers from the Gulf region, and continues to hold a strong attraction, due to a favourable visa situation. Rodel highlighted: ‘Gulf nationals travelling to Switzerland can make use of simple and convenient visa application procedures through our embassies and consulates, while GCC nationals holding a Schengen visa can enter the country without applying for a visa. Switzerland’s long-standing friendly relationship with the member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) remain strong, with reciprocal visa status.

For the 2006 summer schedule, SWISS’ tour operators have lined up a number of excellent packages, which include free bonus offers to various destinations. Swiss Options covers a number of holiday packages, specifically aimed at families travelling together, including a Disneyland Paris package with return economy air fares on SWISS, two nights accommodation at the Santa Fe Disneyland Resort, with continental breakfast and unlimited access to the Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios, as well as return airport transfers.


Travellers looking for a more scenic option can travel with SWISS to Interlaken and take a full days excursion to the Jungfraujoch, or ‘Top of Europe’. The package also includes two nights stay in Interlaken, with breakfast and taxes and two second class return transfers on Swiss Rail from Zurich Airport.

Visitors can also opt for the Lucerne and Mount Pilatus package, which offers a full days excursion to one of the most impressive mountains, where from 7,000 feet Mount Pilatus trekkers can view more than 70 peaks and five different lakes. Again, the package include two nights accommodation with breakfast and taxes, as well as second class return transfer from Zurich to Lucerne.

For travellers looking to make their own in-country accommodation arrangements, SWISS has also prepared a car rental package, which includes a free one week car rental when flying with SWISS. Alternately, for those looking to take the stress of driving out of their holiday, SWISS has negotiated an eight day Swiss Rail Pass package, allowing travellers to make use of Switzerland’s ultra modern and efficient rail network, post buses or boats, covering 37 cities.

Rodel continued: ‘Not every traveller is looking to spend just a few days in Switzerland, some are only looking for a short break before continuing their journey, and others prefer to explore the country in great detail. Our travel partners are well versed in what Switzerland has to offer, and these packages are just a taste of what visitors can expect. Switzerland has become such a prominent destination for holidays over the last few years, that Swizterland Tourism has put together a book highlighting areas to visit, where to go and what to do.’

The SWISS network is not limited to travel to Switzerland; the airline itself offers a comprehensive network of 71 destinations in 42 countries, through its summer timetable In addition, the partnership with Lufthansa affords SWISS travellers the option of additional destinations across Lufthansa’s 181-strong destination network, covering 76 countries. A single airfare, combined check-in facilities, joint frequent flyer programme; through Miles&More, and optimum hub connections via Zurich, Frankfurt and Munich, make both airlines an indomitable force for European visitors.

In addition, SWISS recently became the 17th member of the Star Alliance, the world’s largest and most comprehensive airline grouping. The Star Alliance extends to 842 destinations in 122 countries, offering reciprocal access for SWISS Miles&More members across 660 lounges, as well as accruel and redemption of frequent flyer points.

Rodel concluded:

“This is certainly going to be an exciting and busy summer for the SWISS team, both here in the UAE, as well as in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman. Our daily services from Dubai and Muscat, and three-weekly flights from Jeddah and Riyadh are inticipating huge demand from passengers, travelling both to Switzerland and beyond.”