The first flight on SWISS’s new Delhi route took off from Zurich on Sunday 25 November.
The flight - numbered LX 146 and operated by Airbus A330-200 “HB-IQK” - marks the first time the young company has added a further long-haul destination to its route network. With the new flights, together with the existing Zurich-Mumbai service, SWISS customers now have a choice of two daily non-stop connections between Switzerland and India.
It is the current demand-driven expansion of its intercontinental fleet that is enabling SWISS to add Delhi and Shanghai to its intercontinental route network. Whilst service to Shanghai will commence next May, the new daily non-stop flight between Zurich and Delhi was introduced today. The new service, which is operated with Airbus A330-200 equipment, joins the existing Zurich to Mumbai operation to offer SWISS customers two daily services between Switzerland and India, and should enable SWISS to strengthen its presence and position in the growing Indian market. Delhi becomes SWISS’s 28th intercontinental destination.
SWISS CEO Christoph Franz was aboard the first flight to Delhi - which was fully booked - together with 227 SWISS guests. “With our new non-stop service to Delhi and our existing Zurich-Mumbai operation, SWISS should be able to play a full and fruitful part in the rapidly-expanding Indian market. The strong economic ties between India and Switzerland and the high demand we expect from non-government organisations make Delhi a very attractive addition to our growing route network.”
The trend is borne out by the statistics: Swiss exports to India have more than doubled in the last three years (and increased by 36 per cent in 2006 alone); and imports of Indian products and services to Switzerland have also seen sizeable growth (of 11 per cent last year). With its wide range of sights and cultural attractions, Delhi is an appealing tourist destination too. Demand is also strong in the Indian market for travel to Switzerland and Europe, both in the tourist sector and amongst the business community.
“The extension of our services to our first additional long-haul destination is of tremendous symbolic importance to our company,” Christoph Franz continues. “SWISS has reached a stable cruising altitude, and can now grow gradually in response to demand.”
SWISS flights to Delhi from the UK will be available for as little as £374 return, including all fares and charges, between now and 13 March 2008. The special price is for round-trip Economy Class travel and must be booked online at SWISS.COM/UK. Needless to say, as with all SWISS scheduled flights, Miles & More members will earn miles on all Zurich to Delhi services.