As announced, SWISS is to optimise its route network. The changes for flights from Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Bern and Lugano will come into effect as early as 13 January on some routes, and will be fully implemented by 30 March at the latest. This network optimisation will help to improve productivity and operating results.
SWISS is pushing ahead consistently with its route network strategy. Planning in line with purely financial criteria has resulted in the following changes: routes which have been unprofitable over a long period and which offer no perspectives for improvement are to be discontinued. Conversely, SWISS intends to devote more resources to cultivating destinations and routes with good business prospects.
There will be no change in the basic principle whereby Zurich will be operated as the intercontinental hub, Basel and Geneva will be served with direct connections to major European destinations and Bern and Lugano will be linked into the SWISS network.
As per the information released on 19 November, SWISS is to take one MD11, one A321 and two Saab 2000s out of service. The third Saab 2000 will be grounded in autumn 2003.
Changes to the long-haul fleet: The Zurich - Tel Aviv route is to be operated with an Airbus A321 (night flight) and an MD11 (day flight). This will increase route profitability and allow the fleet to be reduced by one MD11 as a result of optimised planning.
Changes to the European fleet: The Zurich - Tunis route is to be discontinued and the destinations Göteborg and Alicante will no longer be served from Basel. Flights between Basel and Copenhagen are to be reduced to two a day (previously three). The Lugano - Bern - Paris flight is to be discontinued (previously twice daily) unless a solution with new partners can be found by 30 March 2003.
There will be additional flights to Athens (three a day) and Nice (four a day) from Zurich. Two additional flights to Paris CDG will be offered from Geneva plus one extra flight to Berlin Tempelhof (previously two). Partnership negotiations are underway with Portugalia to fly to Porto from Geneva and Zurich.
Changes in domestic flights: In the future there will only be one flight from Lugano to Basel (previously three connections). The important day round-trip schedule will remain in operation. The Lugano - Bern route is to be discontinued, but the Lugano - Zurich service will be increased from five to six flights to provide Ticino residents with even better connections to the SWISS network of European and intercontinental routes.
The Basel - Bern flight will be reduced to three times a day (previously four). This means Bern will remain linked up to European flights via Basel. SWISS is negotiating with the Swiss Railway (SBB) to find solutions to provide better connections between the Bern region and the Zurich hub.