Air China, the national company, will be making its return to Zurich this summer, more than 17 years after it last operated flights to the Swiss city. It will ensure four connections per week between Zurich and Beijing, according to Zurich airport spokesperson Raffaela Stelzer in an interview with travel magazine “Travelinside”. The last trip made by Air China between the Swiss city and Beijing was in October 1999.
The announcement means more competition for Swiss International Airlines, as the new Air China flights will depart just fifteen minutes after those offered by the Swiss company, which is operated by Lufthansa.
“We are conscious that the departure times are relatively close. But we are working with Air China to coordinate ourselves even better,” explained Meike Fuhlrott, a spokesperson for Swiss, in a statementto Swiss News Agency ATS.
The flights will be operated by an Airbus A330-200, which the carrier configures in a two-class layout with 30 business and 207 economy class seats. Starting June 7, the airline’s Beijing-Zurich flights will resume on a four-times-weekly schedule flying on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, according to Air China’s timetable.
Air China’s new route follows the signing of a long-awaited joint venture with Lufthansa back in September, which would see the two airlines coordinate flights and schedules between China and Europe, and is expected to take effect this summer. Lufthansa is the parent company of Zurich-based airline Swiss. The launch of the agreement is expected in summer 2017 for flights leaving from China to several destinations including Frankfurt, Vienna and Zurich.
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