Swiss to suspend Istanbul connection but seeks to continue serving the Turkish cargo market
11 / 08 / 2016
Swiss International Air Lines has confirmed that it will cut its double daily Zurich-Istanbul Ataturk service from the beginning of this year’s winter schedule.
According to a spokesperson for the carrier: “SWISS has decided to remove Istanbul from its programme with effect from winter 2016/17. All our destinations are subject to regular re-evaluation based on business potential and specific market characteristics.
“This change to our route network has been prompted primarily by the decline in demand due to the serious degradation of the security situation. An added factor is the strong growth of the partially government-owned Turkish Airlines, which has led to over-capacities and a sharp fall in passenger ticket prices on the Zurich-Istanbul route.
“Up to now we [have been] operating our services to Istanbul with A320 family equipment. However, we are currently reviewing available options to continue serving the Turkish cargo market.”
Earlier this month, Swiss reported on its performance over the first six months of this year.
Over the first half of this year, the carrier’s total cargo activity remained broadly unchanged in revenue tonne kilometre terms compared to the same period of last year. The cargo load factor (by volume) was 74.0%, a decline of 2.6 percentage points on the figure of 76.6% achieved in the first half of 2015.
Looking forward, SWISS has said that it will continue to modernise its aircraft fleet as planned.
Nine Boeing 777-300ERs which are currently being acquired, will replace part of the current Airbus 340 fleet. These changes, amongst a partial renewal of the airline’s short-haul Bombardier fleet, will give SWISS one of the youngest aircraft fleets in Europe.