Swiss International Airlines (SWISS) has resumed its flagship service between Geneva and New York. Operated by an Airbus A330-300, the flights will initially run on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, with plans for daily flights by the northern 2022 summer.
SWISS hit the pause button on its Geneva – New York flights in 2020. In September 2021, the airline said flights would resume before Christmas. The Geneva – New York flights will operate in addition to the existing Zurich – New York flights.
Departing Geneva’s Cointrin Airport at 11:30 on the selected days, LX22 will take around eight and a half hours to complete the flight to New York, landing at 14:30 on the same day. In the opposite direction, LX23 pushes back from JFK at 19:40 on the same day to fly through the night and touch down in Geneva at 09:15 the following day.
LX22 and the return LX23 service are operated by Airbus A330-300 aircraft. The A330s can fly 236 passengers in three cabin classes, including 183 passengers in economy class, 45 passengers in business class, and eight passengers in first class.
Presently, SWISS has the Geneva – New York JFK route to itself. However, fellow Star Alliance member United Airlines flies four times a week between its New York Newark hub and Geneva. United Airlines uses a three cabin class Boeing 767-300ER on its Geneva flights.
Geneva often plays second fiddle to Zurich. But the smaller city’s status as a diplomatic and NGO hub means there’s solid demand for flights to New York, home to the United Nations. In one guise or another, SWISS has been flying between the two cities since the end of WWII.
Before the travel downturn and SWISS pausing its Geneva – New York flights, Switzerland was enjoying an upswing in the number of inbound travelers from the US. In 2019, over 1.1 million travelers arrived from the US, a 10% increase on 2018 numbers. Over the last decade, the number of inbound travelers from the US has increased by 60%.
The US is one of the most important traffic regions for SWISS. The airline says that even if capacity isn’t back to pre-travel downturn levels, it is imperative to maintain a presence in the US market. Before the downturn, the US was Switzerland’s best-connected long-haul destination, with flights between 13 city pairs.
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SWISS s is flying to around 90 destinations this northern winter and offering about half the capacity it offered over the 2019/2020 winter. While the bulk of its flights will arrive and depart from Zurich, over two dozen destinations will be served from Geneva this winter, including JFK.
The airline is attempting to rebuild its network while adjusting to current decreased levels of demand and travel restrictions. It is a balancing act for SWISS.
“We have crafted our schedules for the coming winter timetable period to give our customers the widest possible range of air services and connections while still maintaining a robust and reliable route network,” explains SWISS Chief Commercial Officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour when announcing the resumption of the Geneva – New York flights.
Lead Journalist – Australasia – A Masters level education and appetite for travel combines to make Andrew an incredible aviation brain with decades of insight behind him. Working closely with airlines including Qantas and Virgin Australia, Andrew’s first-hand knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing Australian airlines adds exciting depth and color to his work and sees him providing commentary to ABC News and more. Based in Melbourne, Australia.