India: a key growth market
Delhi will be SWISS’s second destination (after Mumbai) in the emerging Indian market. “It’s the rapid growth in this market, the strong business ties between the two countries and the high demand for air services from non-government and non-profit organizations, too, that have prompted us to add Delhi to our network as our second Indian destination,” says Harry Hohmeister, Chief Network & Distribution Officer at SWISS. The new route also offers sizeable potential for tourist traffic, from both the Swiss and the Indian source markets.
Swiss exports to India have more than doubled over the past three years, increasing 36% in 2006 alone. Imports of Indian products and services to Switzerland are also rising rapidly, and recorded 11% year-on-year growth last year.
First direct service between Zurich and Shanghai
With China now Switzerland’s second-most-important trading partner in Asia, the demand for business travel between Zurich and Shanghai has considerably increased. Calls have also been growing in the tourism sector for a direct Zurich-Shanghai connection.
Apart from flights to and from Hong Kong, no direct services currently exist between Switzerland and China. With Air China and Shanghai Airlines due to join Star Alliance next year, SWISS should also soon be able to collaborate with two well-established local airline partners to offer its customers attractive onward connections from Shanghai to other Chinese destinations.
Beijing is also set to appear in the SWISS timetable next spring, under a codeshare operation with Lufthansa via Munich. “Our new services should ensure that Switzerland enjoys attractive air connections with what is currently the world’s fastest-growing market,” CEO Christoph Franz continues.
Swiss exports to China have increased by more than 35% over the last three years. Imports of Chinese products and services to Switzerland are also seeing substantial growth, and rose 16% last year.