SWISS plans to cancel 2,900 flights over winter

SWISS has not had to do any last-minute cancellations over the Christmas period. © Keystone / Salvatore Di Nolfi

Amid travel worries and heightened entry requirements, SWISS has said it expects to cut back on about 8% of flights over the winter period.

This content was published on December 26, 2021 - 10:49

In an articleExternal link in the German-language media SonntagsBlick, and confirmed to SWI by email, SWISS International Airlines indicated that, due to "restrictions and demand", it is cutting back on its flight schedule from October 2021 to March 2022. Most flight cancellations will be from mid-January to the end of March 2022.

This corresponds to about 2,900 flights. Some 1,200 of these have already been cancelled in recent weeks, a spokesperson confirmed to SWI swissinfo. The airline has not made last-minute flight cancellations during the Christmas holidays as is the case with many other airlines.

The airline didn't specify the routes that are likely to be affected, stating that "the cancellations are largely spread across the entire network". However, the focus is on reducing the number of flights on "frequently served routes so that as many connections as possible remain in place". Affected passengers "will be informed accordingly and offered alternatives".

This represents about 9% of some 33,000 flights that the parent company Lufthansa Group has had to cancel in the winter flight schedule. SWISS flights represent about 15% of Lufthansa Group’s flight plan.

SWISS has thus far not faced personnel shortages. Several other airlines have cancelled flights as more airline personnel fall ill or are in quarantine. "Currently we have no shortages in the flying staff,"  a SWISS spokesperson told SonntagsBlick.

According to various media reports, some 4,500 flights have been cancelledExternal link during the Christmas period worldwide. US-based airlines were most affected. Lufthansa also cancelled several flights.

The new Omicron variant is spreading rapidly in Switzerland. In the beginning of December, it represented 4% of reported cases. On Saturday, the southern canton of Ticino, on the border with Italy, indicated that Omicron is now the dominant variant.

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