SWISS turns in a successful summer

Swiss Airbus A220 landing at Heathrow
Swiss Airbus A220 landing at Heathrow (Photo: Thomas Saunders/AviationSource)

Switzerland national carrier, Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) has reported that they have had a successful summer season for the most part and “reliably flown their customers to their summer vacations”.

In a statement issued by the airline, SWISS describes the facing of many challenges along the way so far during the summer 2023 season.

SWISS – summer challenges

Most notably these challenges include Air Traffic Controller strikes, thunderstorms and Europe-wide staff shortages.

Despite this, the airline has soldiered through positively and carried around 1.7million travellers during the Summer holiday period so far.

Furthermore, the airline was also well prepared for the challenges faced, by setting up extra standby crew and providing additional reserve aircraft.

SWISS Head of Operations, Oliver Buchhofer reiterated this saying, “We built cushions into our system, by rostering more crews and providing reserve aircraft”. Oliver then continued saying that the airline was “One of Europe’s stablest airlines”.

This is true, given the fact that SWISS successfully operated 98.9% of its schedule from mid-July to mid-August.


A Swiss Airlines Boeing 777 on approach to land.
Malokkii, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Successes in most areas, but improvements to be made

As previously mentioned, SWISS has carried 1.7 million passengers in the last 4 weeks leading back to mid-July, a staggering amount.

The airline reports that the busiest travel day was Friday 28th July, where just under 60,000 passengers were carried.

In addition, in the past 4 weeks, the carrier has operated 12,870 flights, giving strength to the the fact that 98.9% of the schedule from the last 4 weeks flew successfully.

Oliver Buchhofer, added to his initial statement saying, “We achieved our intermediate goal of offering our passengers flight services that were as reliable as possible”.

He then praised the work of all SWISS employees saying “I’m hugely grateful for the outstanding performance that our employees delivered over the past few weeks”.

Oliver did however pick up on an improvement for next summer explaining “As a Swiss airline, we aspire to be punctual too, and this is an aim we didn’t achieve. We must improve here and we’re already learning out lessons for summer 2024”.

Despite the negative, it must be reiterated the problems that impacted on Swiss’ punctuality were out of the airline’s control, referring to the ATC strikes, bad weather and Europe-wide staff shortages.

The figures

Sticking with the airline’s punctuality, the airline isn’t so impressed to report that only 56.7% of its flights arrived punctually at their destination. This refers to the flight arriving more or less on time give or take a handful of minutes.

Of the remaining 43.3% of flights, 25.3% arrived with more than a 30 minute delay, owing to the external factors out of the airline’s control. Lastly on the topic of punctuality, only 48% of Swiss flights departed punctually.

Looking at other stats from the past 4 weeks, Swiss had a connection rate (Passengers making a successful connection) of 96.2% showing successes in this field.

As for baggage, SWISS carried 1.3 million bags and of those 1.3 million bags, 97.8% successfully made it to their destination without issue.

With all this in mind, it seems the airline has had a relatively successful peak summer period for 2023, but improvements will need to be made as stated by the airline, in readiness for an even better summer 2024.

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By Lewis Chesworth 4 Min Read
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