SHARE
COPY LINK

HEALTH

These are the airlines restarting flights to and from Switzerland

As countries across Europe open up their borders, we look at the companies - and the possible destinations - that are available or coming up.

These are the airlines restarting flights to and from Switzerland
Planes at Geneva Airport. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

 

Swiss

After being grounded since March, Swiss International Airline is planning to resume some of its flight operations.

“The ramp-up will follow in stages, and the range of flights available will gradually be increased over the weeks ahead”, the airline announced on its website, adding that 15 to 20 percent of its original services will resume in June.

Swiss plans to increase its services to Italy, and will resume services from Zurich to Brindisi, Florence, Naples, Palermo, Rome and other destinations in the second half of June. 

From Geneva, Swiss passengers will again be able to fly to Faro and Nice, among other destinations. 

Connections to Scandinavia are being increased with flights to Gothenburg in Sweden and Copenhagen in Denmark.

Swiss will also be adding other destinations to its schedule, including Paris, Brussels, and Moscow. The existing services to Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Lisbon, London, Porto and Stockholm will be expanded.

On its long-haul, intercontinental routes, the airline will offer three weekly services from Zurich to Newark (USA), four weekly flights from Zurich to New York JFK, twice weekly to Chicago, once weekly to Singapore and Bangkok, twice weekly to Tokyo and Hong Kong, three times weekly to Mumbai, and once a week to Johannesburg. 

Swiss plans to further expand its flights and routes over the summer months and “will continue to monitor closely the development of travel restrictions worldwide”, the airline said.

On May 6th, the Swiss parliament approved bank guarantees of over 1.27 billion francs to help Swiss and its sister airline, Edelweiss, stay financially afloat after both stopped flying in mid-March.

It also approved 600 million francs for companies working at the Geneva, Zurich and Basel airports.

Easyjet

Low-cost airline Easyjet will again fly to and from Geneva, starting on June 15th. 

The airline announced on Thursday, May 21st, that it would resume services to and from a number of European cities.

As yet, the routes will include Barcelona, Lisbon, Nice and Porto. 

READ: Swiss travel agencies extend cancellation deadline for foreign trips

After grounding planes due to the coronavirus crisis, Easyjet would again open up a limited number of routes based on customer demand. 

The airline said it hoped demand would be high on the selected routes, saying it needed to again generate revenue in order to survive the crisis. 

The British airline company said passengers would be expected to comply with strict hygiene standards. 

All passengers and cabin crew will be required to wear masks – with passengers expected to bring their own. 

READ: When can Swiss residents travel abroad this summer?

The airline promised “enhanced cleaning of all planes”, with hand sanitiser and cleaning wipes available on board. 

Despite previously saying it would consider blocking off all middle seats to better ensure social distancing, Easyjet on said this was no longer on the table. 

Some airports indicated they would temperature scan passengers before flying. 

Food will no longer be offered on board. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

HEALTH

Reader question: Can I put my Swiss health insurance on hold if I’m abroad?

Given how expensive health insurance premiums are in Switzerland, you may be tempted to suspend your policy while you are abroad. Is this possible?

Reader question: Can I put my Swiss health insurance on hold if I'm abroad?

Unlike the obligatory car insurance, which you can suspend temporarily by depositing your registration plates at the local motor vehicles office, rules pertaining to health insurance are much stricter.

As the Federal Office of Public Health explains it, “If you leave the country for a certain period to travel or study but do not take up residence abroad, you are still required to have [health] insurance in Switzerland”.

In other words, as long as you are a registered resident of Switzerland, regardless of your nationality or passport, you must keep your compulsory Swiss health insurance and pay your premiums. While you do this, you also remain covered against most medical emergencies while you travel.

However, rules are less stringent for supplemental health plans which can, in some cases, be put on hold, depending on the insurance provider, according to Switzerland’s Moneyland consumer website.

The only exception allowed for suspending the health insurance coverage is during a military or civil protection service which lasts more than 60 consecutive days.

“During these periods, the risks of illness and accident are covered by military insurance. Your health insurance provider will refund your premiums”, according to FOPH.

Under what circumstances can you cancel your Swiss health insurance?

Swiss law says you can cancel your insurance if you are moving abroad, either permanently for for a period exceeding three months.

If you do so, only claims for treatments given while you still lived in Switzerland will be paid by your insurance; any medical bills for treatment incurred after you officially leave will be denied.

These are the procedures for cancelling your compulsory health insurance if you leave the country under conditions mentioned above

To announce your departure abroad, you must send your insurance carrier a letter including your name, customer number or AVS/AHV number.

You must also include a certificate from your place of residence in Switzerland confirming that you have de-registered from your current address, as well as the date of your departure.

Note, however, that if your new destination is another Swiss community / canton, rather than a foreign country, your insurance can only be cancelled from the following calendar year and only if you present proof of having taken up a new policy with another company.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: How to register your address in Switzerland

You can find out more information about this process here

If you suspend your health insurance for less than six years, you can reactivate it at a later date with the same company when you return to Switzerland.

READ MORE : What you should know about your Swiss health insurance before you go abroad
 

SHOW COMMENTS