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TRAVEL NEWS

Which flights have SWISS airlines cut ahead of summer season?

Just as people are getting ready for holiday travel abroad, Switzerland’s national airline Swiss is reducing or canceling altogether some of its scheduled flights or outsourcing them to other carriers. Here's what you need to know.

Which flights have SWISS airlines cut ahead of summer season?
You can demand a refund if your SWISS flight is cancelled. Photo: Daria Shevtsova / Pexels

An updated version of this article – including 700 cut flights as of June 29th – is available here. 

From Geneva, the company is dropping five flights per week to London Heathrow, while from Zurich flights to Nuremberg are suspended from July to October.

The frequency is also reduced for flights to Gdansk, Dresden and Warsaw.

The Zurich-Vienna flights will be subcontracted to Austrian Airlines, SWISS’ codeshare partner.

On long-haul routes, one Zurich to San Francisco flight per week will be eliminated.

In all 2 percent of passengers — tens of thousands of travellers — who booked flights with SWISS in July and August are affected by these changes.

The shuffle is due mostly to staffing shortage and other air traffic issues, such as “bottlenecks in air traffic control in Europe, at ground service providers around the world, as well as at SWISS”, company spokesperson said.

Oliver Buchhofer, head of the airline’s Operations Department told Swiss media that cancellations and reductions are lingering consequences the Covid pandemic, which “pose an unprecedented challenge for the entire airline industry, and also for SWISS”.

Customers who already booked any of these flights will be notified by email and offered a travel alternative. They will also have the possibility of being reimbursed, the company said.

If SWISS cancels your scheduled and paid-for flight, you can request full refund of your ticket here.

READ MORE: Airport chaos in Europe: What are your rights if flights are delayed or cancelled?
 

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TRAIN TRAVEL

Five European cities you can reach from Zurich in less than five hours by train

Switzerland is a beautiful country, but it also has a great location right in the centre of Europe, making it an ideal starting point for train travel. Here are five destinations you can reach in less than five hours from Zurich.

Five European cities you can reach from Zurich in less than five hours by train

As summer is still in full swing and there are many vacation days (or free weekends) to enjoy the sunny weather, it’s not the wrong time to do some travelling. Switzerland is a beautiful country, but it’s also centrally located in Europe. This means that many major European cities are reachable in just a few hours.

If you are located in Zurich, for example, then you are very near Germany, France, Italy, Liechtenstein and Austria. In less than five hours, visiting beautiful cities in these five countries is possible by taking a comfortable train ride.

So, select your final destination, get your ticket, and enjoy the ride.

READ ALSO: Switzerland’s ten most beautiful villages you have to visit

From Zurich to Strasbourg

It will take you just about 2 hours and 30 minutes (including time to stop and change trains in Basel) to get from Zurich’s mains station to the beautiful and historical city of Strasbourg, in northeast France.

Prices vary depending on several factors, but we found one-way tickets for just around CHF 23 on a Friday.

From Zurich to Munich

The capital of Bavaria can be reached from Zurich’s central station on a direct train in just 3 hours 30 minutes, allowing for short stays.

Munich may seem quite far away on a map, but the fast trains without stopovers actually make the journey quick and pleasant. We found one-way tickets for around CHF 70 on a Friday trip.

From Zurich to Vaduz

The capital of Liechtenstein is easy to reach in less than 2 hours from the Zurich central station. In fact, some journeys will take just about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

The lovely town bordering Switzerland has many tourist attractions, from its pedestrian historical centre to castles and parks. Train ticket prices always vary, but we found tickets for a one-way journey on a Friday costing CHF 20.

READ ALSO: Travel: What are the best night train routes to and from Switzerland?

From Zurich to Milan

Depending on the train you take, you can get from Zurich to Italy’s fashion capital in three to four hours with a direct train.

Before 2016, when the Gotthard Base Tunnel was opened to rail traffic, a trip from Zurich to Milan took an hour longer. It’s possible to find tickets for about CHF 70 for a one-way trip on a Friday.

From Zurich to Innsbruck

From Zurich, it is possible to hop on a direct train and, in just over 3 hours and 30 minutes, arrive in the beautiful town of Innsbruck, in the mountains of Tyrol.

Ticket costs vary, but we found tickets for a relatively short-notice one-way trip on a Friday (without discounts) for CHF 84.

READ ALSO: Five beautiful Swiss villages located near Alpine lakes

Cost:

Fares depend on several factors, such as time of the day and day of the week when you travel.

While a rock-bottom cheap fare may be available one day in the morning, it won’t necessarily be offered the next day (or week) in the afternoon, or vice-versa.

Prices also depend on whether you are entitled to any discounts and which wagon you choose.

If you are interested in travelling farther afield, including with night trains, or if you are in other Swiss cities, these articles provide more information:

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