The newly formed Swiss International Airlines are eyeing the passenger markets in northern provinces and are waiting for the completion of the new air terminal at Lahore.
Speaking at the inaugural of its general sales agency office at Islamabad on Tuesday, the present General Manager of the airlines in Pakistan Hanspeter Wegmuller said that the Swissair has been using the Karachi International Airport profitably for the last four years.
The new office of the transformed national carrier of Switzerland was opened here at a hotel jointly by Ambassador Christian Dunant and the Airlines' Vice-President for Middle East and Asia, Marcel Hungerbuhler who had specially flown here for the occasion.
The GSA is owned by Akbar Enterprises that represents a number of prominent national carriers of Asia and Europe.
As Swissair, the air carrier has been flying into Karachi for the last several years and has now the only European carrier to have a strong presence of four flights a week despite the Afghan crisis.
Hanspeter Wegmuller said that the continued presence of his carrier spoke volumes for the confidence his country and airlines have in Pakistan. He said the carrier had been watching the market trends in the country and would like to use facilities in the northern provinces also. Lahore was one of the places that were on the list, he added.
Ambassador Dunant spoke of the old ties between Pakistan and his country and said the presence of his national carrier reflected the confidence the Swiss people had in the economy of this country.
In brief remarks later, M I Akbar, Chairman of the Akbar Enterprises, commended the "uninterrupted operation" of the Swiss national carrier.
At present Karachi is the turnabout point of Swiss flight that operates from Zurich to Pakistan via Dubai. It thus provides easy connections to Pakistani travellers to 126 destinations world-wide.
The new title for the old airlines has also amended the corporate identity by splitting the logo into two parts and detaching the word "air" and placing it in the second plate. Another interesting feature of the new carrier is that its aircraft will be christened after the peaks of the Alps range.
The first of its Airbus A340-300, for example, will be named "Matterhorn." The long-haul aircraft will be named after peaks higher than 4,000 meters.
Copyright 2002 Business Recorder (http://www.brecorder.com)