717fan
Topic Author
Posts: 1975
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2001 10:51 am

Why No Swiss LowCost Carrier?

Tue Nov 26, 2002 6:14 am

I know EasyJet Switzerland is somewhat of a "Swiss Carrier", but why not starting a real Swiss LCC. Especially Zurich and Basle are underserved by LCC's. Perhaps times are good now, that Swiss has a lot of problems. In fact fares out of Zurich are too high (ex. Easyjet, Germanwings and Skyeurope). I am sure, a new LCC could overtake a lot of Swiss's passengers.
What do you think? Would it work?
 
Guest

RE: Why No Swiss LowCost Carrier?

Tue Nov 26, 2002 6:40 am

One argument I consistently come across is that of costs (of course). There is a good reason why some of Europe's largest and most successful LCCs are mainly based in the UK and Ireland, and that is labour costs, and related expenses. Labour laws are less labyrinthine, and more flexible in these two countries. I presume this means the relevant airlines can pay relatively low wages and/or link wages to productivity. Social security payments are also less burdensome as are corporation and other related taxes.

I guess other factors come into play - lack of rapid intercity rail links, the geographical situation of the UK and Ireland, large population etc. (market viability) but the labour costs seem to be an important problem that has to be thought out. Of course, that hasn't stopped LCCs from emerging elsewhere.

You've also got to factor in what the population expects when they fly - is the 'no-frills' concept universally appealing, or would Swiss customers prefer to fly with a more expensive carrier - what are the consumer preferences ?

Just some thoughts. What do you reckon ?

Rgds

 
teahan
Posts: 4989
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 1999 11:18 pm

RE: Why No Swiss LowCost Carrier?

Tue Nov 26, 2002 6:49 am

Hello,

When easyJet first came to Geneva, nobody thought they had the slightest chance. I still remember the newspaper articles. Look how quickly they have been accepted, many people in the French speaking part of Switzerland now consider them as their home carrier.

Basel/Zurich are dying for a home-based low-cost carrier and I firmly believe it will come, sooner rather than later.

Jeremiah
Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
 
717fan
Topic Author
Posts: 1975
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2001 10:51 am

RE: Why No Swiss LowCost Carrier?

Tue Nov 26, 2002 6:51 am

I think there is a market for LowCost flights. If you look at Easyjet and the other LCC out of ZRH, their loads are usually very good.
 
Thomas_Jaeger
Posts: 2200
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2002 5:35 pm

RE: Why No Swiss LowCost Carrier?

Tue Nov 26, 2002 6:52 am

InterSky is operating out of Berne to Berlin and Vienna, but it's an Austrian airline although their homebase is Berne. They are operating a single Dash DHC-8-300, you can find out more about them at http://www.intersky.biz
Swiss aviation news junkie living all over the place
 
717fan
Topic Author
Posts: 1975
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2001 10:51 am

RE: Why No Swiss LowCost Carrier?

Tue Nov 26, 2002 6:56 am

Oh, I forgot Intersky...but as you said its not really a Swiss airline.
 
backfire
Posts: 3467
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:01 am

RE: Why No Swiss LowCost Carrier?

Tue Nov 26, 2002 7:00 am

I think you have to bear in mind the cost of the hub charges. Zurich is not a cheap airport to operate an airline from (I recall an AEA study which showed it to be among the most expensive in Europe).

EasyJet, Buzz and Ryanair all have relatively cheap base airports. If you operate an LCC out of Switzerland, where will you put it?

Switzerland isn't a big country (7.2 million population) and not a member of the EU - there may be problems associated with that, although I haven't checked.
 
teahan
Posts: 4989
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 1999 11:18 pm

RE: Why No Swiss LowCost Carrier?

Tue Nov 26, 2002 7:07 am

Backfire,

easyJet and several other LCCs operate out of expensive airports including Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga and CDG.

LCCs thrive out of smaller markets. Look at Ireland, where Ryanair first started. With 3.5 million (at the time), an even smaller population than Switzerland. As for EU regulations problems, there are definitely none.

Jeremiah
Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
 
Thomas_Jaeger
Posts: 2200
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2002 5:35 pm

RE: Why No Swiss LowCost Carrier?

Tue Nov 26, 2002 7:21 am

There are no problems regarding Switzerland not being a member of the European Union as every EU carrier could operate between Switzerland and any other EU country without restrictions. Switzerland became part of the EU open skies on June 1.

As mentioned earlier, Zurich is not very attractive for low-cost airlines. The airport is not only very expensive but also quite congested. At the moment, with all the construction work taking place, it takes up to eight minutes to get to the parking position after landing on runway 14 which is used on most landings. Not very popular with low-cost airlines. easyJet, which is the biggest LCC at ZRH, is reportedly not interested in expanding operations there because they are very unhappy with the general situation at the airport.

Geneva is an easyJet base and therefore let's say not very attractive for other low cost carriers. easyJet is obviously willing to fight against new entrants. They announced a new flight between Geneva and East Midlands just a few days after bmibaby announced to launch a daily flight on this route. MyTravel Lite, the other low-cost carrier operating into GVA, is also competing against those two airlines operating flights between EMA and GVA instead of BHX and GVA. Virgin Express is the only LCC operating to GVA which was not attacked by easyJet, most probably because easyJet didn't have an operation at BRU yet.

The only airport I could immagine to become a base of other LCCs is Basle/Mulhouse, the airport just build a new terminal, but Swiss is slowly pulling out of BSL and I wouldn't be surprised if they would cut the regional hub there. So the airport is looking for new carriers to start flights to BSL. There are rumours about Air Berlin considering starting flights from BSL to Barcelona and Rome Ciampino, however I am not very optimistic this will ever come true.
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