|Quoting AirMale (Thread starter):|
Is there sufficient demand from/to Switzerland? Maybe testing ground for an eventual A380 operation?
we've had a similar thread somewhere back in early November when the double daily was announced by EK
for the first time, along with their announcement to study the possibility
of bringing in the A380 instead of the current A345 by fall 2007 or later. Warming-up a point from back then: What needs to be taken into the equation is the code-sharing aspect, because we speak of an EK
/UL codeshare flight here now.
has completely stopped its (once) daily A330 to Colombo in spring 2005, in the wake of the Tsunami, and is now codesharing with affiliate Emirates via DXB
. Given both the large community of ExPats from SriLanka living in Switzerland, and the slowly recovering leisure traffic to the Indian Ocean, the equation currently stands:
A343 + 1x UL
A332 (freq. reduced after Tsunami 12/2004 already)
From 03/2005 to 09/2006, now incl. UL
From 09/2006 (as currently planned), incl UL
A345 + 1x EK
A332 incl. UL
Note the difference from the double-daily to where partners EK
/UL stood late in 2004 is not that
massive... Furthermore, EK
is aiming at positioning itself in the market Europe - Indian Subcontinent / Asia / Australia. As for Switzerland as part of that market,
a) incoming leisure traffic from India to Switzerland (thanks to all these Bollywood-films!) is on a massive growth - according to Swiss Tourism by +30% in the last two years - still the boom has not yet resulted in additional non-stop flights. I bet EK
will be very eager not to miss a crumb from that cake!
b) South East asian traffic ex Switzerland seems to be recovering from the Tsunami, and EK
is traditionally also competing for that market offering attractive fares and DXB
stop-over packages to popular destinations in the Far East. On the downside, it faces competition from strong contenders offering non-stop connections.
c) Leisure traffic ex Switzerland to Australia and NZ
remains popular - especially with younger travellers and language students - mostly built on packages "via XYZ". EK
is a frequent choice, along with TG
Provided that there are no political or health-related instabilities, I can imagine that the factors above look promising enough to justify the double-daily service. Similarily I can imagine that loads might justify an A380 some time in the midterm future.
After all, in the late 1960s, local newspapers and media in Switzerland all blasted that the B747 would certainly never see any service to Switzerland because it was way too big and only viable on routes like ORD
-LAX (sic transit gloria mundi
and errare humanum est
) or LHR
. In the heydays of The Whale, we had up to 12 a day serving GVA
(not much for LHR
folks, I know...), and we're probably just going to lose the last one (SQ) to a B777 in the not-too-far future, after 35 years of seeing them daily.
So the current articles blasting that the A380 would certainly never see any service to Switzerland because it was way too big and only viable on routes like SIN
... They all have this familiar ring in my ears, and I'll judge them in 2040 (me hopes)!