SWISS starts new Geneva-St. Petersburg service


Swiss International Air Lines has added another destination to its Geneva-based network. The new non-stop flights to and from St. Petersburg (Russia) mark a further step in SWISS’s steady development of its services for Western Switzerland.

SWISS’s first non-stop flight from Geneva to St. Petersburg in the Russian Federation departed at 14:10 today. The new service is a first for Geneva Airport, too, which has never before been connected with the “Venice of the North”.

The first northbound flight on the new route was duly commemorated in advance of its departure. Markus Binkert, SWISS’s Chief Commercial Officer, Robert Deillon, the Managing Director of Geneva Airport and His Excellency Yuri Glukhov, Russia’s Consul General to Geneva, all attended the inaugural celebrations. The festivities further featured two well-known regular SWISS customers with local connections: ice hockey legend Slava Bykov, a native of Russia who has made Western Switzerland his home, and Lausanneborn Bastian Baker, rising star of the Swiss music scene.

“In opening our new route between Geneva and St. Petersburg, we are responding to a clear demand on the part of both our leisure and our business customers,” explained SWISS Chief Commercial Officer Markus Binkert. “On the tourist side, St. Petersburg has been named one of the top ten destinations in Europe by no less an authority than UNESCO; and on the business side, the commercial links continue to grow between Western Switzerland and this major centre of Russian research and industry.”

Robert Deillon, the Managing Director of Geneva Airport, was equally pleased. “St. Petersburg has been high on our list of possible new destinations for some years now,” he explained. “So we’re very grateful to SWISS for taking the initiative here. We’re confident that many people in the St. Petersburg market will take this new opportunity to fly to Geneva in the winter sports season and enjoy the various facilities here and across the border in France. After all, the volumes of air travellers between Geneva and Russia have already tripled in the past ten years, from 100,000 in 2002 to almost 300,000 last year.”

For the first departure from Geneva on the new route, Commander John-Rudolf Meier and his crew welcomed 130 passengers aboard their Airbus A319. The new flights should help further strengthen SWISS’s position in the European market. The route will initially be served by two weekly flights operated with Airbus A319 and A320 equipment, rising to three weekly services from 7 September onwards.

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