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Munich-Zurich Airport to be the first international ‘SWISS Air Rail’ route

SWISS is expanding its collaboration with SBB Swiss Federal Railways on its intermodal transport service, which will in future be known as ‘SWISS Air Rail’.

From July 2022 onwards, SWISS customers can take advantage of the first-ever international rail/air connection in the form of a new train service between Munich Hauptbahnhof and Zurich Airport.

SWISS Air Rail services in Switzerland are also set to be further expanded in collaboration with SBB.

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is intensifying its collaboration with SBB Swiss Federal Railways to expand its intermodal rail/air travel product under the new name of ‘SWISS Air Rail’. The new Munich-Zurich Airport route joins the existing rail/air services between Zurich Airport and the SBB stations of Basel SBB, Lugano and Geneva which have been gradually established over the past few years under the ‘Airtrain’ name. The new Munich service is the first such rail/air connection between Zurich Airport and a point in a neighbouring country.

From 1 July 2022, travellers holding a SWISS flight ticket can take advantage of rail services between Munich Hauptbahnhof and Zurich Airport which can be seamlessly combined with their flight.

SWISS Chief Commercial Officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour said,

Tamur Goudarzi Pour

Together with SBB, we’re taking a big further step forward in offering our customers complementary travel options.

We are jointly seeking to provide smarter combinations of rail and air transport wherever these make sense.

And we’re marking a particular milestone here in offering – with Munich – our first-ever international SWISS Air Rail connection.

Véronique Stephan, SBB’s Head of Passenger Services Markets said,

I am delighted that it will now be easier to combine rail and air travel on the Munich-Zurich Airport route.

This new service will enable SWISS customers living a short or a medium distance away from SWISS’s Zurich hub to make greater use of rail connections to get to and from the airport.

And with these quick and direct new rail services, they’ll enjoy the best possible connections with their SWISS flights.

Véronique Stephan

The timetable for the new SWISS Air Rail service between Munich Hauptbahnhof and Zurich Airport offers SWISS travellers a choice of six SBB trains a day in each direction. Trains may also be boarded or left in Bregenz en route. The rail ticket is included in the SWISS air fare, and can be booked now together with the flight ticket by customers of Global Travel Management.

As on all its other SWISS Air Rail routes, SWISS offers users of the service guaranteed connections in the event of a delay.

SWISS customers using SWISS Air Rail who are Miles & More members will earn status and award miles on their SWISS Air Rail ticket, too, with the number of miles earned depending on their connecting flight and class of travel. SWISS First and SWISS Business travellers using SWISS Air Rail will also travel in first class on the train; and both they and HON Circle and Senator status customers can make use of the Munich Hauptbahnhof DB Lounge.

All travellers using SWISS Air Rail from or to Munich will also enjoy automatic seat reservation and free WiFi access. F

The range of SWISS Air Rail options in Switzerland is also to be further expanded together with SBB. The plans include selected new intermediate stops on existing SWISS Air Rail routes from summer 2022 to enable even more SWISS travellers to take advantage of these seamless rail connections to and from SWISS’s Zurich Airport hub.

The Geneva-Zurich Airport service will also allow travellers holding a SWISS flight ticket to join or leave the train in Lausanne, Fribourg or Bern; and the Lugano-Zurich Airport service will offer a similar boarding/leaving option in Bellinzona. SWISS and SBB further plan to introduce improved baggage collection and delivery services for SWISS Air Rail users.

SWISS and SBB aim to work steadily to enhance the rail-and-air-travel combination and further expand their joint product and service portfolio.

SWISS Economy Class seats available via auction

SWISS is teaming up with online auction house Ricardo to auction off its Economy Class seats that are surplus to requirements following the installation of its new Premium Economy Class.

SWISS to auction off Economy Class seats for a good cause

The auction proceeds will be donated to the Pigna Foundation, one of SWISS’s long-standing charity partners.

Swiss International Air Lines is currently replacing some of the Economy Class seats on its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with the new seating that has been specially developed for its new Premium Economy Class cabin.

SWISS has now teamed up with online auction house Ricardo to auction off these surplus seats, with the proceeds going to charity.

Three-seat sets of the surplus Economy Class seating together with further items will be sold on Ricardo to the highest bidders.

The seat sets sold will also be provided with a personalised nameplate for their new owners.

Pigna was founded in 1981 in Zurich. The charity promotes, supports, accompanies, looks after, employs and cares for people with disabilities in their working and living space.

All the proceeds from these auction sales will be donated by SWISS to the Pigna Foundation.

SWISS’s long-standing charity partner, which is based in Kloten, offers people with disabilities a place to live and work along with care and support that are tailored to their needs. The work performed by the people at Pigna includes reprocessing the reusable headphones that are provided for travellers on SWISS flights.

Seven of the best

Twenty five years ago, Frankie Dettori achieved the remarkable feat of riding seven out of seven winners at British Champions’ Day at Ascot Racecourse.

Dettori’s achievement – winning aboard Wall Street, Diffident, Mark of Esteem, Decorated Hero, Fatefully, Lochangel and Fujiyama Crest – became known as The Magnificent Seven.

And now, to help Ascot Racecourse and Frankie Dettori to celebrate the quarter century anniversary, we have asked our clients, partners, colleagues and friends to tell us their favourite airlines and airports, in order to produce our own Magnificent Seven.

Here’s what they came up with…

Magnificent Seven airlines

British Airways, easyJet, Lufthansa, Qantas, Qatar Airways, SAS, Swiss

And some selected comments about these airlines

British Airways “I like to travel with British Airways personally especially for long flights as I find them more comfortable and they provide  decent food and drinks”.

easyJet “Of course low-cost is what it is, but I believe they are a cut above the rest in how you are treated, and how fair and clear they are about their policies and extra charges. With most of the other low-cost carriers, I always get the feeling that they are trying to somehow trick you into spending extra at every single step, be it online check in, or lack thereof, constantly changing cabin bag size limits, etc, but easyJet are much more upfront about everything, and you know where you stand”.

Lufthansa “Lufthansa offers everything I need for business trips and seems to get better and better every year”.

Qantas “Modern cabins, good schedules, but above all, their people are amazing throughout, from check in to baggage reclaim through, of course their cabin crew. I´ve flown both business and economy with them, and they treat you like a star all the way, every time, every class of service”.

Qatar Airways “Long haul I like Qatar Airlines – definitely the best business class I have experienced.  Only once been upgraded to first which was brilliant!”

SAS “Efficient. On time. The routes serve my purposes perfectly”.

Swiss “I have only ever had excellent services when flying on Swiss”.

Some of the other airlines mentioned in the favourite category include Virgin Atlantic, Ryanair and, pre-pandemic, Flybe.

Magnificent seven airports

London City, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Dublin, Manchester, Singapore Changi, Southampton

The poll was unscientific and based entirely on opinions. Do you agree with the lists? Do you have a different favourite airline or airport? If so, join the conversation on Twitter, with the hashtag #MagnificentSeven and tweet us on @globaltravelmgt

Airtrain now serves Geneva

You can now fly on the train from Geneva railway station to Zurich Airport, thanks to SWISS.

SWISS has added the route from Geneva Cornavin to Zurich Airport to its Airtrain rail services which it offers in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Railways.

Zurich Airport. Passengers arriving at Zurich can now take the Airtrain service direct to Geneva Cornavin

The new services help keep western Switzerland connected to SWISS’s Zurich Airport hub despite the timetable changes the airline had to make in response to the coronavirus crisis. By extending the Airtrain network to Geneva, SWISS is offering its customers more options for seamlessly combining multiple modes of transport.

The new Airtrain service is intended to supplement the existing air services between Geneva and Zurich airports, to continue to give the people of Western Switzerland the best possible connections with the intercontinental and European air services that SWISS operates from Zurich.

Under the new Airtrain service, selected SBB trains between Geneva Cornavin and Zurich Airport will be assigned SWISS flight numbers. Travel on these trains to Zurich Airport is included in the flight ticket. The new facility also extends to any SWISS travellers commencing their rail journey from Geneva Airport (Cointrin) station. The new Airtrain programme is the third of its kind: similar services are already offered to SWISS customers on the routes from Basel and Lugano to Zurich Airport.

SWISS CEO Thomas Klühr said:

Keeping western Switzerland closely connected with our global Zurich-based flight network is extremely important to us. In extending these Airtrain services to Geneva, we are offering our customers even more choice in planning their travels with SWISS. We’re also responding to a growing demand among our guests for greater combinability of their air and rail travel options.

Vincent Ducrot, CEO SBB,

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) CEO Vincent Ducrot said:

The new Geneva-Zurich Airtrain connects the Romandie with German-speaking Switzerland and the train with the plane. And as a public transport company, that is something we are pleased and proud to do.

If you need to fly to Switzerland, or need further advice about travelling to or through Zurich Airport or by train in Switzerland, contact your GTM Account Manager.

Lufthansa Group mandates use of face masks for passengers

Passengers on Lufthansa Group flights for the next four months will be required to wear face masks.

Mouth-nose covers will be a compulsory prerequisite throughout the entire journey on Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings flights until 31 August 2020.

Passengers are required to use face masks on Lufthansa Group flights until at lest the end of August 2020

In addition, Lufthansa Group is asking all passengers continue to wear masks at the airport, before and after the flight, wherever the required minimum distance cannot be guaranteed without restriction.

The group has also provided details of changes to in-flight procedures:

The current regulation of Lufthansa Group Airlines to keep the neighbouring seat free in Economy and Premium Economy Class will no longer apply, as wearing the mouth-nose cover provides adequate health protection.  Due to the current low occupancy rate, seats will nevertheless be allocated as widely as possible throughout the cabin. 

Passengers are required to wear masks throughout the flight as well as at the airport

All flight attendants on Lufthansa Group flights in direct contact with customers will also wear a corresponding mask.

Passengers are requested to bring their own mouth and nose cover. A reusable fabric mask is recommended, but all other types of coverings such as simple disposable masks or scarves are also possible. The airlines will inform their passengers in advance by SMS or e-mail and on their websites about the new regulation.

The airline group also gave information about the likelihood of transmission on its flights:

In principle, infection on board remains very unlikely. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, no concrete cases of transmission on Lufthansa Group flights have become known. All Lufthansa Group aircraft are equipped with the highest quality air filters, which guarantee air quality similar to that in an operating theatre. In addition, the air circulates vertically instead of being distributed throughout the cabin

The requirement comes in to force on Monday, 4 May 2020 and will “preliminarily apply” until 31 August 2020.

Lufthansa Companion Fare Offer – Fantastic Offer!

Lufthansa Group are now selling, for a limited period, companion fares for customers who buy either a First, or Business Class, ticket.

Valid from the UK to the following cities: Bangkok, Beijing, Bogota, Delhi, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Mumbai, Nairobi, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo or Shanghai.

Fares are on sale now and until 3rd September 2018, and valid for travel between 15th September 2018 & 30th June 2019.

The discounts on offer are considerable, for example, a fare for one person to Hong Kong starts from £1950, but for two people the equivalent fare is just £1250pp.

Early booking is advisable though due to restricted capacity.