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Air Travel (domestic)

Switzerland - Air Travel (domestic)

Although Switzerland is a compact country that is well-connected by rail services, the natural barrier of the Alps can make travel between the major cities at each end of the country time-consuming. There are daily domestic flights offering an alternative, more direct route. Domestic flights are short and use smaller aircraft ranging from the Airbus 320 to the SAAB 2000.

At time of writing, on a weekday there are nine flights throughout the day and late into the evening from Zurich to Geneva, with a flight time of 50 minutes. There are four flights daily from Zurich to Lugano, spread throughout the day and evening, with a flight time of 40 minutes. An evening flight from Zurich to Basel Euroairport departs at 22:35 (10:35pm) and lasts 35 minutes.

All flights are operated by SWISS (Swiss International Air Lines) and can be booked online on their website. This is not a budget airline and prices reflect this. By booking ahead you may however be able to book an Economy Saver fare. This is the lowest-priced ticket but is non-refundable and cannot be changed. The other options are: Economy, which involves a CHF 100 fee for itinerary changes; Economy Flex, which allows rebooking and refunds; Business, with priority check-in and lounge access; and Business Flex, as before but also allowing rebooking and refunds. Child fares apply to children aged between 2 and 11 years.

Timetables can be viewed on the SWISS website (available in English) or on the website of your departure airport. You can complete check-in online on the Swiss.com website between 23 and 1 hours before your departure. There is a frequent flyer programme for SWISS passengers which can be managed online and can be exchanged for a variety of goods and services including flight accessories, hotel stays, and event tickets.

You can also fly between Geneva and Lugano morning and evening through the week, with an additional evening flight on Fridays. There is one flight a day on the weekend. The Geneva to Lugano route is operated by Darwin Airline and flights can be booked on their website, which is available in English. Fare choices range in cost from Economy to Premium Economy Plus, with occasional Promo prices for special offers. The Premium Economy classes give more leg room, lounge access and priority service at the airport. For flexibility to change your booking choose an Economy Plus or Premium Economy Plus fare. In addition to child fares for 2 to 11 year olds, Darwin Airline offers a youth fare for 16 to 25 year olds. You can view timetables and check-in online. Lugano and Geneva airport websites also have online timetables for this route. Darwin Airline use bi-turbo propeller aircraft with 50 seats.

Useful Resources

SWISS Swiss International Air Lines
Swiss International Air Lines Ltd., P.O. Box, CH 4002 Basel
Tel: +41 (0)848 700 700
Email: Use contact form

Darwin Airline
Darwin Airline SA, Lugano Airport, CH 6982 Agno
Tel: +41 (0) 848 177 177
Email: info@darwinairline.com

Miles & More
Swiss International Airlines and Lufthansa air miles programme
Tel: 0900 85 0000

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