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By Air

Switzerland - By Air

Switzerland is served by two international airports, Zurich in the north east and Geneva (F: Genève Cointrin, G: Genf Cointrin) in the far south west. The rest of the country is connected to the airports by good transport links. Basel and north west Switzerland are served by the Basle-Mulhouse EuroAirport which is, however, located within France just over the Swiss and German borders. There is a small regional airport in Bern (Flughafen Bern-Belp).

Zurich is Switzerland's busiest airport and ranks 12th in Europe as a whole, seeing passenger figures of almost 23 million in 2010. Geneva handled a little under 12 million passengers and the figure for Basle-Mulhouse was 4.1 million passengers.

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is the national airline, and forms part of the German Lufthansa group of airlines. Many other international airlines also fly between Zurich and/or Geneva and major European and international cities. Selected flights from the UK use smaller Swiss airlines Helvetic Airways and SkyWork.

Zurich is connected to 174 airports worldwide, including scheduled flights operating to a number of cities in the USA, Canada and Central America, India, the Far East, and Africa. Charter flights also operate to Zurich via a number of tour operators in the UK and other European cities.

Geneva serves over 100 destinations, principally short and medium-haul, with Europe and the Middle East well-covered but with limited flights to North America. British and continental European tour operators frequently offer charter flights to Geneva for south and west Switzerland.

Budget airlines across Europe connect Swiss airports with national and regional airports elsewhere. Chief of these is easyJet (http://www.easyjet.com/), for whom Geneva has become a major hub. easyJet flights operate several times daily to Geneva from London and there is also a wide selection of flights to Geneva departing from UK regional airports, including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Birmingham and Bristol.

There are also daily easyJet flights between two London airports (Gatwick and Luton) and Zurich, with flights additionally departing 6 days out of 7 from Manchester to Zurich. Basel-Mulhouse can be reached daily by easyJet from London Gatwick. Airline bmibaby (http://www.bmibaby.com/) connects Geneva with the East Midlands airport in England, while flybe (http://www.flybe.com/) has direct flights to Bern-Belp from Southampton.

The flight time from a London Airport to either Geneva or Zurich airport is between 1 hour 35 minutes and 1 hour 45 minutes.

Both Zurich and Geneva can be reached direct from the USA. There are a choice of non-stop flights from North America to Zurich, including daily flights from New York (both J F Kennedy and Newark Liberty). Flights are operated by American Airlines, Delta, and Swiss. The flight duration is approximately 8 hours. The airlines Continental and United also operate non-stop flights to Geneva from Newark. Swiss International Air lines fly direct from New York (JFK) to Geneva.

Onward travel is possible via a range of transport options. Zurich Airport has its own rail station (Zürich Flughafen) which connects it with Zurich's city station (Zürich Hauptbahnhof, abbreviated to Zürich HB). Trains depart several times an hour and the journey takes 10 to 14 minutes. Connections can be made at Zürich Hauptbahnhof for travel on to almost any part of Switzerland by rail. Travel from central Zurich to Bern by train takes an hour on the InterCity (IC) train, or around an hour and 20 minutes on the long-distance InterRegio (IR) or regional RegioExpress (RE) trains. Basel can be reached in 53 minutes using the InterCity and takes up to 1 hour 11 minutes on the InterRegio.

Geneva is served by the on-airport railway station Genève-Aéroport. The journey time to the Geneva city centre station (Genève Cornavin) is just six minutes. Onward travel to Lausanne would take 33 minutes on the InterCity. Buses run from Geneva airport to the city centre and to the United Nations and other international organisations.

Online train timetables are available in English via the website of the Swiss Rail Network (SBB): http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html.

Both airports offer a choice of car hire companies, with Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, National / Alamo, and Sixt having desks at both airports. At Zurich they can be found on level 1 of the Airport Centre. In Geneva airport the car rental companies are located at the far end of the Arrivals hall (level -1). Care should be taken when renting a car at Geneva airport. The airport serves both Switzerland and France, and car hire companies are located accordingly in Swiss and in French sectors, on separate levels of the terminal building. Cars must be returned to the same sectors from which they were hired.

Useful Resources

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS)
Swiss International Air Lines Ltd., Postfach, CH-4002 Basel
Tel: +41 (0)848 700 700
Email: Use contact form (general requests)

Zurich Airport
Flughafen Zürich AG, P.O. Box, CH-8058 Zurich Airport
Tel: +41 (0)43 816 22 11
Email: info@zurich-airport.com

Geneva Airport
Genève Aéroport, P.O. Box 100, CH-1215 Geneva 15
Tel: +41 (0)22 717 71 11

Flughafen Parking 3, 8060 Zurich / Cointrin Airport, 1215 Geneva
Tel: +41 (0)44 800 77 33 (Zurich) / +41 (0)22 929 03 30 (Geneva)

Budget Car Rental
Kloten Flughafen, 8060 Zurich / Airport Cointrin, 1215 Geneva
Tel: +41 (0)44 800 77 33 / +41 (0)22 929 03 30

Europcar Car Rental
Parking 3 G1, 8058 Zurich / Cointrin Airport (Swiss Side), BP 248, 1215 Geneva
Tel: +41 (0)43 255 56 56 / +41 (0)22 717 81 10

Hertz Car Hire
Flughafenstrasse Parking Building No 3 (P3), 1st Floor, Zurich (Kloten) / Route de l'Aeroport Arrival Hall, Geneva
Tel: 41 (0)43 816 32 55 / +41 (0)22 717 80 80

National Car Rental
Zurich Flughafen, 8058 Zurich / Geneva Airport Arrival Hall, 1215 Geneva
Tel: +41 (0)43 816 32 90 / +41 (0)22 717 84 30

Zurich Airport (Kloten), Parking 3, 8060 Zurich / Desk Arrival Hall, C.P.781, 1215 Geneve
Tel: +41 (0)848 88 44 44 / +41 (0)848 88 44 44

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