BEIJING – On 7 June, Air China held a ceremony and press conference to mark the launch of its new Beijing-Zurich route. The inaugural flight from Beijing landed in Zurich at 07:25 local time – Air China’s first flight to the Swiss city since the airline discontinued its Beijing-Zurich service in October 1999. To celebrate the resumption of the service, passengers were presented with a special gift from two iconic Swiss brands – the watchmaker Hublot and the chocolatier Lindt. Staff from Swissport, Air China’s ground services provider in Switzerland, dressed in traditional Swiss costume and handed out fortune cookies to greet the arrival of the inaugural flight.
Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is also the country’s main commercial and cultural centre. As the symbolic centre of the Swiss banking industry and one of the world’s major financial centres, Zurich is home to headquarters of the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS), Credit Suisse and many other private banks.
In recent years, there have been frequent high-level exchanges between China and Switzerland, and economic and trade relations have become much closer. In January this year, the two countries announced that China would work with Switzerland to promote the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative and encourage cooperation in infrastructure, financial services, insurance, and production capacity. The two countries also announced the launch of the ‘2017 China-Switzerland Year of Tourism’. In addition to the new Beijing-Zurich service, Air China also operates three round-trip flights per week between Beijing and Geneva. These direct connections between China and Switzerland will help to promote tourism and cultural exchanges and facilitate cooperation between the two nations under the framework of the Sino-Swiss Innovative Strategic Partnership.
Operating from its hub in Beijing, Air China provides 398 routes to 181 destinations in 39 countries and regions, including 64 international destinations, 114 domestic destinations, and 3 regional destinations (Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan). Together with its Star Alliance partners, the airline offers connections to 1330 destinations in 190 countries.
Air China is the world’s largest carrier for flights between China and Europe and operates 26 routes and nearly 300 flights per week to 20 major European destinations, including London, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, Rome, Moscow, Barcelona and Madrid. All European routes are serviced by wide-body aircraft.
Flight no. CA781/782, four times weekly (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday).The outbound flight departs Beijing at 02:35 and arrives in Zurich at 07:25; the inbound flight departs Zurich at 12:55 and arrives in Beijing at 05:05 on the following day (all times are local).
The flights will be serviced by an Airbus A330-200 featuring 180-degree flat-bed Business Class seats, Premium Economy Class seats with 20% more leg room, and ergonomically-designed Economy Class seats. All seats are equipped with a personal entertainment system.