On 7 July, CargoForwarder exclusively reported that the freight division of Swiss Air Lines International intends to enlarge its itinerary by serving new routes to the Far East and the U.S. beginning in April next year. While the city’s names were kept as a secret by SWCs Cargo Chief Ashwin Bhat at that time due to ongoing market surveys, the carrier unveiled specifics now.
In the APAC region it is Osaka, Japan that will be serviced by the Swiss carrier (5 x weekly) operating an Airbus A340-300. The upcoming flights complement the daily Tokyo operations and
strengthen SWC’s footprint in Japan.
Osaka plays a central role in the economy of Western Japan and provides an ideal location for international companies – including within the electronics, pharmaceutical, machinery and chemical industries, reads a released published by Swiss WorldCargo.
In the USA it is Washington that will complement Swiss WorldCargo’s existing transatlantic route map serviced by an A330-300. In summer, daily flights are offered passengers and cargo clients, whereas during the winter season it will be five flights weekly connecting Zurich and Washington. From Swiss WorldCargo’s point of view, flights to Washington make much sense. The U.S. capital is a major business center for electronics, manufacturing and e-commerce. It plays an important role as a gateway connecting Philadelphia, Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
Two additional B777-300ERs will complement the long-haul fleet
Other U.S. destinations standing on the carrier’s itinerary are JFK (21/7), EWR, LAX, SFO, ORD, BOS (all 7/7) and MIA (7/7) and seasonally 2nd daily flight. Seasonally operated flights conducted by Swiss daughter Edelweiss to Orlando, Tampa and San Diego round off the lower deck capacity offered to and from the USA.
In early 2020, two new Boeing 777-300ERs will be added to the Swiss carrier’s fleet, upping their number to twelve altogether. They will be operated daily from Zurich to Tokyo and Miami respectively, increasing the cargo capacity on both routes by roughly 20 percent.
Focus on special cargo protects against slump in business
Like many other freight carriers, SWC is currently facing the overall global downturn within the air freight industry. However, “our focus and leadership in the special cargo segment does insulate us from industry-wide developments to a certain degree,” states an SWC spokesperson. He reminded that 2018 was an extraordinary year for the entire air cargo industry, making it difficult to use as a benchmark for the business. In spite of the market development we continue to focus on delivering the projects on hand and on generating value for our customers,” the manager emphasized.
Cargo-friendly passenger fleet
Exact tonnage for every intercont flight can fluctuate based on seasonal operations and of course, aircraft type. Swiss WorldCargo’s Airbus A330-300 flights offer, on average, 19 tons, both to the U.S. and Asia. Airbus A340-300 flights offer 22 tons. Boeing 777-300ER flights, to both the U.S. and the Far East, are capable of transporting up to 24.5 tons per takeoff.
Flights operated by Edelweiss but marketed by Swiss WorldCargo tend to offer slightly reduced tonnage, given that these are often seasonally operated routes with higher demand for passenger baggage.