Although Swiss is keeping this product under wraps, Business Traveller can reveal that a Geneva Flightpass is about to be introduced.
A special website flightpass.ch has been established.
Business Traveller understands that the new pass will initially be sold on a trial basis between September 20 and December 31 this year.
There will be two passes and both are most suitable for business travellers who can plan ahead and who travel regularly.
- Discover Europe Pass will cost a flat CHF 799 and will provide ten one-way flights to almost all Swiss short-haul destinations served from Geneva. Bookings must be made up to 21 days ahead. Four destinations are excluded: Zurich, Barcelona, Moscow and St Petersburg.
- City Pass costs from CHF 999. It provides ten one-way flights to, it appears, all Swiss short-haul destinations. Bookings can be made up to one week in advance.
In each case bookings must be made within six months of purchase and the flights must be used within one year. According to flightpass.ch it covers direct flights both to and from Geneva.
Clearly the value will be greater on longer rather than shorter routes inside Europe.
But why Geneva you might ask? Why not Zurich? The answer lies in the fact that Geneva is Easyjet’s base in Switzerland and this low-cost carrier is by far the dominant airline (in Geneva).
Swiss also uses Geneva as a laboratory for new ideas. It was from Geneva where it introduced HBO (hand baggage only) fares. And it is in Geneva where Swiss is currently examining new catering concepts which, within Europe, could lead to BOB (buy on board) catering.
Figures from 2016 show that Easyjet controlled 40 per cent of the Geneva market as against Swiss’ 15 per cent.
Reports in the Swiss media have said that Swiss (which belongs to the Lufthansa Group) is under pressure to become profitable in Geneva. The Swiss operation in Geneva is understood be losing CHF 30 million a year and if the situation continues it could face closure.