Swiss is set to take delivery of two new B777-300ER aircraft next year, allowing it to add new long-haul routes and upgrade existing services.

The carrier will launch new routes from Zurich to Osaka and Washington DC in March 2020.

The Osaka service will start on March 1 next year, operating five times weekly using a 223-seat A340-300 aircraft. Flights will depart Zurich at 1300 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, arriving into Osaka’s Kansai International airport at 0845 the following day, with the return leg departing the Japanese city at 1100, and landing back into Zurich at 1600.

Meanwhile the daily Washington DC route will launch on March 29, using a 236-seat A330-300 aircraft. Flights will depart Zurich at 1345, landing in Washington at 1700, with the return leg leaving the US city at 2035, landing back into Zurich at 1040 the following day.

Both routes will be available to book from August 7.

The new services have been made possible by the forthcoming delivery of two B777-300ERs, which will see the airline’s Zurich-Tokyo and Zurich-Miami routes upgraded to the new aircraft next year.

Announcing the news, Swiss CEO Thomas Kluhr was critical of the “highly restrictive airport operating hours” at Zurich airpiort.

“As The Airline of Switzerland, we connect our home country with the world’s key economic, societal and tourist destinations. The increasingly difficult operating parameters at our Zurich hub do, however, pose a major challenge,” said Kluhr.

“The already highly restrictive airport operating hours and the growing burdens of noise levies and other charges are increasingly threatening the stability of our flight operations.

“Any further tightening of the present restrictions would seriously endanger the range of destinations Swiss can offer. And this in turn would be critical to such an export-oriented nation.”

There are currently no direct, nonstop flights between Zurich and Osaka – United Airlines serves the Washington DC-Zurich route.