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Wasn’t it Crossair which really promoted Lugano some 30 years ago ? Indeed I believe Crossair even operated a direct London City to Lugano service via ZRH. BAe 146s were used.
At that time Malpensa had not been truly developed (most long-haul flights operated out of Rome) and there was some concern that it would eventually poach travellers from Lugano.14 Oct 2019
Yes Alex, you’re right. In fact I was on the inaugural LUG – (ZRH) – LCY flight courtesy of Crossair who invited all Ticino chapter members of the British Swiss Chamber of Commerce. Moritz Suter was a good friend of the then chapter chair, as was Marco Ostini who was the Lugano station manager. Marco was very supportive of the British Community here, offering return tickets to London for raffles and other goodies such as the chocolates for prizes.
The aircraft was the BAE 146, which was nicknamed the “Jumbolino” and was always very popular as was Crossair. Your memory serves you well 😉
1 user thanked author for this post.14 Oct 2019
I couldn’t mention the names before, but it has now been leaked and so is public, but Sir Lindsey Owen-Jones (former CEO of L’Oreal) along with several very prominent business people are in an advanced stage of starting feeder flights into Zurich and Geneva. The combined wealth of those involved is in excess of CHF 10 billion and all run highly successful businesses. Kessel is the main Ferrari / Bentley dealer, Tarcini owns a wealth of real estate, hotels and the very successful FoxTown shopping outlet, as well as the founder and head of Investindustrial, major shareholder in Aston Martin and Ducati amongst many other holdings.
The market cap of their companies, not to mention that of the businesses, far exceed the market cap of the whole Lufthansa group, and is now deemed such a threat, along with the fact that it’s rumoured that at least 60% of all premium tickets booked on Swiss from Lugano have been cancelled (free cancellation and full refund was offered to all ex Lugano ticket holders (myself included) that it seems Swiss are now once again in desperate talks with Austrian to have them resume the LUG -ZRH service.
Who say’s money can’t talk???14 Oct 2019
that would be indeed very good, this is sure!
There was one point which I found odd: the participation of Mr Kessel in a project to give new life to a commercial airport in Lugano. Less than two years ago he publicly said on TV (“Falò” on TSI1) that he was not believing in Lugano but for general aviation.
Now I just read the press release and I see the pool of businessmen interested in the private jet business. Mr Bonomi clearly said that only with Swiss the airport has a future on its LUG-ZRH route and that the LUG-GVA one can be feasible only with the intervention of the city of Lugano (which is all but sure in today’s political and economic situation). They are also hoping that Dassault can make it a maintenance center for Europe, which seems to me a bit odd given the difficulties in having some models land in LUG. But let’s see: after their acquisition of TAG they could just decide to move a part of its smaller aircraft’s maintenance center and be willing to certify a god amount of pilots at competitive rates to make it more interesting.
the story continues…15 Oct 2019
I think people move with the wind Sanran. What Kessel said 2 years ago was very different to the view of many of his very wealthy customers, so….
Apart from extending the train line into Agno, there is also a plan to lengthen the runway, so this could appeal to Dassault.
It’s likely LUG-GVA would need a public subsidy, but the two cities are not against this. It’s just that till now there was no airline linking the pair. If they add Berne to the equation, and there was a direct service some years ago, it’s possible they could also get federal funds since many Ticinese MP’s and others do not relish the 3 hour + train ride when the flight took just 20 minutes.15 Oct 2019
Let’s see what this weekend will tell us! I’m afraid an important part of the decision about public funding will be a direct consequence of the percentage the greens and green-liberals will get (but not in Lugano!).15 Oct 2019
Saturday I took the 08.04 train from Lugano, which is also shown as the “Flugzug” on the Swiss website, though i did not go as far as Zurich as we were going to Lucern for the day. I went a little early to see the check in process out of curiosity but found there was none. No Swiss desk and no help. I also walked the length of the train, and found all the carriages were the standard ones, nothing to indicate Swiss.
I asked the ticket inspector and confirmed for the airport I would have to change trains in ZUrich HB, so the conclusion is the Flugzug is just the regular train, no assistance and no check-in at the station (that i could see).
On the way back I saw quite a few passengers with bags with flight labels attached. They were not very happy at having to lug all their cases off the train at Lugano with no trolleys available to help them.
1 user thanked author for this post.21 Oct 2019