Emirates already serves Zurich. But from June 1 of next year it will add Geneva as a second Swiss city when it launches a daily flight from Dubai.
French-speaking Geneva holds considerable potential. For starters this multi-national city boasts an affluent population and besides the local watch-making industry it is also the location of several international bodies such as the UNOG, WTO, WHO and Red Cross.
A further advantage is that Geneva, located on the Franco-Swiss border, serves the local French population and it’s worth noting that Lyon, the second largest business city in France after Paris, is not too far away.
Geneva will be Emirates’ 26th destination in Europe and is also popular with Gulf visitors, especially during the summer months.
Emirates will be competing against Gulf rivals Etihad of Abu Dhabi and Qatar Airways of Doha.
Its daily service will be operated by a mixture of long-range B777-200s and larger B777-300ERs. Both plane types feature “suites” in first class and angled lie-flat seating in business class.
These three Gulf carriers have the eastbound market out of Geneva practically all to themselves. That is because national airline Swiss concentrates almost all its long-haul flights at Zurich while the two Asian carriers serving Switzerland (Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways) also operate at Zurich.
Other major carriers like Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Air India, Jet Airways, Qantas and so on do not serve Switzerland.
In time-honoured fashioned, Emirates’ daily flight is scheduled for onward connections at Dubai for both regional destinations and those farther afield in Asia, Africa and Australasia.
Flight EK90 will depart Geneva at 1540 to arrive in Dubai at 2359. Inbound service EK89 departs Dubai at 0855 to land in Geneva at 1410.
For more information visit emirates.com.
Report by Alex McWhirter