Ed. note: for anyone stranded by the three-hour closing of Geneva’s airport Saturday 19 January due to bad weather, the airport now has an official announcement for download, for insurance or other purposes.Exploring each other’s worlds: mutual interest by young Chinese and Swiss is growing, and more flights via Geneva will make that easier (photo, film – Ten Thousand Miles)
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – One of the world’s largest airline, Air China, with 400 aircraft in its fleet, is adding a new direct destination: Geneva. Starting 7 May the company will have four flights a week in either direction.
The flights will be offered Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, leaving Beijing at 13:30 and landing in Geneva the same day at 18:25. Return flights will leave Geneva at 20:25, arriving the next morning at 12:55 in Beijing.
Isabel Rochat, State Councillor (Minister) and president of the Board of Genève Aéroport said Wednesday 23 January in a joint statement, “The Canton of Geneva and the whole region have very strong ties with China and both the economic and touristic sectors will strongly benefit from this direct route. This is also a great news for the United Nations and the whole international activity in Geneva and it is a confirmation of China’s growing role in the world diplomacy”.
The airport’s director, CEO Robert Deillon, was equally enthusiastic. “Beijing has been among our top unserved routes for a long time and we have identified a really strong potential market both for leisure and for business”.
Internal market studies, he says, show more than 40,000 passengers measured last year for this market, but the genuine potential is much higher, with double-digit growth in Chinese tourism. China was one of Switzerland’s fastest growing markets for tourism in 2012. The airport vowed Wednesday to adapt its facilities to provide an appropriate and warm welcome for Chinese visitors.