Swiss restarts direct Singapore-Zurich service

Swiss International Air Lines has returned to Singapore after an absence of four years with a new daily non-stop service between Singapore and Zurich operated with an A340-300 aircraft. The opening of Singapore also offers major opportunities for the Swiss WorldCargo business unit with 17-18 tonnes of belly capacity per flight. Donald Urquhart reports.

Oliver Evans Singapore-Zurich SWISS WorldCargo

We’re very proud to reconnect our global network to one of Asia’s most vibrant economic powerhouses,” said Oliver Evans, chief cargo officer. “Like Switzerland, Singapore is known for its quality, reliability and productivity. And our customers on this new route can be sure of receiving all the tailor-made airfreight solutions and high-grade service that they have come to expect from Swiss WorldCargo.”

Cargo ex-Singapore will consist primarily of electronics, perishables such as live fish, valuables and pharmaceutical products and related specialised equipment, said Evans. Cargo inbound to Singapore will be a broad mix he added, with one key traffic flow consisting of Swiss watches. It may seem like a small commodity, but Evans notes that “Singapore is a distribution centre for a number of countries in the region and it tends to be a market segment that is of particular importance to us.”

He notes that growth in Swiss watch demand to Asia was close to 30 per cent in 2011 and again in 2012. The first quarter of 2013 however, saw one of the largest markets in Asia – China – drop by 30 per cent because of Chinese government moves to curtail what it sees as excessive luxury consumerism. “So that’s slowed the industry down for the short term, we don’t know whether that will continue or not, but from our perspective China is just one market, Indonesia and other markets are continuing to see strong growth in this sector.”