Just a few days after budget airline, BMIbaby, announced a new route from Cardiff to Munich in Germany, Swiss carrier, Helvetic Airways, has unveiled plans to link the Welsh hub to one of the biggest financial centres in the world, Zurich.
Beginning in March 2011, and operating four times a week, Helvetic’s new route is being marketed at business travellers. Cardiff boss, Patrick Duffy, said that Zurich is “one of the most sought-after business destinations from Wales,” and the airport is “delighted” to have Helvetic introduce the connection. Bruno Jans, Director at Helvetic, echoed Patrick’s sentiments, referring to his airline’s latest investment as “just what the market has been looking for.”
Similar to BMIbaby’s Munich route, Helvetic’s Zurich flight is the first of its kind from South Wales. The addition should help the airport compete with neighbouring Bristol International, which offers a route to the Swiss city of Geneva, but not to Zurich. Helvetic is hoping that its fellow Swiss will take advantage of the opportunity to visit Wales during summer 2011.
The country might not have the clement temperatures of the Mediterranean, but its mountainous relief, big leeks, and untamed countryside will be familiar to visitors from Alpine regions of Europe, with the possible exception of the vegetable.
Helvetic will operate a Fokker 100 on the Cardiff-Zurich route. The airliner has 100 seats, as its name suggests, and is relatively rare in world markets, given that Fokker went into bankruptcy in 1996.
The Swiss airline will begin selling tickets (priced at £99, taxes included) for Zurich on November 15 2010. However, the price is described as a “limited offer” on the Cardiff Airport website.