Passengers will be flown once a week from Zürich, with outbound and return services leaving two days apart.
Hong Kong–based travelers confronted with limited ways to get to Europe can look forward to an additional air link as demand gradually recovers. Swiss International Air Lines has announced that it will return to the city nearly five months after its Zürich–Hong Kong service was temporarily suspended in December 2021. The first flight is now scheduled for May 7, with the route initially operated on a weekly basis. Swiss brought the resumption date forward in light of Hong Kong’s latest relaxation of coronavirus regulations, which cuts flight suspensions to five days from the beginning of May. This allows airlines to operate services once a week, giving them the confidence to avoid disruptions if authorities penalize them for bringing in at least five Covid-positive passengers on the same flight.
According to its latest schedules, Swiss will be deploying Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on the route. Each Saturday, Flight LX138 is scheduled to depart Zürich at 1:05 p.m. to reach Hong Kong at 7:10 a.m. the next morning after an estimated 12 hours and five minutes in the air. Flight LX139, meanwhile, will be a red-eye service that leaves Hong Kong on Mondays at 1:30 a.m. Following a journey of about 13 hours and 45 minutes, the 777 will touch down in Zürich at 9:15 a.m. The flight time each way has lengthened due to the closure of Russian airspace to planes from Switzerland and 35 other Western countries. Flights to Hong Kong are expected to be rerouted over the Balkans and Bulgaria, before skirting Turkey’s Black Sea coast, overflying Georgia and Azerbaijan, and crossing the Caspian Sea into Central Asia. Passenger aircraft will then enter Chinese airspace via southern Kazakhstan.
Cathay Pacific’s own nonstop services to Zürich remain suspended, making Swiss the sole carrier serving the route. Over in Germany, Swiss’ sister airline Lufthansa has not yet revealed a tentative timeframe for resuming flights between Frankfurt and Hong Kong.
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