English Corner

The Indian airline Air India may want to add Zurich to its route network this year. Image: Air India

Is Air India approaching Zurich?

Air India plans to fly to additional destinations in the course of this year. There are now rumors that Zurich Airport could be added to the Indian airline's flight schedule.

Two new long-haul connections that will be offered from Zurich Airport this year have already been confirmed for some time. In mid-September 2023, Swiss announced direct flights to Washington D.C. and Toronto (Travelnews reported). Additional long-haul destinations are not yet known, says Elena Kuriger, spokeswoman for Zurich Airport.

Now a new path leads to India. As the industry portal «Simple Flying» reports, Air India wants to add various new long-haul destinations to its route network this year, such as Dallas, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Los Angeles: And: Zurich.

Neither the airline nor Zurich Airport are willing to reveal any details. An Air India spokesperson told the «Luzerner Zeitung» that they did not want to comment on speculation. Airport spokeswoman Elena Kuriger explains: "As of today, the launch of the route has not been confirmed. However, the airport is in constant contact with the airlines."

Expansion of economic relations

Since last year, India has been the most populous country in the world with 1.4 billion inhabitants. This means that one in six people currently lives in India. The strong population growth with an increasingly affluent middle class is also a growth driver for many airlines. Swiss, for example, now flies from Zurich to Delhi and Mumbai.

The economic connection between Switzerland and India could become even more important in the future. This is due the resumption of negotiations for a free trade agreement between India and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which was suspended in 2013. This includes Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

India is already Switzerland's fourth most important trading partner after the EU, the USA and China. In 2021, goods and services worth CHF 29 billion were exported to the world's most populous country.