AviationCapacity increases should see more seats available as pandemic challenges recede.

Welcome back onboard: Airlines begin to add capacity

SWISS is resuming its daily service to Singapore.
SWISS is resuming its daily service to Singapore.

Airlines are slowly restoring capacity with Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS), United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic all making announcements that they are either expanding or resuming flights as the impact of the Covid pandemic recedes.

SWISS will be expanding its range of long-haul services in the coming winter with schedules to Shanghai and Singapore to benefit.

In a statement SWISS said it will “continue to make every possible effort to maintain maximum stability throughout its flight schedules,” amid challenges caused by economic and political uncertainty.

Shanghai will return to receiving six-times-weekly service this winter, three frequencies more than have been offered during the present summer season. Singapore will revert to daily SWISS service through the addition of one further weekly flight.

The winter timetable period runs from 29 October 2023 to 30 March 2024.

SWISS transported more than three million passengers in the first quarter of 2023, an increase of more than 70% on the prior-year period. Systemwide, SWISS offered 40.2% more capacity for the period in available seat-kilometres.

Total first-quarter traffic volume, measured in revenue passenger-kilometres (RPK), was 80.4% above its prior-year level. Systemwide first-quarter seat load factor amounted to a 81%, an 18.1-percentage-point improvement on the prior-year period

Elsewhere, Virgin Atlantic has resumed daily services between Heathrow and Shanghai and is in partnership with China Eastern for further connections.

United Airlines is ramping up flights Down Under, announcing the largest South Pacific network expansion ever to and from the continental United States, with new destinations and additional routes.

The carrier will operate its first ever non-stop flight between San Francisco and Christchurch, together with new direct flights from Los Angeles to Brisbane and Auckland.

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