Denver’s Population Growth Leads to More International Routes

Jul 7, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Denver International Airport announced Wednesday that Edelweiss Airlines will begin flying from DEN to Zurich (ZRH), Switzerland. The new flights will be twice a week (Mondays and Fridays), using a 315-seat Airbus A330-300. Edelweiss is just the latest of several recent international service additions in Denver — let’s look at which other airlines are growing.

Edelweiss Airbus A330. Photo by AeroIcarus (Flickr / Commercial Use Allowed)
Edelweiss Airbus A330. Image courtesy of AeroIcarus via Flickr.

Edelweiss will begin its Denver flights on June 4, 2018. Edelweiss is owned by Swiss International Air Lines, a subsidiary of the German carrier Lufthansa. Departing from DEN, the Monday flights leave at 10pm and arrive at 3:50pm the next day, while the Friday flights depart at 6:05pm and arrive at 11:55am the next day. WK16 leaves ZRH at 5:05pm and arrives in DEN at 8:20pm.

Norwegian Air Shuttle

DEN has also recently gained new service by Norwegian Air, flying to London Gatwick (LGW) launching September 16. Norwegian will use its 787 on the route. Departing DEN, you’d take DY7172 at 2:40pm, landing in LGW at 6:40am the next morning. Returning from London, you’d take DY7171 at 9:50am, landing in Denver at 12:40pm. The airline will fly from Gatwick to Denver on Tuesdays and Saturdays each week, then add a third weekly flight in early November.

Copa Airlines

Beginning December 11, Copa will begin flying nonstop from DEN to Panama City four times a week. Copa flight CM477 will depart Denver on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 10:30pm, arriving at the Hub of the Americas (PTY) in Panama at 6:05am the following morning. The return flight, CM476, will depart Panama on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 11:50am, arriving in Denver at 4:12pm. United served this route in 2014-2015, but it only lasted for ten months.


Lufthansa has flown from Denver to Frankfurt (FRA) for years, but it also added DEN to Munich (MUC) last summer, and has since grown the route to a daily flight with a larger plane, switching from the A330-300 to the A340-600. LH481 leaves DEN at 4:10pm and arrives in MUC at 10:10am the following morning. Returning to DEN, LH480 leaves MUC at 11:25am and gets to DEN at 2:35pm.

Southwest planes at DEN. Photo by Paul Thompson


Southwest has added several international flights from Denver over the past couple of years. The carrier’s newest international destination from Denver is Belize City (BZE), with service that began in March. It was originally intended as seasonal service, but things have gone well enough for flights to continue. Flights to BZE happen on Saturdays at 9:55am, arriving at 3:05pm on flight 288. You can return the following Saturday at 1:10pm, arriving in Denver at 5:30pm on flight 289. If you don’t want to spend a whole week in Belize, you can return via a connection in Houston Hobby on other days of the week. Southwest also flies between Denver and Cancun (CUN), Cabo San Lucas (SJD) and Puerto Vallarta (PVR).

Population Boom

Denver’s population grew by 190,897 people between 2014-2016, creating more demand for international flight options. United is Denver’s largest carrier, but the only long-haul international destination it serves is Tokyo. Zurich will be Denver’s 24th nonstop international location and its first nonstop to Switzerland.

As it’s the sixth-largest US airport and 19th-largest in the world (by total passengers flown), one could easily expect DEN to attract one of the big Middle Eastern airlines, who can’t seem to have enough planes or destinations. The 7,771-mile route from Dubai to Denver is well within the range of the Airbus A380 or the Boeing 777 and 787. However, the airport’s lounges leave a lot to be desired. An airline like Emirates, Etihad or Qatar would surely want a more luxurious lounge space for its passengers, in order to maintain a consistent brand experience. The shared Oneworld lounge on Concourse A and Star Alliance lounges on Concourse B are small and minimalist in terms of features and amenities. As it currently stands, Edelweiss premium passengers would have to visit one of United’s two lounges on Concourse B, which is hardly convenient when their flight departs from Concourse A. No word on whether DEN plans to add or upgrade any lounges, but the airport’s  “Master Plan” includes up to two more terminals and an additional six runways.

Featured image courtesy of Denver International Airport. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.