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The skies between the US and Europe have seen several new players in recent years — mostly, carrying the label of low-cost carriers. Between Norwegian, WOW Air, Level and Primera, there are plenty of options for those looking to travel on the cheap between the two continents. But soon, there could be another player to that mix, and it wants to undercut airfare on full-service long-haul flights by 30%.
An airline known as Swiss Skies — for now — is seeking an initial $100 million in investment capital in order to connect the US and Europe with low-cost fares. While it hopes to begin flying in the second half of 2019, don’t get hooked on the Swiss Skies name. The airline’s founders, who include a former Ryanair pilot and top manager of Air Berlin, say that it’ll undergo a rebranding before its launch.
According to the airline, it’ll base itself at the EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg Airport, which is located where the borders of Switzerland, Germany and France meet. And as for routes, the founders say that the airline’s first route will be between Basel and Cincinnati, Ohio (CVG). There is currently no nonstop competition in either city.
And as for what aircraft Swiss Skies plans to operate on the transatlantic routes, current plans detail that it’ll fly an Airbus 321LR fleet. According to Aviation24.be, the airline plans to have 16 A321LRs in its fleet by its second year in operation, and more than 38 by its fourth year in operation. Talk about an optimistic outlook on growth…
While the carrier plans to capitalize on underserved routes, such as its Cincinnati to Basel launch, it’ll still face competition in the low-cost sector. With Norwegian already beginning to serve smaller cities, such as Newburgh (SWF), Providence (PVD) and more, and with WOW entering markets like Pittsburgh (PIT) and St. Louis (STL), there are only a certain number of markets large enough for Swiss Skies to explore as a the only low-cost TATL option. Plus, WOW Air already entered the Cincinnati market in May 2018 — albeit with service to Reykjavik (KEF), not Switzerland.
For budget travel enthusiasts, the carrier’s plan to launch airfare at 30% less than full-service carriers is a good sign.
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