TRIP REPORT: Swiss inaugural to Ljubljana

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Swiss International Air Lines resumed operations between Zurich and Ljubljana yesterday following a three-year hiatus, with flights to be operated by Helvetic Airways. The following are impressions from one of the passengers on board:

Written by Alexander Stare

Had the chance to fly on this stunning autumn day to LJU and back to ZRH, which were also the inaugural flights for Swiss to Ljubljana. Back in 2016 Swiss stopped their flights after a short intermezzo of a couple months, but Swissair was also the first foreign carrier to operate regular flights in March 1989 to Ljubljana, which at that time was great honour for the small and at that time still Yugoslav republic.



Flight today to Ljubljana was operated with Embraer 190 of Helvetic Airways, 8 of their aircraft are in regular service for Swiss Intl. Airlines. The flight was on time and 102 Economy Class passengers boarded through Jetbridge Gate A83 to the plane (seat configuration full Economy is 104 seats). Friendly and smiley welcome by the Purser with a warm cabin interior of grey comfortable leather seats. Cabin impression clean, temperature inside little bit too high, seat pitch fine for the 52 minutes flight. Three female flight attendants operated the flights, with a female captain from Germany and male first officer. Departed on RW 28 heading Bodensee, had beautiful view to Bodensee, Allgäu, Mount Zugspitze, Zell am See, Grossglockner, Weissensee, Villach, Faakersee, Wörthersee, Bled and the usual turn to land afterwards on RW 30. Crew informed us about first flight and water canon salute in Ljubljana, they also asked us just to order one drink due to the short flight, but the 3 ladies were great and efficient, serving drinks, fresh tasty sandwiches and of course our Swiss Chocolate which we Swiss like so much.











After landing we took the shower and parked on a land stand position and were bussed to the terminal. Outside the aircraft TV and press journalists were waiting for us and interviewing some of the passengers. In the terminal, there was no big reception, except a lady with sweet small bowls with Fraport and Swiss Logo.




LX 2277 back to ZRH was on time again and seat configuration this time: 10 Business and 84 Economy and on board were 9 Business and 82 Economy. I guess we had about 50/50 Transfer and ZRH local passengers. Transfer passengers were heading to MUC, NCE, GVA, WAW, LHR, MAN, BHX, BOS and JFK.

At the gate there was a small reception but without speeches, same bowls were distributed again and before boarding I had the chance to talk to the LH Group Representative, which said, they know that the LH group operations are not ideal yet, lacking especially the morning departures ex LJU but problem for them are availability of aircraft and they are working on an improved schedule.


Boarding and departure again as per schedule, return flight took approximately 55 minutes and, instead of sandwiches, this time we had a tasty cherry pie with full assortment of cold hot and alcoholic beverages plus the Swiss Schoggi. Visited the restroom which is fine in size and was absolutely clean.




Smooth on time landing at Zürich Kloten airport where we parked on a land stand position again. The female captain had her first flight today to Ljubljana and she said, the routing is beautiful, and she loved the approach. She hopes to be back soon again.


Finally LJU has a carrier and product to ZRH again which is reliable, friendly and on time. The Embraer 190 of Helvetic is an elegant aircraft, soon the CS300 will start to operate the route as well and probably even the brand new Embraer 190 E2 which is due for delivery within the next weeks. Adria is history and once Swiss and Lufthansa launch more flights, no one will miss Adria anymore. For me, LX to LJU is a perfect match. Perfect match also since booking process is easy, efficient, automated check in with boarding passes sent by email or popping up on your swiss app. I like their short haul product and prices are fair with 49-54 CHF one way ZRH-LJU if purchased well ahead.

Comments

  1. Welcome SWISS, looking forward to flying with you!

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  2. Nice report. Who needs Adria when you can have Swiss?

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  3. I am worried about the schedule though; the only way this will replace adria is if they overnight the plane and crew in Ljubljana to get early morning flights from LJU and late night arrival into LJU.

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  4. I think it's sad that LJU doesn't organise anything on this occasion. It's not like airlines are lining up to fly there.

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    1. They had a water salute and some balloons and sweets.. Certainly not nothing.

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  5. Probably the best trip report I've read so far on this page.

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  6. Very nice trip report! Now this is what we were talking about, the real companies instead of Adria. Just look at this service. And passengers definitely have much more confidence flying with these carriers. I know the scheduals are far from ideal at the moment, but things will likely improve in the future.

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  7. I think in the end LX will operate seasonally to LJU.

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    1. Why would you think that? If Adria could fill 3 daily flights, then I don't see why Swiss couldn't fly at least twice daily in the long term.

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    2. Because JP filled the flights with transfers from ex-YU and Tirana. Swiss will have to rely on Slovenia as a point of sale.

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    3. IMO they will stay. They still offer among cheapest connections onwards.

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    4. And you don't think that's a problem? Yields must be trash.

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    5. Adria filled the plane 15 years back with Balkans destinations, last years, you had more and more Business people (Novartis), Austrians going to Kärnten, Swiss Tourists to Slovenia, Internat. Tourists and on morning flight 365 and evening return 306 a good share of Balkans.

      Swiss will definitely stay year round and most probl increase by 2021 to some additional flights. 03NOV already A320 is operating LX 2276/77 and btw try to buy this or next two weekends to book ZRHLJUZRH, rates are at 600 CHF already, some flights u cant book a seat anymore

      I flew ZRHLJU last 4 years around 70 times

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    6. Then they wouldn't have put a smaller plane on the route if it was doing so well and if it had so much potential.

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    7. This discussion proves that 99% of comments are from couch airline managers who never fly. Appreciate JU520 who knows what he is talking about. I clock on average 50 flights per year and can clearly confirm the passenger structure - work related trips make up for most passengers. Looking forward to the summer schedule, enough time to sort out the planning until then. And as of this week I can skip the night train:)

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    8. Yeah if there was so much O&D then they would have appropriate flight times. These are perfectly timed for connections.

      Oh and other airlines have made prior arrangements regarding LJU (LJU, AF, HV, LO...) so why didn't LH Group? Stop making excuses for Germans.

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    9. Yes all airlines have planes and crews sitting in the waiting room... Especially in the rush hour. Wake up... What other arrangements?! Has someone of the "other" airlines offered a better timed flight? No, they all filled the gaps in the dead time in same way as LH, don't see any AF or LO planes in LJU overnight. LH was not allowed to react before Adria actually went bankrupt, its the law of SA...

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    10. Both AF and HV prepared well in advance for what occurred later on. I am sorry but of course they could have reacted and they did, the day JP went bankrupt LO announced an additional flight. So they were prepared adn they reacted.

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    11. Anonym 2028 is absolutely right, besides ac and crew avbl you need also slots at hubs in MUC FRA ZRH and thats more and more a problem nowadays with our congested hubs. I am sure that as of SUTT we at least will see one early morning dep at least to MUC FRA or ZRH

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  8. Beautiful aircraft and livery !

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  9. The co-pilot worked with me as a a/c mechanic :)

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  10. Great report! Thanks! And beautiful photos of Zurich...

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  11. The same day it took us 6 hours to get from ZRH to LJU via BGD - AirSerbia.

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    1. I flew once from Belgrade to New York JFK with Swiss via Zurich ZRH. It took me 6 hours more than with Air Serbia direct, but I saved some money just like you did. So kids what have we learned today? We learned two things: 1-Direct flights are shorter and more expensive than transfers; 2-Bitter people will use this obvious industry fact to throw shade at Air Serbia.

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