Switzerland: concerns about competitiveness
The Munich (Germany)-based firm Intraplan Consulting first compiled data on the competitiveness of Switzerland’s civil aviation industry in the sectors transport demand, infrastructure, service range, political and fiscal framework, environmental protection and air safety in 2012. The study, which is being repeated every two years, is carried out on behalf of Switzerland’s federal office of civil aviation (Foca), Aerosuisse, the country’s air navigation service provider Skyguide, Swiss International Airlines and the Swiss International Airports Association in order to monitor the ability of the country’s aviation industry to compete.
The second monitoring report (2014) discovered that rivalry from Middle Eastern airlines is becoming increasingly fierce. These carriers have substantially better operating conditions than their counterparts in Europe and Switzerland.
For example, the Gulf airlines and Turkish Airlines benefit from significantly lower cost structures and fewer operating limits – such as a night flight ban – at their home bases. On top of that, airport infrastructure and aircraft fleets are being massively expanded in those regions.
Despite these disadvantages, airports in Switzerland are able to gain additional volumes thanks to the Gulf airlines.