An Airbus A340 nonstop flight Zurich, Switzerland, to Honolulu, Hawaii, with nonstop connecting flight on Swiss and Lufthansa from anywhere in Europe – will this be in the pipeline for Edelweiss Air, a Swiss leisure airline, wholly owned by Star Alliance member Swiss International Air Lines and the Lufthansa Group?
Edelweiss currently operates flights to European and intercontinental destinations from its base at Zürich Airport.
The airline is expecting delivery of their three new long haul Airbus A340 by the end of 2016 or beginning of 2017.
The airline already confirmed non stop flights from Zurich to San Jose in Costa Rica; and a non stop from Zurich to San Diego in Southern California, USA.
As first reported by “Schweiz am Sonntag”, a Swiss Sunday newspaper and based on insider sources, a non stop from Zurich to Honolulu may be a reality next year. The duration of the flight would be approximately 15 hours and it would be the longest non stop flight in the network of Swiss and Edelweiss. Both airlines are neither confirming or denying their plan to get the Aloha State on their network. It would also be the first non stop flight between Europe and Hawaii.
Swiss tourism arrivals to the United States are up 7%, foreign students in Hawaii from Switzerland are at a record level.
Some experts feel a non stop flight from Hawaii to Europe won’t be able to generate a realistic profit. The distance between Zurich and Honolulu is 12,250 km. The Airbus A340-300 can fly up to 13,700 km. However the average weight of a long haul A340-300 with passengers, bags and cargo would reduce the non stop radius to just 10,500 km, not enough to fly Zurich – Honolulu with an average load.
A non stop flight would be routed over the North Pole, far away from the mainland USA. The alternative to route a Swiss Las Vegas flight on to Honolulu may not be a realistic option considering the Swiss carrier would not be allowed to transport just between two U.S. ports, Las Vegas to Honolulu.
Rumors for Hawaiian Airlines to introduce the first non stop from Hawaii to Europe is now overshadowed by the ambition by Edelweiss.