A look at the Swiss regional airlines industry

 Skywork, a small Swiss regional carrier flying turboprops out of Berne, Picture: Skywork

Skywork, a small Swiss regional carrier flying turboprops out of Berne, Picture: Skywork

While preparing for an upcoming trip to EBACE, Europe's executive aviation fair, that takes place in Geneva this May, I had a look at the aviation industry in Switzerland....and was amazed to find out that Wikipedia lists no less than 20 airlines in the country!...it's true that some of them are small charter or helicopter operators and that the list also includes the Swiss operation of Easyjet...

However, one thing that caught my attention is the several regional airlines operating out of the country, mostly with turboprops: there is Skywork, a growing airline based in Bern, thatI already had the chance to write about, and also two airlines with curious names that I would never associate with Switzerland:

Darwin Airline, based in Lugano and

Baboo, based in Geneva (the latter was recently bailed out by the former). I guess the "raison-d'etre" of these airlines is to provide direct services from Swiss secondary airports, both domestic and internationally. Switzerland is certainly a small country and has no large metropolis, but when taking into account the cost of trains (at least for those that do not enjoy an type of special discount) these turboprops become competitive even when flying relatively small distances.

By the way, also in Switzerland you can fly what I guess is one of the shortest domestic services anywhere in the World (if you know of any other that is shorter, please, let me know): Zurich-Basel (92.5km or about 1h drive!)