InterSky to serve Zurich independently after Swiss talks fail

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Austrian regional carrier InterSky is continuing its flights from Zurich to Graz and Salzburg - albeit with lower capacity - after Swiss International Air Lines called off the negotiations for a planned interline agreement covering the two routes.

InterSky started operating both the Graz-Zurich and Salzburg-Zurich routes thrice-daily and planned to station a 70-seat ATR 72 turboprop in Graz for one of the flights to the Swiss hub. But the Friedrichshafen, Germany-based airline says it will now operate only 50-seat Bombardier Dash 8-300s on both routes and cut back the Salzburg-Zurich services to two frequencies per day. Costs to establish both routes without the interline agreement with Swiss will be higher than initially budgeted, says InterSky. But the carrier adds that both routes show "positive" development even under independent operation.

Swiss - a wholly owned subsidiary of Lufthansa - was "forced" to call off the interline agreement negotiations, says InterSky.

Renate Moser, managing director and founder of the airline, says that she sympathises with Lufthansa's concerns about a partnership between InterSky and Swiss, as it would have increased competition with the German flag carrier and its other, wholly owned subsidiary Austrian Airlines.

But she says that the situation should have been clear when Swiss began the interline negotiations with InterSky.