Helvetic Airways (2L, Zurich) will station two of its Embraer E-Jets at Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg, CH from July 10, 2021, for new weekend flights to leisure destinations in Greece, Spain, and Cyprus.

These will be Helvetic’s first flights from the bi-national airport, which serves a tri-national catchment area stretching from the Swiss Mittelland (midlands), to the French Alsace, and southern Germany, the airline said in a statement.

The gradual easing of entry restrictions in various EU countries, the coming introduction of a COVID certificate, and progress being made with vaccinations were all helping to spur increased demand for leisure travel. In view of this, Helvetic is expanding its range of summer services, it said.

These include new Saturday services to the Greek island of Santorini and the Spanish city of Jerez de la Frontera, and Sunday services to Larnaca in Cyprus. The flights are being marketed directly by the airline and by its partner tour operators Touristik Suisse, Schauinsland, FTI, Hotelplan, TUI Travel, and ITS.

Commented Helvetic Chief Executive Officer Tobias Pogorevc: “The demand for vacation air travel is very high. With our new flights to Santorini, Jerez, and Larnaca and our services to the Balkans, we are uniquely rounding off the airport’s range of travel options.”

The airline said the new flights would be operated with a 112-seater E190 and a 134-seater E195-E2. According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Helvetic’s fleet comprises five E190s and eight E190-E2s. The latter are currently operated on behalf of Swiss (LX, Zurich) under a long-term wet-lease agreement. Swiss earlier this year announced plans to reduce the number to four, while Eurowings (EW, Düsseldorf) last month disclosed it planned to wet-lease the other four. Helvetic also has four E195-E2s on order.

The carrier provides a range of short- and medium-haul air services from its Zurich hub. It uses its E190-E1 and E190-E2 fleet for scheduled, wet-lease, and charter flights. The company also has its own MRO operation at Zurich Airport.