Zurich Airport Guide
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Your Complete Guide to Zurich Airport

Zurich Airport is the primary airport in Switzerland, handling over twenty million passengers per year. The airport is located in the Canton of Zurich towards the northeastern region of the country. It is partially situated in the areas of Kloten, Rümlang, Oberglatt, Winkel and Opfiken. Zurich Airport is particularly nearby Kloten, and is therefore often referred to as Kloten Airport as well. It is also known by its official IATA code of ZRH, and has the ICAO code of LSZH. This important air gateway to Switzerland is the hub for the airline companies of Edelweiss and Swiss International Air Lines.

Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland, and is the financial and business hub of the country, but has also become a very popular destination for international tourists. Tourism in Zurich has dramatically increased over the years, and the city is now no longer just a banking paradise. The airport is also within driving distance of the Swiss Alps, and many passengers are arriving to participate in some winter sporting activities. Zurich Airport is therefore a very important gateway for international and local tourists, as well as for those with business intentions. The airport is situated approximately 12 km, or 7 miles from centre of Zurich, and is managed by Flughafen Zürich AG. The main roadway leading to the airport is the A51, or the Unterlandautobahn, while the Butzenbüelring runs directly past the terminal buildings. Motorists with a satellite navigation system can use the following coordinates when travelling to the airport:  47°27′53″N 08°32′57″E.

Zurich Airport is served by a variety of airline carriers, most notably, Edelweiss Air, Swiss International Air Lines, Lufthansa, Swiss (operated by Swiss European Air Lines) and Air Berlin, which is a low-cost airline company offering flights to Alicante, Catania, Hamburg, Hanover, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca and Tenerife-South. Many of these destinations are found in Spain.  Easyjet is another popular low-cost carrier present, as well as Germanwings. Easyjet mainly served destinations in the United Kingdom, such as the London airports of Luton and Gatwick, while Germanwings flies to Cologne/Bonn.

Swiss International Air Lines serves the majority of destinations from Zurich Airport, closely followed by Edelweiss Air. Some of their popular destinations include Amsterdam, Athens, Copenhagen, Johannesburg, Frankfurt, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan-Malpensa, Rome-Fiumicino, Casablanca, Mombasa, Zanzibar and Faro. British Airways is present at Zurich Airport, as well as American Airlines, Air Canada, Austrian Airlines, KLM, Delta Air Lines and Iberia. At the close of 2010, Zurich Airport was reported to have served 22.9 million passengers.

Although Zurich Airport is today the largest airport in Switzerland, it was not the first to offer air transport for the country. The first airport was located outside Dübendorf, and still exists today, but as a combined military/civil air traffic control centre. There are also two museums on the site, one of which is the Swiss Air Force Museum. In later years, it was apparent that the country needed to increase its airport facilities, and four airports where planned to be built, at Basal, Geneva, Bern and Zurich. Zurich Airport was the only one out of the four that would handle intercontinental air traffic. Construction of the new Zurich Airport began in 1946, and the first runway was open for business towards the middle of 1948. The airport served over a hundred thousand passengers in its first year of operation. Work on Zurich Airport continued in the later 1950’s, when a second runway was built, and the existing runway and terminal expanded, and in 1970, a second terminal was opened, by the name of Terminal B. In 1981, the airport received its underground Swiss rail station. More recent additions to Zurich Airport include the new midfield terminal, or Gate E, along with an efficient automated people mover system for transport to the main terminal. A third check-in area was also built nearby the underground rail station. Zurich Airport now boasts one of the largest shopping malls in Switzerland, and a new airside centre with over fifty different business units.

Zurich Airport is currently in the process of implementing its 2010 project, which is following improvements recently made to facilitate the airport’s efficiency in relation to the introduction of the Schengen Agreement in March 2009. The Zurich 2010 project includes a new central security check building located between Check-in 1 and 2, alterations and improvements to Pier B and an extension of the Skymetro trains. These underground trains provide transport for passengers between the main terminal buildings of the airport. The demolition of Pier B began in 2009, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2011. The end result will be the effective processing of Schengen and non-Schengen flights with the use of up to nine aircraft stands. Non-Schengen passengers will wait on the G0 level of the terminal, while Schengen passengers will use the G1 level. A spectator’s terrace will also be included in the new construction.

Switzerland’s largest airport has extensive facilities, and at times, can be difficult to navigate, however, there are information desks in both Arrivals 1 and 2, and signs point the direction to departure gates and the railway station. Special services at Zurich Airport include an array of facilities for children, such as staffed nurseries and playrooms, a medical centre with fully trained doctors, and the airport is fully accessible for disabled passengers. Business passengers can make use of the conference centre, with many private rooms of various sizes, and numerous VIP lounges. There are also 22 smokers’ lounges in the passenger area and public areas of the airport. Additional facilities include banking and currency exchange services, left luggage offices, Internet connections, a porter service, dayrooms for passengers who need to stay over at the airport, and numerous restaurants and interesting shopping outlets. Zurich Airport has the largest food court in Switzerland, as well as one of the largest shopping areas.

Visitors of Zurich Airport can even arrange a guided tour for a closer look behind the scenes of the airport’s operations. All further information is provided on Zurich Airport’s official website, at http://www.zurich-airport.com.

ZRH is the official IATA code for Zurich Airport. The other name Zurich airport is recognized by is Zürich-Kloten. It is possible to enter the following GPS coordinates 47.46472, 8.54917 to aid you in your travelling to and from Zurich Airport.

You can see below a selection of nonstop flights covered from Zurich Airport with approximate times.

Destination Weekly Flights Distance
Paris Charles De Gaulle (CDG) 13 476 Km (296 Miles)
Dusseldorf (DUS) 13 444 Km (276 Miles)
Berlin tegel Otto Lilienthal (TXL) 12 660 Km (410 Miles)
Vienna Schwechat (VIE) 12 603 Km (375 Miles)
Frankfurt (FRA) 11 285 Km (177 Miles)
London City (LCY) 11 760 Km (472 Miles)
London Heathrow (LHR) 11 787 Km (489 Miles)
Munich (MUC) 10 260 Km (162 Miles)
Geneva (GVA) 9 230 Km (143 Miles)
Hamburg (HAM) 9 693 Km (431 Miles)
Zürich Flughafen