Zurich Airport

Aerial photograph of Zürich Airport
Source: Rama
Airport typePublic
OwnerFlughafen Zürich AG
ServesZürich, Switzerland
LocationKloten, Rümlang, Oberglatt, Winkel and Opfikon
Hub forEdelweiss Air Swiss International Air Lines
Focus city forChair Airlines Helvetic Airways
Elevation AMSL1,416 ft / 432 m
Coordinates47°27′53″N 008°32′57″ECoordinates: 47°27′53″N 008°32′57″E

Zurich Airport (German: Flughafen Zürich, IATA: ZRH, ICAO: LSZH) is the largest international airport of Switzerland and the principal hub of Swiss International Air Lines. It serves Zürich, Switzerland’s largest city, and, with its surface transport links, much of the rest of the country. The airport is located 13 kilometres (8 mi) north of central Zürich, in the municipalities of Kloten, Rümlang, Oberglatt, Winkel, and Opfikon, all of which are within the canton of Zürich.

In 2019, the airport received the World Travel Award in the category “Europe’s leading airport” for the 17th time in a row. The Skytrax Award also ranks Zurich Airport among the top 10 airports in the world for millions of travellers each year

Corporate affairs

The airport is owned by Flughafen Zürich AG, a company quoted on the SIX Swiss Exchange. Major shareholders include the canton of Zürich, with 33.33% plus one of the shares, and the city of Zürich, with 5% of the shares. No other shareholder has a holding exceeding 3%. Flughafen Zürich AG used the brand name Unique from 2000 until 2010.

In March 2017, Flughafen Zürich AG announced it had acquired 100% of Brazil’s Hercílio Luz International Airport, and will operate it under a concession until 2047. The company also has stakes in the operation of airports in Belo Horizonte, Bogotá, Curaçao, Antofagasta, Iquique, and Bangalore. More recently, the company has also won the concession to operate both Eurico de Aguiar Salles Airport in Vitória and Macaé Airport in Macaé, Brazil.


Terminal A for domestic and Schengen destinations
Source: Hansueli Krapf

Terminal complex

The airport has three airside piers, which are known as terminals A, B, and E (also signposted as Gates A, B/D, and E). These are linked to a central air-side building called Airside Center, built in 2003. Alongside the Airside Center, the ground-side terminal complex named Airport Center comprises several buildings, and includes airline check-in areas, a shopping mall, a railway station, car parks, and a bus and tram terminal. All departing passengers access the same departure level of the Airside Center, which includes duty-free shopping and various bars and restaurants, via airport security. They are then segregated between passengers for Schengen and non-Schengen destinations on the way to the gate lounges, with the latter first passing through emigration controls. Arriving Schengen and non-Schengen passengers are handled in separate areas of the Airside Center and reach the Airport Center by different routes, with non-Schengen passengers first passing through immigration controls. The three airside terminals are:

Terminal A

Terminal A contains gates prefixed A. It opened in 1971, and it is used exclusively by flights to and from destinations inside the Schengen Area, including domestic flights within Switzerland. Since its expansion in 1982-1985, it takes the form of a finger pier, directly connected at one end to the Airside Centre. Terminal A will be torn down and replaced by an entirely new facility from 2021.

Terminal B

The Airside Center by night
Source: Carlos Delgado

Terminal B contains gates prefixed B and D. It opened in 1975 and reopened in November 2011 after an extensive three-year reconstruction. Like terminal A, it takes the form of a finger pier directly connected at one end to the Airside Centre. Since reconstruction, it can accommodate both Schengen and non-Schengen flights at the same gates. Each gate has two numbers, one prefixed B and the other D, but with different passenger routes to and from the gates to separate the flows of Schengen and non-Schengen passengers.

Terminal E

Terminal E contains gates prefixed E, and is also known as the midfield terminal or Dock E. It is a stand-alone satellite terminal located on the opposite side of runway 10/28 from the Airside Center, and is situated between runways 16/34 and 14/32. It is entirely used by non-Schengen international flights and became operational and was opened on September 1, 2003. It is connected to the Airside Center by the Skymetro, an automated underground people mover.

Terminal E
Source: Hansueli Krapf


Zurich Airport has three runways: 16/34 of 3,700 m (12,100 ft) in length, 14/32 of 3,300 m (10,800 ft) in length, and 10/28 of 2,500 m (8,200 ft) in length. For most of the day and in most conditions, runway 14 is used for landings and runways 16 and 28 are used for takeoffs, although different patterns are used early morning and in the evenings.

Zurich Airport with the Swiss Alps visible in the background
Source: Hansueli Krapf

Airlines and destinations

The following airlines offer regular scheduled and charter flights at Zurich Airport:

Aegean AirlinesAthens
Seasonal: Heraklion, Rhodes, Thessaloniki
Aer LingusDublin
Air CanadaToronto–Pearson
Seasonal: Vancouver
Air EuropaMadrid
Air FranceParis–Charles de Gaulle
Air MaltaMalta
Air SerbiaBelgrade
AlMasria Universal AirlinesSeasonal charter: Hurghada
American AirlinesPhiladelphia
Austrian AirlinesVienna
BH AirSeasonal: Burgas, Varna
Blue IslandsSeasonal charter: Guernsey, Jersey
British AirwaysLondon–City, London–Heathrow
Seasonal charter: Edinburgh
Bulgaria AirSofia
Cathay PacificHong Kong
Chair AirlinesBeirut, Hurghada, Marsa Alam, Ohrid, Pristina, Sharm El Sheikh, Skopje
Seasonal: Burgas, Calvi, Djerba, Heraklion, Ibiza, Kos, Larnaca, Rhodes, Zadar
Corendon AirlinesSeasonal: Antalya
Croatia AirlinesZagreb
Seasonal: Dubrovnik, Pula, Split
Cyprus AirwaysSeasonal: Larnaca
Delta Air LinesNew York–JFK
Seasonal: Atlanta
easyJetAmsterdam, Berlin–Schönefeld, Berlin–Tegel, Lisbon, London–Gatwick, London–Luton, Naples, Nice, Porto
Edelweiss AirAntalya, Buenos Aires–Ezeiza, Cagliari, Cancún, Catania, Edinburgh, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Gran Canaria, Havana, Hurghada, Lamezia Terme, Lanzarote, La Palma, Larnaca, Marsa Alam, Mauritius, Ohrid, Orlando, Palma de Mallorca, Pristina, Punta Cana, Rio de Janeiro–Galeão, San José (CR), Seville, Skopje, Tampa, Tenerife–South
Seasonal: Agadir (begins 3 September 2020), Bodrum, Calgary, Cape Town, Chania, Colombo–Bandaranaike, Corfu, Dalaman, Denver, Djerba, Dubrovnik, Faro, Heraklion, Ho Chi Minh City, Ibiza, Jerez de la Frontera, Kalamata, Kos, Las Vegas, Mahé, Malé, Marrakesh, Menorca,  Mykonos, Olbia, Paphos, Phuket, Puerto Plata (resumes 19 January 2021), Pula, Rhodes, Samos, San Diego, Santiago de Compostela (begins 4 July 2020), Santorini, Split, Tirana, Vancouver, Varadero, Varna
Seasonal charter: Kittilä, Reykjavík–Keflavík, Rovaniemi, Tromsø
El AlTel Aviv
Etihad AirwaysAbu Dhabi
EurowingsCologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Hamburg
Seasonal: Palma de Mallorca
Seasonal: Kittilä
FlyEgyptSeasonal charter: Hurghada
Hainan AirlinesShenzhen
Helvetic AirwaysSeasonal: Calvi, Kittilä, Kuusamo, Olbia, Tromsø
Seasonal charter: Araxos, Heraklion, Kos, Lourdes/Tarbes, Palma de Mallorca, Rhodes
Israir AirlinesSeasonal: Tel Aviv (begins 29 June 2020)
Korean AirSeasonal: Seoul–Incheon
LOT Polish AirlinesWarsaw–Chopin
LufthansaFrankfurt, Munich
Montenegro AirlinesPodgorica
NouvelairSeasonal charter: Enfidha
Oman AirMuscat
Onur AirAntalya
Pegasus AirlinesIstanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Qatar AirwaysDoha
Royal Air MarocCasablanca
Royal JordanianAmman–Queen Alia
Scandinavian AirlinesCopenhagen, Oslo–Gardermoen, Stockholm–Arlanda
Singapore AirlinesSingapore
SunExpressAnkara, Antalya, Dalaman, Gaziantep, İzmir
Swiss International Air LinesAmsterdam, Athens, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Barcelona, Beijing–Daxing, Belgrade, Berlin–Tegel, Bilbao, Birmingham, Bordeaux, Boston, Bremen, Brindisi, Brussels, 
Bucharest, Budapest, Cairo, Chicago–O’Hare, Copenhagen, Dar es Salaam, Delhi, Dresden, Dubai–International, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Florence, Frankfurt, Gdańsk, Geneva,  Gothenburg, Gran Canaria, Graz, Hamburg, Hanover, Hong Kong, Johannesburg–O. R. Tambo, Kiev–Boryspil, Kraków, Lisbon, Ljubljana, London–City, London–Heathrow, Los Angeles, Luxembourg, Madrid, Málaga, Manchester, Marseille, Miami, Milan–Malpensa, Montreal–Trudeau, Moscow–Domodedovo, Mumbai, Munich, Muscat, Nairobi–Jomo Kenyatta, Naples, Newark, New York–JFK, Nice, Nuremberg, Oslo–Gardermoen, Palma de Mallorca, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Porto, Prague, Rome–Fiumicino, Saint Petersburg, San Francisco, São Paulo–Guarulhos, Shanghai–Pudong, Singapore, Sofia, Stockholm–Arlanda, Stuttgart, Sylt, Tel Aviv, Tokyo–Narita, Valencia, Venice, Vienna, Warsaw–Chopin, Wrocław
Seasonal: Alicante, Bari, Bergen, Cork, Figari, Heringsdorf, Malta, Palermo,  Thessaloniki
Tailwind AirlinesSeasonal charter: Antalya
TAP Air PortugalLisbon, Porto
Thai AirwaysBangkok–Suvarnabhumi
TunisairDjerba, Tunis
Seasonal: Enfidha
Turkish AirlinesIstanbul
Seasonal: Gaziantep (begins 10 July 2020)
Twin JetLyon
Ukraine International AirlinesKiev–Boryspil
United AirlinesChicago–O’Hare (begins 24 October 2020), Newark, Washington–Dulles
Seasonal: San Francisco
VuelingAlicante, Barcelona, Lanzarote, Málaga, Palma de Mallorca
Seasonal: Santiago de Compostela

Ground transportation


Zürich Flughafen railway station is located underneath the Airport Centre. The station has frequent Zürich S-Bahn services, plus direct InterRegio, InterCity, and Eurocity services, to many places including Basel, Bern, Biel/Bienne, Brig, Geneva, Konstanz, Lausanne, Lucerne, Munich, Romanshorn, St. Gallen, and Winterthur. There are some 13 trains per hour to Zürich HB (Hauptbahnhof), Zürich’s main city centre station, with a journey time of between 9 and 13 minutes. By changing trains there, most other places in Switzerland can be reached in a few hours.

Zürich Flughafen, the airport’s railway station
Source: Chris j wood

Bus and tram

In front of the Airport Centre is the airport stop of the Stadtbahn Glattal, a light rail system that interworks with the Zürich tram system, together with a regional bus station. Both the bus station and light rail stop provide service to destinations throughout the Glattal region that surrounds the airport, with the light rail stop being served by tram routes 10 and 12. Tram route 10 also provides a link to Zurich Hauptbahnhof, albeit with a rather longer journey time than that of the railway.


The airport is served by the A51 motorway and other main roads, which link to the airport’s own road network. Drop-off areas are available by the Airport Centre whilst a total of over 14000 spaces are available in six car parks for short and long term parking. A car hire centre is located in the terminal complex. Theairport is served by a fleet of dedicated airport taxis, which operate from taxi ranks in front of the arrival areas. Alternative chauffeur driven airport limousines can be arranged.

Other facilities

The Circle

The Circle, a complex intended to include a medical center, a conference center, shops, restaurants, offices, and hotels, is under construction opposite the Airport Centre. The complex was designed by Japanese architect Riken Yamamoto and is planned for completion in 2019 with opening for the public in 2020.

Company headquarters

Several companies have their headquarters on or about the airport. These include Swiss International Air Lines, Swiss World Cargo,Swiss AviationTraining, Edelweiss Air, gategroup, Helvetic Airways, Swissôtel, and Rega. Other companies that were formerly based on the airport include Swissair and Crossair.

Accidents and incidents

Source: wikipedia