Swiss International Air Lines (Swiss) has entered a strategic partnership with Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) to expand their intermodal services to additional routes within Switzerland next year.

Known as Flugzug, the airtrain service is currently available between Zurich Airport and the SBB stations in Basel and Lugano.

In the course of next year, the companies will focus on linking other major cities and tourist destinations with the airline’s route network.

The move is aimed at meeting the growing demand for smooth connections between different modes of transport and offering more choices for travellers.

Bern, Lucerne, Andermatt, Interlaken and Zermatt will be the first cities to be connected to the network.

New routes will be added to Bellinzona and Locarno to bolster the connections to the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland, Ticino.

SWISS CEO Thomas Klühr said: “This intensified collaboration between ourselves and SBB will enable travellers to make optimum use of both air and rail transport wherever it makes sense to do so in economic and ecological terms.

“By expanding these Flugzug services, we can provide our customers all over Switzerland with the best possible rail connections to and from our global route network. And at the same time, we can offer our international guests a smoother and simpler journey to their Swiss destination.”

SBB CEO Andreas Meyer added: “Switzerland and the tourism sector will both benefit from this strategic partnership.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for the customer to buy their ticket from, say, Hong Kong to Interlaken in a single booking process. This will both simplify their planning and help protect the environment.”