No more banker’s hours for the Swiss Air Force

You gotta love Switzerland, a nation so militarily non-aggressive that until a change that takes effect with the New Year, their air force has only worked Monday through Friday, and then only during daylight hours.

Starting in January, the jets will be on duty on the weekends for banker’s hours, though it be early in the next decade before the nation as round-the-clock air coverage.


Switzerland said on Friday that its air defence system will no longer take weekends off effective January 1st, but that round-the-clock airspace surveillance is about five years away.

The wealthy alpine nation’s aerial defence staff currently work five days a week and are on call during business hours — from 8am (0700 GMT) to 6pm.

Air force colonel Benoit Studemann said that as of 2017 the force will be on guard through the weekend but that expanded daily hours were not expected to be implemented until 2021.

The Swiss air force’s modest work schedule sparked controversy two years ago when the co-pilot of an Ethiopian Airlines plane hijacked his aircraft and forced it to land in Geneva so he could seek asylum.

No Swiss fighter jets were scrambled to escort the plane as the hijacking happened in the early morning hours, before the air defence team had opened up for the day.


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