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Friday, 5 October, 2001, 16:22 GMT 17:22 UK
State warned against buying Swissair
Crossair and Swissair plans
Crossair: The force behind reviving Swissair operations
The airline troubleshooter charged with salvaging Swissair operations has urged politicians against renationalising the stricken carrier, warning of the "tremendous" cost.

While the Swiss government has allotted the airline 450m Swiss francs (188m; $278m) to support operations until a revival plan kicks in, restructuring the airline in state hands would he even more expensive, Andre Dose said.

"You are looking at a cost of several billion Swiss francs," Mr Dose told the BBC's World Business Report.

He restated his faith in a last-minute rescue deal hammered out between airline bosses and two investment banks.

"I still absolutely believe in the plan," he said

The statement came a day after the New Zealand government revealed it would spend 885m New Zealand dollars (245m; $354m) to take back control of ailing flag carrier Air New Zealand.

'Lean' airline

Under the 1.4bn Swiss franc deal announced on Monday, Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse injected cash into Swissair in return for the airline's 70% stake in Crossair.

Crossair, of which Mr Dose is chief executive, will in turn take control of most of Swissair's flight operations on 28 October, taking the name of Swiss Airlines and the role of Switzerland's flag carrier.

Ancillary Swissair operations, including logistics unit Swisscargo and internet travel agency Beyoo, will be sold, or left to file for bankruptcy protection,

The rescue plan is "based on this concentration of forces between Crossair and Swissair, based on the lean organisation of Crossair", Mr Dose said.

Further groundings?

But he was unable to reassure travellers that Swissair flights will not again be grounded, as creditors attempt to limit their exposure to the airline.

Swissair was forced to suspend all flights on Tuesday morning after several of its planes were impounded at European airports.

A BP spokesman said all oil companies were asking Swissair to pre-pay for any fuel supplies.

"Of course there is a risk that Swissair aircraft are impounded, I cannot dispute that," Mr Dose said.

Services run by Crossair will escape disruption, he said.

"Crossair is completely separate," he said. "Crossair is not concerned about the impounding of aircraft."

Andre Dose, Crossair
"You are looking at a cost of several billion Swiss francs"
Karin Koffler, Tages Anzeiger newspaper
"The problems were begining in 1999/2000"
See also:

03 Oct 01 | Business
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02 Oct 01 | Business
Swissair: Proud past, grim future
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Q&A: Swissair in crisis
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Swissair grounds all flights
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Q&A: Booked on Swissair?
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Sabena fights to survive
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Airline collapse dents Swiss pride
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Swissair accepts rescue plan
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Swissair cuts 1,250 jobs
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Swissair passengers stranded
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