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Tuesday, 9 October, 2001, 04:40 GMT 05:40 UK
Swissair cuts 9,000 jobs
View of Zurich airport with Swissair planes
Swissair slashes fares as it returns to the air
Crisis-bound Swissair will cut 9,000 jobs and offer cut-price tickets to lure more customers.

Swissair chief executive Mario Corti revealed the cuts at a meeting with employees but reassured them that their salaries would be paid through October, spokesman Rainer Maier said.

The job cuts will apply to Swissair's 71,000 staff worldwide, with 2,560 losses at the core airline business.

Separately Swissair cut prices of economy, standard and business fares in Europe.

Economy-class passengers can fly on any European route for 300 Swiss francs ($190) and to global destinations, except Japan, for 800 Swiss francs, but travel must be completed by 27 October.

The airline resumed 55% of its scheduled flights on Monday after being grounded last week.

"The number of job cut overall is along the same lines as our initial estimates," Richard Dunkel of Personal Union Swissair Holding (Push) union said, after a meeting with Mr Corti.

The bail-out

The airline, already saddled with $10bn (10.8bn euros) in debt, was already struggling before the attacks on 11 September plunged the industry into crisis.

Last week, Swissair was forced to ground its entire fleet after it ran out of cash to pay for fuel, leaving tens of thousands of passengers stranded.

The carrier was only able to resume a limited schedule after the Swiss government intervened with a $280m loan.

By 28 October, Swissair will transfer two thirds of its flight operations to its financially-healthy subsidiary, regional airline Crossair.

On 30 September, the banks offered a 1.35bn Swiss franc (568m; $843m) bail-out package, agreeing to buy Swissair's 70% in regional subsidiary Crossair, in order to allow the group to carry on as a going concern.

Airline expert Sepp Mosser
"The company is inefficient"
See also:

08 Oct 01 | Business
Banks blamed for Swissair failure
05 Oct 01 | Business
State warned against buying Swissair
03 Oct 01 | Business
Sabena fights to survive
02 Oct 01 | Business
Airline collapse dents Swiss pride
02 Oct 01 | Europe
Swissair passengers stranded
02 Oct 01 | Business
Q&A: Swissair in crisis
02 Oct 01 | Business
Swissair accepts rescue plan
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