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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 25 February, 2003, 20:47 GMT
Struggling Swiss axes jobs
Swissair chief executive Andre Dose
Dose: 'Swiss faces tough year'
The company which took over from Switzerland's bankrupt national airline Swissair has announced more job losses and cuts to its fleet of aircraft.

The airline, Swiss, says it's cutting 700 jobs and 20 planes in an attempt to stem losses.

The move comes less than a year after the airline was created.

Swiss said it no longer expected to reach its target of breaking even - or matching costs with income - this year.

Global downturn

Chief executive Andre Dose said: "Swiss faces a very tough year - the goal of a turnaround has on the basis of this deterioration become harder (but) Swiss has a healthy balance sheet and liquidity."

Analysts have warned Swiss' oversized network and large fleet could kill it off in the same way as its predecessor, Swissair, which collapsed in October 2001.

The company has been hit by a longer than expected downturn in the global economy, the threat of war in Iraq and competition from low-cost carriers.

The airline said its main problems were in Europe because of the weak economy there and the high proportion of smaller, but relatively expensive planes in its fleet.

He said talks over the sale of aircraft had begun.

The company is also in talks with Brazil's Embraer about delaying the delivery of Embraer 170 and 195 jets already ordered.

Share collapse

Swiss is a launch customer for Embraer's 66-seat ERJ 170, of which it has 30 on order with deliveries scheduled to start in August, as well as 30 of the bigger ERJ 190 due in 2004.

The troubled carrier was created by the merger of two-thirds of the Swissair fleet with Europe's largest regional carrier Crossair.

It also benefited from a 2.7 billion franc (1.27bn) capital injection by the Swiss state and a host of local companies.

Shares in Swiss hit an all-time low of six francs on Tuesday after shedding nearly three-quarters in value in 2003 and more than half in 2002.




SEE ALSO:
Swiss airline exceeds targets
16 Sep 02 |  Business
Buzz's April flights cancelled
25 Feb 03 |  Business


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