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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 November, 2004, 10:31 GMT
Troubled Swiss turns first profit
Swiss International aircraft (Photo courtesy Swiss International)
Swiss has struggled to cut costs
Troubled airline Swiss International has made its first profit since its creation two years ago.

The airline made a pre-tax profit of 20 m Swiss francs ($16.99m; 9.2m) after a 62m loss in the same quarter last year.

The airline said record high fuel costs had weighed on earnings, and warned of their further impact on performance.

The result was "below our expectations", Swiss chief executive Christoph Franz said in a statement, and warned "a rocky road" was ahead.

'Productivity improvements'

Swiss was created by fusing regional carrier Crossair with the remains of national carrier Swissair.

The company has cut staff, its route network and fleet in an attempt to stem losses, but Mr Franz said it needed to "further significantly reduce costs".

In June the company said it would not break even this year, and now hopes to do so in 2005.

The increase in the price of oil had added approximately 64m Swiss francs to the airline's expenses in the first nine months of the year, despite the introduction of a fuel surcharge on tickets.

The company expects the figure to rise to 140m Swiss francs for all of 2004.

Management would be meeting with union representatives to discuss "substantial productivity improvement," the company said.

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