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Crossair makes room for Swissair colleagues

Crossair boss, André Dosé, is putting a brave face on the challenges that lie ahead Keystone Archive

The regional airline, Crossair, which is to take over as Switzerland's flag carrier, is to give half of its new management positions to former Swissair bosses.

Announcing the new structure on Thursday, Crossair said it would appoint an additional 42 managers, and roughly half of these positions would be filled by Swissair people.

Crossair’s boss, André Dosé, who will remain in charge of the new airline, told swissinfo that the process of integrating the two carriers was already in motion with teams from both carriers working together.

Swissair collapsed last month under a mountain of debt, and is to be wound up next March, when a new national carrier will be formed around Crossair, incorporating two-thirds of Swissair’s fleet – 52 long and medium haul planes.

A Crossair spokesman, Manfred Winkler, said the additional Swissair managers were needed to run intercontinental operations because, as a regional carrier, Crossair had no experience of long-haul flights.

The management team will continue to based in Basel.

Rebuild confidence

In an interview with swissinfo, Dosé said a priority of the new carrier was “to build up the confidence that was lost due to the grounding, the Chapter 11 proceeding and the financial difficulties [at Swissair].”

Swissair was grounded for two days in early October leaving thousands of passengers stranded because it couldn’t meet it bills for kerosene and landing fees.

The government was forced to intervene with SFr1.26 billion in aid to keep the airline afloat until the end of March next year, when its viable routes are due to be incorporated into Crossair.

Critics of the plan have said the regional carrier, which has been highly profitable, was now at risk of being dragged down by the extra weight of Swissair.

Dosé admitted to swissinfo that there were risks involved but said “there would have been risks if Crossair had remained a regional carrier – it was also severely affected by the events of September 11”.

He added that the business plan called for the new airline to turn a profit by 2004.


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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR