SWISS airline turnover drops by over 60% due to pandemic

The number of passengers have dropped by almost 70%. Keystone / Salvatore Di Nolfi

Swiss International Air Lines suffered a 61.8% drop in turnover in the first nine months of the year and will be cutting costs to stay in the air. 

This content was published on November 5, 2020 - 10:01

On Thursday, the company announced that its total revenue amounted to CHF1.54 billion so far this year compared to CHF4.2 billion for the same period last year. The operating loss for the first nine months of 2020 added up to CHF414.7 million compared to an operating profit of CHF 489.6 million in 2019. 

“Given the paralysing effect that the various quarantine provisions have had on our customers’ booking behaviour over the past few months, this nine-month operating result is in line with our expectations,” said Markus Binkert, SWISS’s Chief Financial Officer. 

In the face of worldwide Covid-19 travel restrictions, the number of passengers dropped by 69.8% to 4.3 million. 

To cope with the plunge in revenues and the number of passengers carried, the Lufthansa subsidiary will be cutting costs. Non-urgent investment projects have been frozen, as well as hiring. SWISS has also introduced part-time employment models with lower pay and early retirement. Together with attrition, these measures are expected to cut around 1,000 positions over two years. Further measures are currently under consideration. 

The airline's winter schedule will be further scaled back and management expects further operating losses by the end of the year. 

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