Swiss International Air Lines expects to be running only 20% of its flight schedule this summer due to the coronavirus crisis, one of its directors says.
"We are making our scenario in the hope that immigration restrictions will be eased," the airline’s director for French-speaking Switzerland Lorenzo Stoll told RTS television on Saturday evening, but even then the summer "will be very difficult" for the Lufthansa subsidiary, perhaps the most difficult in its history.
Stoll pointed out that the financial difficulty is exacerbated by social distancing applied in the aircraft. "We leave an empty seat between each passenger in order to maintain the distances,” he told RTS.
Dozens of aircraft have been grounded for almost a month in Switzerland amidst the global coronavirus crisis. This is unprecedented at Dübendorf airfield in Zurich or Geneva airport, where space had to be made on the tarmac for the SWISS and Easyjet fleets.
The “confined” aircraft require rigorous mechanical maintenance, including lubrication against corrosion and combating the infiltration of insects, RTS reports, which requires personnel and costs several thousand francs per aircraft per day.
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