SAirGroup's regional airline Crossair is optimistic about its prospects for 2001, despite making a loss of SFr25 million ($15 million) last year.This content was published on April 5, 2001 - 12:33
"Crossair has made a good start to 2001," the airline said in a statement released at its annual earnings news conference on Thursday. It added: "The financial result to date is already above budget, which is based on a profitable year."
Between January and March the airline carried 690,265 passengers, an increase of nine per cent over the same period last year.
Earlier this week, Crossair's owners, the SAirGroup, announced losses of SFr2.9 billion for 2000 caused in part by mounting losses at its foreign airline units.
Crossair said its losses over the past year were caused primarily by falling prices in the airline industry, as well as a soaring dollar and higher fuel costs.
Increased competition in the European market has been pushing airfares down in the past year cutting profit margins across the sector.
The airline did manage to increase its turnover by 9.4 per cent to SFr1.28 billion.
Crossair's boss, Moritz Suter, who had a brief spell this year as head of SAirGroup's airlines division, told Thursday's new conference that he had not been up to the job of running SAirLines.
"Facing the very large problems of the SAirGroup proved to me how inadequately prepared I was for them," he said. "Because of that I felt I wasn't up to the task of taking on the problems in hand with the current management of SAirLines."
Suter returned to Crossair in early March, after resigning as head of SAirLines after just 44 days in the job.
swissinfo with agencies
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