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Crossair moots job cuts in bid to save money

Crossair could delay the delivery of its new Embraer jets.

(Keystone / HO / Crossair / Str)

The Swiss regional carrier, Crossair, is considering major service cutbacks and reducing its workforce by up to 300 people.

The carrier, which is part of the SAirGroup, said it is studying downsizing possibilities because of the economic situation and the refusal of the majority of its pilots to accept a new collective working agreement.

The company is thinking of discontinuing services on some loss-making routes. This would mean selling between five and 10 Saab 2000s and MD-80s. Crossair could also get rid of its Saab 340s sooner than planned.

The airline could delay replacing its MD-80s with the Embraer aircraft it has on order.

The company estimates that if all these proposals were implemented, 200 to 300 jobs would be cut by next spring. A decision is due be taken in the next two weeks.

André Dosé, a deputy director at Crossair, said the airline intends "to save tens of millions of francs. But we are not trying to punish the pilots' union. We are only trying to help the company survive."

Crossair said it intends to continue negotiating with the pilots' union representatives, but stressed that there would be no further concessions to its employees.

Crossair lost over SFr6 million ($3.35 million) during the first six months of the year. The new collective working agreement, rejected by the pilots' union last Friday, would have cost the airline SFr30 to SFr40 million more in salaries.

The head of SAirGroup, Philippe Bruggisser, had warned in an interview with the "Sonntagszeitung" newspaper that drastic action was in the offing if the members of the pilots' union turned down the collective agreement.

swissinfo with agencies

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