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Swiss - key dates and decisions

Tuesday's announcement that up to 1,000 jobs are to go at Swiss is just the latest in a series of steps taken by the airline to reduce costs.

Here are some of the decisive moments in the turbulent history of Switzerland's national carrier:

March 2002

Swiss takes to the skies following the amalgamation of Crossair and the remains of Swissair, which collapsed in 2001.

The carrier begins operations with 26 former Swissair jets and 76 Crossair planes. The company employs 12,000 people, of which 10,500 work on a full-time basis.

November 2002

Swiss cuts its fleet by eight aircraft and reduces its workforce by 300 jobs.

February 2003

Swiss announces a massive collapse in passenger numbers on its European network, triggering 700 additional job cuts and a reduction in the fleet to 112 aircraft.

March 2003

After reporting a loss of almost SFr1 billion in 2002, Swiss predicts further losses in 2003.

The airline’s shareholders approve a capital reduction. Management also reduces its order of new Embraer 170/195 aircraft from 60 to 30.

May 2003

In an effort to cut costs, Swiss says it will spin off its regional European network to create a new airline, "Swiss Express".

The sister carrier will employ 900 of the 10,000-strong Swiss workforce, and involve a fleet of 59 aircraft.

June 2003

Swiss announces its new business plan, which includes 3,000 job cuts and a one-third reduction in the fleet. From now on, the airline will fly with 18 long-haul, 21 medium-haul and 35 short-haul aircraft.

July 2003

Swiss abandons plans to launch regional spin-off, Swiss Express, citing problems over reaching agreement with pilot unions.

August 2003

The airline launches new low-price offers for flights within Europe as part of effort to tackle competition from budget airlines.

September 2003

Swiss says it has accepted a preliminary invitation to join the British Airways-dominated Oneworld alliance.

June 2004

The carrier pulls out of talks aimed at joining Oneworld after negotiations with British Airways break down. Swiss says it could not reach agreement over the merger of the two airlines’ frequent-flyer programmes.

October 2004

Swiss secures a long sought-after credit facility of SFr325 million ($258 million). Deal is struck only after months of complicated negotiations with a consortium of Swiss and international banks.

November 2004

The airline posts a third-quarter pre-tax operating profit of SFr20 million, but pledges to keep cutting costs in the face of high fuel charges and fierce competition from low-cost European carriers.

January 2005

Chief Executive Christoph Franz announces plans to cut between 800 and 1,000 jobs over the next 18 months and to reduce the airline's European fleet by 13 aircraft. Swiss says the measures will help to save SFr300 million by 2007.

swissinfo with agencies

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