Swiss air rescue tops corporate image poll

Man's best friend: Rega has the best corporate image within Switzerland, according to a poll (Rega)

The Rega rescue service has the best corporate image among the Swiss, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

This content was published on July 25, 2007 - 08:13

Swatch and Logitech were ranked two and three. The former national airline, Swiss - which is now wholly owned by Germany's Lufthansa - saw its ranking rise 25 places on last year, going up to number 52.

The study by the IHA-GfK research institute spoke to 3,500 respondents and covered 100 organisations from 12 sectors.

Rega scored 85 out of 100 points on the reputation index, used by GfK.

Hot on its heels was watchmaker Swatch, scoring 80, and Logitech, which is famous for making computer mice, with 79.

Also with 79 points was the glassmaker Hergiswil.

According to the study's author, Swatch, Logitech and Hergiswil are characterised by innovation and uniqueness.

Greeting the results, Rega said that it had competent staff who identified with the non-profit foundation's work. The concept was also considered to be "one of a kind", the organisation's Thomas Kenner said.

Rega, which is also known as the Swiss air rescue, has helicopters and ambulance jets at its disposal to airlift members in distress needing medical attention both at home and abroad.

It has ten helicopter bases serving Switzerland and also transport organs, important medical supplies and specialists.

The non-governmental WWF was rated the most sustainable organisation in Switzerland by participants, beating Rega and Unicef.

This is the second time that the survey has been carried out and the first time non-profit organisations were included.

The study considered factors such as how well known and sustainable the organisation was. The IHA-GfK's Marco Zanetti told swissinfo that the results surprised even the authors. One was the rating of Hergiswil.

"It seems that Jo Bloggs can identify with this company," Zanetti said.

Reasons as to possibly why included its independence and unique products of a high quality.

Rise of Swiss

The rise of the standing of Swiss International Air Lines – which since July 1 has been fully owned by Germany's Lufthansa – marks a welcome bit of good news for the company.

Zanetti called the carrier's latest rank in the international-reputation index "dramatic".

For this section, participants were asked to think about how certain organisations were regarded outside Switzerland.

"Swiss has dusted off its image as a grounded airline and is now [regarded] as a company that is doing well," Zanetti said.

Zanetti explained that 100 organisations including Swiss-Market-Index quoted companies and non-profit organisations were considered.

Respondents were asked about 12 of these entities, picked at random, and asked to give them a rating between one and seven.

Questions included how sympathetic an organisation appeared to be, how unique their products were and whether its employees held them in esteem.

swissinfo, Faryal Mirza

Swiss and Swissair

Swiss International Air Lines was born in 2002 from the remains of bankrupt Swissair and the regional carrier Crossair, and the struggling Swiss was in turn taken over by Lufthansa in 2005.

Lufthansa initially bought an 11% stake in Swiss in March 2005 and increased this share to 49% in 2006 once regulatory approval had been granted.

The grounding of Swissair in October 2001 marked the beginning of the end for one of Switzerland's most globally recognised standard-bearers.

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In the event of an accident or serious illness in Switzerland, anyone can ask Rega for assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by calling its emergency number 1414 (within Switzerland) or via emergency radio (emergency channel 161.300 MHz).

Based on the location and the diagnosis, the operations centre at the Rega Center at Zurich-Kloten Airport alerts the nearest helicopter base which has a helicopter in the air within five minutes. With rescue missions in mountainous regions, a specialist from the Swiss Alpine Club is called out.

During the summer months spent in the alpine pastures, cattle, too, are among Rega's "patients". As part of the assistance programme for mountain farmers, Rega rescues injured, trapped or dead livestock from rough terrain and transports them to the nearest location that can be reached by an overland vehicle.

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