Swiss newspapers lament latest tragedy

Switzerland is grieving following Saturday's crash

This weekend's airline crash near Zurich prompted a series of editorials in Swiss newspapers lamenting Switzerland's "disastrous year" and the possible significance for the new national carrier, Crossair.

This content was published on November 26, 2001 - 08:03

The Tages Anzeiger points out that for the third time in two months Switzerland has been struck by a major disaster which has shaken the nation right to its core.

In its editorial, it states that the future of the Swiss aviation industry is once again on the line. "How could this happen?" says the paper.

The Neue Zürcher Zeitung takes up the same theme, saying that Saturday's crash was the worst possible news for an already shaky aviation industry.

The paper questions whether the new transportation agreement signed between Switzerland and Germany, which affects night flights out of Zurich airport, might have compromised safety.

Le Tribune de Genève expresses fears that the new airline could be doomed before it takes over from Swissair in April next year.

The paper points out that the plane which crashed was only 60 per cent full.

Passenger numbers will undoubtedly drop in the wake of Saturday's tragedy, the Tribune said.

Heavy blow

In her analysis, Florence Noël writes: "This heavy blow will certainly make them (Crossair) review their situation. As long as they have plenty of luck and revise their business plans ... those in charge at Crossair might fulfil their aims."

Le Temps points out that after the collapse of Swissair and all the hard work and determination to rebuild a new national carrier, an airline crash was the last thing Switzerland and the Swiss aviation industry needed.

"The accident was the one thing missing from the list of disasters that have occurred over the past two months," writes Joëlle Kuntz.

Writing in La Liberté, Claude Chuard simply states that this has been the first year of the new millennium and, for Switzerland, the worst in the last 50 years.

He says recent events have turned the Swiss president, Moritz Leuenberger into a national mourner-in-chief. Chuard fears that Saturday's accident may be one crisis too many for the Swiss aviation industry, which could find itself permanently grounded.

In 24 Heures, Xavier Dormond urges Switzerland not to give up in the face of unprecedented misfortune. "This is a heavy blow which appalls the whole country. But should we read in this the mark of a sinister fate."

The Bund says the accident is not only a severe blow for the relatives of the victims and Crossair, but also for the Swiss airline industry and for Switzerland. It adds that the accident raises questions about Crossair's safety record.

by Adam Beaumont

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