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Swiss presents plans for pilot job cuts

According to reports, Saab planes could be cut at Swiss Keystone

The national airline, Swiss, confirmed on Sunday that it is in negotiations with unions over job cuts for pilots, as part of its restructuring process.

This content was published on February 6, 2005 - 18:17

The announcement follows reports in the Sunday press that just over 300 pilots could lose their jobs.

Swiss spokesman Jean-Claude Donzel said the company had handed over a document to the unions with details of how many jobs would be cut.

The move was confirmed by Christoph Frick, the president of Swiss Pilots, the union of former Crossair pilots, who said that it represented the “maximum demands” from Swiss.

But both men declined to comment on the specific number of job cuts, saying that negotiations between the two sides were confidential.

According to the Zurich-based SonntagsZeitung, the document, which has been presented to the pilots, cabin personnel and ground staff unions, calls for the number of jobs among regional pilots to fall from 440 to 207.

Just over 70 of the 658 Airbus pilots could also lose their jobs.

Restructuring

Swiss announced on January 18 that it is to shed up to 1,000 jobs over the next 18 months and reduce its fleet by 13 aircraft in a bid to cut costs by SFr300 million ($253 million) by 2007.

At the time, the company said it hoped that one-third of the jobs due to be axed could be lost through natural attrition.

The airline has blamed pressure from low-cost carriers, such as easyJet, for the decision to downsize, and said it would focus in future on profitable routes.

Swiss warned that it needed to implement the measures quickly to be in a position to post an operating profit for 2005.

The airline's European fleet is made up of seven Saab, 19 Jumbolino and 11 Embraer aircraft.

According to the SonntagsZeitung , all Saab pilots are likely to lose their jobs and after restructuring only 17 Jumbolino and seven Embraer planes will remain in service.

Destinations

According to another Sunday paper, Le Matin Dimanche, Swiss is preparing to hand over three destinations from Geneva airport - Paris, Rome and Lisbon - to codeshare partners.

Donzel declined to comment on this, saying only that at the end of negotiations two to three destinations from Geneva airport would be transferred to other companies.

But he added that Swiss would continue to serve six destinations from Geneva.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

On January 18, Swiss announced that it is to cut 13 planes and up to 1,000 jobs by mid-2006.
According to the SonntagsZeitung, 306 pilots are to lose their jobs.
The European fleet is made up of seven Saab, 19 Jumbolino and 11 Embraer aircraft.
The SonntagsZeitung says this will fall to 17 Jumbolino and seven Embraer planes after restructuring.

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