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Swissair chief plans to hike ticket prices

Swissair customers will have to pay more to travel in future

(Keystone Archive)

The chairman and chief executive of Swissair Group, Mario Corti, has announced plans to raise airline ticket prices in a further bid to reduce net debt and turn the troubled company around.

In an interview with the Swiss "Tages-Anzeiger" newspaper on Saturday, Corti outlined a new strategy to reinforce Swissair's market position as a quality airline aimed at the top end of the market.

"We must have the courage to separate ourselves from our competitors through our services and prices," Corti said.

He pointed out that in Switzerland, it is not possible to attract both the higher-end of the market as well as those looking for the cheapest seats. Although some clients will not appreciate a rise in ticket price, Corti nevertheless believes that Swissair does not have to take all potential clients on board.

The troubled Swissair Group released its results for the first half of the year on Thursday and reported a loss of SFr234 million ($140 million) compared with a profit of SFr3 million during the same period last year

Swissair Group announced on Thursday that it would shed 1,250 jobs, but Corti did not rule out another corporate shakeup in November. "I would like to see a reduced but top quality staff," Corti said on Saturday.

The company employs 72,450 people worldwide.

Corti said that the alliance with Germany's LTU Group - in which Swissair has a 49.5 per cent stake - would have to be reviewed since there were no real shared interests. He blamed the expense of SFr251 million set aside for LTU for the first half loss.

Swissair Group reported a loss of SFr2.9 billion for 2000.

swissinfo with agencies

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