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Swissair cuts jobs and plans to sell assets

Swissair has announced job cuts after posting new losses

(Keystone Archive)

The Swissair Group has announced it plans to shed 1,000 jobs and sell some of its major assets after reporting a first half loss of SFr234 million ($140 million) compared with a profit of SFr3 million during the same period a year earlier.

Swissair will reduce its worldwide management staff by five per cent or 300. The group employs 72,450 worldwide.

The group's chairman and chief executive, Mario Corti, is accelerating a cost-cutting programme announced last month as the economic slowdown in the United States and Europe continues to reduce profitability.

Corti also wants to continue weakening ties with unprofitable airlines, including Germany's LTU Group, for which Swissair has set aside provisions of SFr251 million.

"The pace of change needs to be accelerated further," the company said in a statement.

The group said it had signed a memorandum of understanding to sell off a majority stake in its ground handling business, Swissport. It is also planning to sell part or all of the airport retail business, Nuance Trading.

swissinfo with agencies

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