Swissair flight personnel pay cut until spring
Flight personnel for beleaguered Swissair are to see their salaries reduced until the end of the company's winter timetable.
Company spokesman Jean-Claude Donzel confirmed the cuts on Friday. Pilots will be paid one quarter less, while cabin crew will receive 9.4 per cent less at the end of the month.
The salary cut is retroactive to the beginning of November. The cabin crew and cockpit unions accepted the measure before October 22, when the federal government, the cantons and big business agreed on the financing of the expanded Crossair.
The cut was among the conditions the authorities set before granting a SFr1 billion ($600 million) credit to keep two-thirds of Swissair's flights going until the end of next March.
Negotiations were held over the last few days to decide the extent of the cuts, and the personnel were informed on Thursday and Friday.
The unions weren't happy about these cost-cutting measures, but because the authorities had made the demand and savings were needed at Swissair, they accepted. "We want Swissair to keep on flying and give the takeover plan a chance," said Silvia Schorta of Aeropers, the cabin crew union.
The cuts concern 830 pilots and 2,500 cabin crew according to Donzel. This is the personnel required for the so-called 26/26 plan, which calls for Crossair to take over 26 long-range and 26 medium-haul flights from Swissair.
One group of employees will see their salaries reduced less than other personnel. Young pilots who still owe money for their training will only have their pay docked 15 per cent.
The cuts were necessary to bring total salaries within the framework of the government credit. They were approved by the authorities and Swissair's receiver.
Other cost-saving measures are to be expected if revenues do not reach SFr750 million by the end of the winter timetable said Donzel. But the savings would no necessarily come from salaries, where cuts would be limited to 35 per cent for pilots and 10 per cent for cabin crew.
swissinfo with agencies
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