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Swissair rescue efforts continue

A group of investors has made an offer to buy Swissair Keystone

Two weeks prior to the launch of Switzerland's new national airline, Swiss, a rescue effort is underway to save the former national carrier, Swissair.

This content was published on March 17, 2002 - 20:00

"I can confirm that a group of investors have made an offer to buy Swissair," Jean-Claude Donzel, spokesman for the Swissair Group, told swissinfo.

"Our manager, Mario Corti, has informed the Cabinet, the board of the Swissair Group (which has two members), and Karl Wüthrich, who's the court-appointed administrator of the group," Donzel added, without giving any further details.

The spokesman declined to give any information relating to the identity of the investors or the sums involved. However, a report from the Sunday paper, "NZZ am Sonntag", says the Berkeley company, based in Bethesda in the United States, is involved in the negotiations.

Brand name

The Swissair Group submitted an offer from investors to the Federal Office for Civil Aviation (OFAC) ten days ago, said Daniel Eckmann, spokesman for the Finance ministry, to which the OFAC is affiliated.

However, Eckmann said the Swissair delegation did not provide the OFAC with any details about the investors nor the modalities of the sale. He added that in his view, only the "Swissair" brand name was still negotiable.

"Swissair can't pursue its activities, nor can it be bought, because all the routes have been purchased by Crossair," Eckmann said. "All that remains of Swissair is a carcass."

Switzerland's new national airline, swiss, is due to be operational on April 1. It was built from Swissair's former subsidiary, Crossair, and the remains of Swissair, which went bankrupt last October.

Second attempt

Earlier in March, the Swissair Group attempted to prevent Crossair from using the new name "swiss". The move was viewed as a bid by Swissair to demonstrate it was acting on behalf of its shareholders.

Swissair argued that Crossair had been unwilling to buy the Swissair brand, which was valued at SFr660 million ($388 million) in November last year. However, the case was rejected by a court in Zurich.

swissinfo with agencies

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