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Swissair warns of job cuts ahead

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Swissair Group is refusing to rule out job cuts, and says some tiers of management may go, as part of plans to reduce costs by at least SFr500 million ($279 million) by the second half of this year. The group is struggling to recover from last year's record losses of SFr2.9 billion.

This content was published on June 5, 2001 - 09:35

The airline group said cost cutting measures to produce such savings would inevitably lead to staff reductions, but gave no indications of how many.

"Our group continues to operate in a difficult business environment, and we need to take swift and efficient action to return it to sound business health," chairman and chief executive, Mario Corti, said in a statement on Tuesday.

"In doing so, we have to put the interests of the group before those of any unit or individual. Needless to say, we will be focusing squarely on customer service and product quality in all these actions and activities."

Swissair said it was putting into place a programme called "2001" to achieve the savings and to get a sizeable reduction in invested capital by the end of the year.

One of the prime goals of "2001" will be to abolish unnecessary hierarchical levels and overcomplicated structures in all areas of the company, the group said in its statement.

A taskforce has been set up to implement the programme under senior executive board member, Wolfgang Werlé, and including new chief financial officer, Jacqualyn Fouse.

The "2001" programme comes in the wake of a widespread shake-up of the entire Swissair Group. Corti took up his post at the head of Swissair after many of the group's senior managers stepped down or were fired over the issue of loss making stakes in smaller foreign airlines.

Former chief executive Philippe Bruggisser departed at the end of January, with the entire supervisory board announcing its collective resignation in early March.

The first phases of the "2001" programme should be implemented from July 1 onwards.

swissinfo with agencies

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