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Switzerland awaits new airline name

Crossair remains the focus for business Keystone Archive

The business week ahead may see the name of the country's new national flag carrier revealed.

This content was published on January 20, 2002 - 10:51

Crossair's board decided on the name of the airline last week but has refused to unveil it until legal enquiries are carried out to check that the brand isn't already registered.

Most analysts expect the name to involve some combination of the words "Swiss" and "Air", possibly: Air Swiss or Swiss Airlines.

The new identity aims to give the airline a fresh start. It will consist of the existing Crossair fleet of 75 aircraft plus 52 Swissair planes, 26 of which will cover inter-continental routes.

The Swissair brand was seriously devalued last year by the two-day grounding of the fleet. It's also feared that creditors may pounce unless the airline has a new name.

Marketing contract

Meanwhile, the race is over to win the lucrative SFr40 million marketing contract to launch the airline. Wink Media, a British-based agency, was put in charge of the re-branding exercise last week and now sets to work restoring confidence in Switzerland's aviation industry.

On Monday, the Geneva-based International Labour Organisation opens a five-day meeting of government representatives, employers and unions on social and safety questions for the civil aviation industry arising from the September 11 attacks.

On the corporate front, the leading maker of computer peripherals, Logitech, comes through with third quarter figures on Tuesday.

The firm said in October that it expected third quarter sales growth to be between 20 and 25 per cent. It's been largely unaffected by the current slowdown, since it makes relatively inexpensive items such as computer mice, keyboards and video cameras.

However, Credit Suisse First Boston recently downgraded its stock to "hold" from "buy", in a sign that the slowdown may finally be having an effect.

Lonza deal

On Wednesday, Lonza comes through with its annual results.

The company, increasingly focussing on life sciences, last month completed the sale of its energy unit in a deal worth SFr484 million.

And Sulzer Industries on Thursday lets investors take a peek inside its orders book. Figures will probably indicate what we already know: that the global economy is in poor shape.

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