BA and SWISS agree commercial pact

23. September 2003

British Airways and Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) have signed a legally binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) setting out the principal terms under which the two airlines envisage entering into a commercial agreement.

British Airways and SWISS plan joint operations between the UK and Switzerland with codesharing on Heathrow Swiss routes from October 26th that will give customers convenient access to worldwide destinations via London and Zurich.

The Swiss TravelClub, SWISS’s current frequent flyer programme, will be gradually integrated into British Airways’ Executive Club. Miles already earned with SWISS will retain their current validity.

In addition, BA will enter into a slot exchange agreement for eight Heathrow daily slot pairs from SWISS.

British Airways will support a CHF 50 million credit facility for SWISS, to be secured against slots at London Heathrow.

SWISS will also enter the oneworld alliance, of which British Airways is a founder member. This will provide the grouping with an additional high-quality carrier and an important additional hub in central Europe, serving one of the world’s most important financial centers and providing customers with greater choice of destination, airline and global alliance. (See separate press release from oneworld for further details).

Rod Eddington, Chief Executive of British Airways said: “I am delighted to welcome SWISS into the oneworld alliance. This commercial deal will benefit British Airways and the new SWISS which has a quality product, network and hub in Zurich which makes it a logical fit to oneworld in Central Europe.”

André Dosé, Chief Executive Officer of SWISS said: “We are proud to be a member of oneworld, one of the world’s leading airline alliance. SWISS as well as oneworld clients will benefit from the enhanced network and the joint frequent flyer programs.”