Swiss European Air Lines to take off on November 1

28.10.2005

Swiss European Air Lines has been issued its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) by the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Aviation. This removes the final obstacle to the commencement of operations for SWISS’s new subsidiary, which will now begin on November 1. In transferring its regional flight operations to a separate business entity, SWISS aims to raise its competitiveness in the sector and lay the foundation for future European growth.

Swiss European Air Lines is a fully-owned SWISS subsidiary which will operate “wet-lease” services in the European market on behalf of its parent company. Swiss European, which will serve some 30 destinations, will adopt the high quality, safety and training standards of its parent company, will feature SWISS products and will operate under the SWISS brand. Commercial responsibility for its operations, however, will remain with SWISS.

All the aircraft of the present SWISS regional fleet – 18 Avro RJ 85/100s and eight Embraer 145s – will be transferred to the new company. These aircraft will retain their present familiar SWISS liveries, but will also bear the legend “Operated by Swiss European Air Lines” under their cockpit window.

The first Swiss European flights will take to the skies at 06:00 next Tuesday, November 1 when LX 2991 (from Basel) and LX 2801 (from Geneva) depart for Zurich. The first Swiss European flights from Zurich will be the 07:05 departures for Stuttgart (LX 1164), Copenhagen (LX 1266) and Warsaw (LX 1344).

Own management and crews

The new SWISS subsidiary will be led by its own small management team headed by Peter Koch. Management and administration are being kept deliberately lean at just ten persons. The Swiss European Air Lines Board of Directors is chaired by SWISS Chief Operations Officer Manfred Brennwald.

With the reassignment of SWISS’s regional operations to Swiss European, the employment contracts of all SWISS regional pilots will also be automatically transferred to the new subsidiary along with all the associated rights and obligations. In an initial phase, the new company’s cabin crews will consist of members of the Swiss International flight attendant corps. Swiss European will then recruit and develop its own corps of flight attendant staff in the medium term.

The creation and operation of Swiss European Air Lines will make a major contribution to enhancing the competitiveness of these activities and securing jobs in the longer term. The endeavours to create clear structures and transparent costs will also support the upcoming investment in a new regional fleet, and will help lay a firm foundation for future business growth.