SWISS responds to open letter from its Saab 2000 pilots

8 July 2005

Part of the SWISS Saab 2000 pilot corps drew attention today in an open letter addressed to the Board of Directors and Management Board to the difficult situation regarding their future with the company. The pilots concerned also suggest in their letter that such difficulties may lead to cockpit safety problems.

In terms of possible safety problems, SWISS wishes to emphasise that its Saab 2000 flight operations are functioning smoothly. The flights on which this aircraft type is deployed – all of which are to and from Basel – are being operated normally and safely. This is confirmed, among other things, by SWISS’s regular evaluations of the corresponding flight data.

Every pilot is obliged to check their physical and mental condition before commencing flight duties and, if necessary, to decline to commence such flight duties in good time. SWISS’s pilots can also seek and request support at any time. SWISS regards its Saab 2000 flight operations as safe; but it will continue to monitor the situation with all due attention and care.

The SWISS Management Board also wishes to point out that the issues specified in the open letter have already been addressed at several events which have been organised for such purposes. Not all the questions raised on these issues can be conclusively answered at present, since the new detailed fleet plan and the company’s future production volume have not yet been finalised. In addition, the new terms and conditions of employment – which will have a major impact on the size of pilot corps required – have not yet been defined.

SWISS is still willing to continue negotiations on a new Collective Labour Agreement with the pilots’ union, the Swiss Pilots Association.

SWISS currently operates a fleet of seven Saab 2000 aircraft from Basel, for which it maintains a corps of 72 pilots. Of these, 52 pilots have signed the open letter to the SWISS Board of Directors and Management Board.