SWISS acquires Servair to operate as Swiss Private Aviation

18 July 2008

SWISS acquired Zurich-based Servair Private Charter AG yesterday, July 17. Servair will henceforth be operated as Swiss Private Aviation AG, a fully-owned subsidiary of Swiss International Air Lines AG. The new acquisition should establish the SWISS Group in the business aviation sector and provide a platform for operating the Lufthansa Private Jet fleet.

SWISS Private will be based at Zurich Airport and will provide specialist services in the aircraft management and commercial charter fields. With demand for executive charter flights currently showing sizeable growth, SWISS has decided to enter this segment through SWISS Private, and will use its new subsidiary to offer aircraft management services to private clients and companies. The new activities envisaged include providing assistance and advice on procuring and introducing new executive jets, planning and performing flight operations, recruiting and supplying crews, handling, catering and arranging the requisite maintenance, repair and overhaul services on the customer’s behalf.

“The business aviation sector is expanding faster than general market growth, and is clearly more downturn-resistant, too,” explains SWISS CEO Christoph Franz. “We want to enter this market with SWISS Private. As a result, our future customers in this business segment will enjoy all the strengths and benefits that SWISS can offer as an industry leader in safety and reliability terms.”

Swiss Private Aviation AG also provides a new platform for operating the Lufthansa Private Jet (LPJ) fleet, which has been entrusted to the care of SWISS’s Swiss European Air Lines subsidiary. From spring 2009 onwards, the LPJ fleet should be operated under SWISS Private’s air operator’s certificate. Lufthansa will retain commercial responsibility – including product design, marketing, distribution and customer management – for the LPJ fleet.SWISS Private is recruiting its own corps of pilots for its LPJ operations. The first commercial LPJ services were operated at the beginning of July. The LPJ fleet will be integrated into SWISS Private once the relevant IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) has been completed and the corresponding certification obtained.

“In SWISS Private we are providing ourselves with an ideal platform for operating our new LPJ fleet,” says SWISS Chief Operating Officer Gaudenz Ambühl. “We’re also giving ourselves an overall operating framework that pays due and full regard to the differing needs of our established scheduled services and our new business aviation activities.”

Servair, which was founded in 1984 and currently has a workforce of eight personnel, will continue to be led as SWISS Private by its present management team. The new acquisition will be a fully-owned direct subsidiary of Swiss International Air Lines AG. The parties have agreed not to divulge the purchase price involved.