SWISS flies back into the black after pandemic nosedive

This is the first time the company has posted a profit since the pandemic started. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) has recovered from its pandemic slump and landed back in the black. The airline posted an operating profit of CHF456 million ($486 million) in 2022, a nearly CHF900 million improvement from its CHF405 million loss the previous year.

This content was published on March 3, 2023 minutes

Sales more than doubled to CHF4.41 billion after slumping in the previous two years. In 2021, the company posted revenue of CHF2.1 billion and in the first pandemic year of 2020, the figure was CHF1.85 billion.

+ SWISS airlines goes on a hiring spree

The post-pandemic demand boom has given SWISS a boost, but Switzerland's largest airline is still not at its pre-Corona altitude: in 2019, the Lufthansa subsidiary posted revenue of CHF5.33 billion and an operating profit of CHF578 million.

“Optimised cost structures, stable summer flight operations and favourable market conditions all made major contributions to the positive business performance,” wrote the company in a press releaseExternal link

Thanks to the positive results, SWISS was able to repay bank loans, which had been 85% guaranteed by the Swiss government, along with interest of CHF60 million, earlier than envisaged at the end of May 2022.

The first quarter of 2022 was still marked by uncertainties due to the Omicron variant and the war in Ukraine. “However, people's confidence in travel quickly returned in the spring and the demand curve for air travel showed a clear upward trend,” wrote SWISS.

SWISS transported some 12.8 million passengers in 2022, a 116% increase on the previous year. Some 107,000 flights were operated, 89% more than in 2021.

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