Corti highlights airline alternatives

Swissair chief executive Mario Corti breaks his silence Keystone

The Swissair Group's chief executive, Mario Corti, believes there are alternatives to the 'Phoenix Plus' rescue plan for the Swiss airline industry.

This content was published on November 16, 2001 - 11:37

In an interview in the German language Swiss newspaper, the Tages Anzeiger on Friday, he said there were less costly alternatives to the government-sponsored Phoenix Plus plan.

"The larger part of the foreign operation cannot be saved. But the rest of Swissair can be restructured with the assistance of a guarantee from the Confederation," said Corti.

Alternate strategy

Corti proposed that the guarantee would include a facility to borrow money, which would permit the Swissair Group to resolve its liquidity problems. The company would then have the time to raise more capital.

Meanwhile, the Swissair Group rebuked accusations by UBS that Swissair had enough money to keep its fleet in the air on October 2.

The grounding of the Swissair fleet at that time caused much embarrassment for the airline as thousands of passengers were left stranded around the world.

UBS had said in a fact sheet released on October 8 that Swissair had adequate funds in its bank account to keep its planes in the air. However in a fact sheet of its own the defunct airline group has rejected this.

Swissair said that UBS, which had bought its regional carrier Crossair with fellow Swiss bank Credit Suisse, didn't release funds from the acquisition until after 1700 hours on October 2.

This, according to Swissair, meant that vital funds were held up which could have helped the airline maintain its service.

swissinfo with agencies

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