SWISS continues to suffer from impact of pandemic

Switzerland's flag carrier hopes to put the Covid-19 pandemic behind and to be back in the black by the end of next year. © Keystone/Christian Beutler

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) has reported an operating loss of CHF398 million ($440 million) for the first six months of the year.

This content was published on August 5, 2021 - 15:49

The global coronavirus pandemic, which had devastating effects on air transport, continues to hurt the company’s performance.

The figure compares with a loss of CHF266 million in the first half of 2020, according to a company announcement issued on Thursday. Total revenue for the first half of 2021 slumped by 43.5% to CHF659.3 million relative to the same period last year.

“Strict cost and cash management combined with consistent network and capacity control helped keep the loss within reasonable bound,” the company said in a press releaseExternal link.

Switzerland’s flag carrier, which is owned by Germany’s Lufthansa, said a factor for the higher losses is a cost-saving programme to the tune of CHF500 million.

The company will shed about 550 jobs by the end of this year. However, it will only use about half of the CHF1.5 billion credit package by the Swiss government to offset the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and business restrictions.

It said the aim of an ongoing restructuring and transformation was to regain the confidence of investors and to maintain its competitive edge.

Silver lining

The second quarter brought a slight upturn in business volumes, but the situation remained “extremely tense”, the company said.

Chief financial officer Markus Binkert is cautiously optimistic about the future.

“It’s possible that we will already move into the black for some weeks or months this year,” he told the Swiss news agency, Keystone-SDA. He said the airline was hoping to make an annual profit at the end of 2022.

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