In the lexicon of regional airline training, European carriers confront a classic story line. As regional jets reached the market in the early 1990s, training facilities couldn’t meet the needs of launch customers. As demand increased, training centers began adding equipment, alleviating the problem to a large degree.
Switzerland’s Crossair has frozen all hiring for an undetermined period, redoubled efforts to attract more business passengers, reduced frequencies on a number of marginal routes and moved smaller airplanes to others as the regional airline attempts to reverse one of the most difficult financial periods in its illustrious history.
Short of cash after a financially strenuous year marked by a strong rise in fuel prices, the Austrian regional AirAlps has relinquished its exclusive code- sharing agreement with KLM and found new investors in Northern Italy.
The management of Swiss regional airline Swisswings (formerly Air Engiadina) has announced the successful completion of a refinancing program that provided SFr8 million ($5 million) in fresh capital before the subscription deadline of Aug. 30, 2001. The company previously reduced share capital by 60 percent to liquidate accumulated debt.
Major structural changes announced by Swiss International Airlines in June include a considerable reduction of the company’s regional network with the start of its winter timetable, in late October. But while Swiss frantically clutches for a financial lifeline, there appears no shortage of newcomers willing to fill the airline’s shoes.
The demise of Swiss national carrier Swissair has pushed one of Europe’s largest regional airlines to a critical juncture in its development. Crossair–now fully independent of the bankrupt flag carrier–must chart a new course over unfamiliar territory, leaving investors optimistic over the potential for growth but wary of untold pitfalls.
Andre Dosé resigned his post as CEO of Swiss International Airlines last month amid a continuing investigation into the Nov. 21, 2001 crash of a Crossair Avro RJ100 near Basseldorf, Switzerland. Swiss chairman Pieter Bouw has replaced Dosé as CEO.
Switzerland’s Federal Bureau of Air Accident Investigation, known as the BFU, identified pilot error as the cause of a Crossair Avro RJ100 accident on Nov. 24, 2001, near Bassersdorf, Switzerland, during an approach to Zurich Airport. However, investigators also pointed to external deficiencies at other levels.
Nearly four years after the accident, the Swiss Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (BFU) published its final report on the Jan. 10, 2000 crash of a Crossair Saab 340B at Nassenwil near Zurich Airport. The unusual delay stems from appeals filed against the BFU’s conclusions, the most publicized objection coming from Moritz Suter, Crossair’s CEO at the time of the accident.
The largest member of Embraer’s E-Jet line of single-aisle airplanes is making its international airshow debut here in Paris, only a week after the Brazilian airframe builder landed a launch order for 14 from the UK’s FlyBE. The Exeter-based low-fare, full-service carrier plans to replace its fleet of aging BAe 146 quadjets with the Brazilian twin, scheduled for delivery from August 2006 to November 2007.