Lufthansa pilots continued negotiations with airline management at press time over what they claim amount to scope-clause violations by the German flag carrier. The pilots, organized in a trade union called Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), started a four-day strike on February 22 for higher pay, better work time arrangements and–above all–job security.
Swiss European Air Lines
Switzerland’s regional scheduled airlines seem relatively well prepared to face a passenger slump expected to last through next year. After a frantic build-up period in the early years of the current decade, followed by a shakeout, the four majors appear entrenched in their respective markets.
Lufthansa Technik, the MRO and completions arm of the German flag carrier, has taken over the maintenance shop of Swiss European Air Lines at Basel EuroAirport. The facility will operate as Lufthansa Technik Switzerland. Swiss is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Lufthansa group.
Lufthansa subsidiary Swiss International Airlines on Thursday took over Zurich-based Servair Private Charter for an undisclosed amount and said it will integrate the company into a new business unit called Swiss Private Aviation. The Servair staff of eight have been transferred to Swiss, as well as an undisclosed number of aircraft management contracts.
The company that launched the Saab 340 into prominence in Europe will soon bow out of the turboprop flying business altogether, when Swiss International Airlines bids adieu to the last of its 50-seat Saab 2000s this month and embarks on a restructuring of its regional jet fleet that will also banish all nine of the carrier’s Embraer 145s by March.
Swiss International Air Lines will once again segregate its regional operations under the auspices of a new subsidiary, the company announced last month. Named Swiss European Air Lines, the wholly owned operating unit will take possession of Swiss’ remaining Embraer ERJ 145 and Avro RJ85/100 fleet before year-end.
Larger aircraft and lower costs have produced a winning formula for Swiss International Airlines’ regional operations–despite high fuel prices not entirely offset by surtaxes on tickets. Swiss announced an overall profit of SFr76 million ($61 million) for the first half of the year and stresses that regional, European and intercontinental flights have all contributed to the positive result.