The Crossair Administrative Board firmly rejects the criticism to which it has been subjected over the last few days in connection with the events in the Swissair Group. The sequence of events clearly shows that the responsibility for the crisis does not lie with Crossair.
In view of the difficult situation within the Swissair Group, the Crossair Board of Administation, on September 21, 2001, agreed to Mario Corti’s request that Crossair should relinquish its company independence, in order to permit the unification of Crossair and Swissair. Mario Corti explained that this unification was practicable and that Swissair would pay a fair price to the minority shareholders. At this time, he failed to inform the Crossair Board of the full extent of Swissair’s unfavourable financial position.
In the following weeks, Swissair’s financial position rapidly worsened because it belatedly realised the extent of the problems. This meant the unification was no longer possible. The Crossair Board therefore immediately acted to find means to safeguard Crossair in the event of Swissair bankruptcy.
On Saturday, September 29, Mario Corti informed the Crossair Board for the first time of the impending insolvency of the Swissair Group. He presented the plan which formed the basis of today’s solution. This plan had already been approved by the Administrative Board of the Swissair Group and it was subsequently approved by the Crossair Board.
On Sunday, September 30, there was a session of the Federal Council. At this the UBS and Credit Suisse defined the financing arrangements of the plan, together with Swissair Board. The condition imposed by the banks was that proceeds from the sale of the Crossair share package should not be devoted to guaranteeing Swissair flight operations, but only for the continuation of flight-associated services such as, for example, passenger handling at the airports, the technical maintenance of the aircraft and the reservation system. Mario Corti signed this agreement, which was approved by the Swissair Administrative Board the following Monday.
The Crossair Board was informed of this condition for the first time by the Swissair Board on the morning of October 1. The Crossair Board expressed its reservations and pointed out that, under these circumstances, the financing of flight operations after the announcement of the filing for bankruptcy was exceptionally important. The future of the “new” Crossair would be rendered more difficult were Swissair not able to continue flight operations.
Mario Corti announced, at the press conference held on October 1, that the Swissair Group, the Swissair airline and Flight Lease would file for bankruptcy. It immediately became apparent that all the Swissair creditors would take every possible protective action. The refusal of the fuel companies to make further deliveries to Swissair forced Swissair to ground its aircraft.
The Crossair Board and Management bear no responsibility for the suspension of Swissair operations on October 2.
The Crossair Board of Administration