The result for the first half-year of 2002 has turned out to be a good third better than envisaged in the business plan of December 2001. The loss amounts to CHF 447m. Sales were substantially above target as well: CHF 1754m instead of the CHF 1209m according to the business plan.
Contributions to these figures came both from the continuous increase in load factor, both in Europe and overseas, as well as the intercontinental expansion of the route network. The balance sheet indicates not only a gratifying seat load factor, but satisfactory earnings, too. Thanks to strict expenditure monitoring, the costs have not increased out of due proportion despite the rapid growth of the company as a whole.
SWISS has moved a big step forwards in solving personnel problems: the negotiating delegations of SWISS and “kapers” (the cabin crew members’ union) have signed the newly worked out Collective Labour Agreement for SWISS cabin crew personnel. Both parties reached agreement on all the major points.
The Swiss Pilots’ Association, however, decided not to accept the SWISS proposal - open until 15 September - for a significantly improved Collective Labour Agreement.
Despite very difficult economic conditions, SWISS has managed to reach its first milestone: after half a year, during which there were only three months of full operations, its bottom line is better than planned, and the “SWISS” product has been established and given a good rating by the majority of customers.
As a company, SWISS is in the process of establishing a firm foothold and of providing a reliable service with around 10,000 employees, in structures that are reinforced day by day.
An initial glance back shows a satisfactory picture, although it also clearly shows where there are still problems: SWISS customers are still not receiving everywhere the product we would like them to have. The reliability of the regional fleet has to be improved both operationally and technically, and service and comfort in the air and on the ground have still not reached the desired standard.
The company’s organisation and management structure must be rendered even more functional. SWISS must successfully complete the process of becoming a full member of the OneWorld Alliance.
The process of merging various cultures has also yet to be completed. One good sign is the agreement reached with “kapers”, the cabin crew members’ union (see separate press release of Monday 16 September “Collective Labour Agreement signed with cabin crew personnel”).
No agreement has been reached as yet with the Swiss Pilots’ Association, the organisation which acts on behalf of the regional pilots. SWISS’s proposal for a new basic collective labour agreement, which remained open until yesterday, 15th September, was rejected. This offer is now no longer on the negotiating table for the Swiss Pilots’ Association. The pilots in the regional fleet will continue to work under the collective labour agreement concluded with ex-Crossair in 2000. This agreement remains valid until 2005. SWISS is now prepared to engage in immediate negotiations with the Swiss Pilots’ Association to address the question of how the arbitrators’ decision of July 2002 should be put into practice in the existing Collective Labour Agreement.