Swiss and her sister Edelweiss have received 1.5 billion francs in government aid. But the money runs away between the fingers of those responsible. According to its own information, Swiss burns 1.5 million francs a day. Extrapolated to the year, that is more than half a billion francs.
Contrary to forecasts, there is no income. The corona crisis is proving to be more persistent than assumed months ago. Hopes have been dashed that flight operations will be slowly ramped up again since the summer and that most long-haul flights will be operational again in autumn.
On the contrary, the number of Swiss flights has been falling again since July, as reported by the “Sunday newspaper”. With the ongoing cash outflow, new financial aid would be more likely for Swiss – and also for the parent company Lufthansa, which is losing half a billion euros a month.
The parent company is also soon in danger of running out of air
According to Swiss spokeswoman Karin Müller, the 1.5 billion loan from a bank consortium, which is 85 percent secured by the federal government, is sufficient for Swiss and Edelweiss for the coming crisis years.
But behind the scenes from Swiss management circles can be heard that the money “could run out”. Accordingly, Lufthansa also expects that the airline will soon run out of air. As of today, the liquidity should be exhausted by the end of the year and new help will be needed.
The crucial question remains how long quarantines and travel restrictions remain in place. In addition, the airline will need significantly more than 1.5 million francs per day when the short-time work expires. The entire workforce is currently on short-time work.
According to the federal finance administration, there is still no request from Swiss for new state aid. But around the Federal Council, a new request is expected in the next few weeks if the earnings situation does not improve by the turn of the year.
The airline is apparently making the biggest dash through the bills, the problem of the quarantine rule. Only when rapid tests would allow the abolition of the quarantine rule can a stabilization be expected, according to airline circles.
In addition, the Bund’s hands seem tied. After he took on a guarantee of 1.275 billion francs, he could not refuse a further request for an additional aid loan.
Radical austerity measures?
The situation seems desperate and may require radical austerity measures – not least because the federal government is demanding a high profit from Swiss in the rescue loan contracts.
The airline says it wants to avoid layoffs. A 15 percent wage cut is intended to prevent job cuts. But that is only possible if the employees are willing to cut their wages, take early retirement and part-time work. 1425 of the total of 9000 jobs are at risk.
If the corona crisis continues into the new year, Swiss does not seem to be able to avoid layoffs. At Lufthansa, too, the cutbacks of 22,000 from a total of 135,000 jobs announced in August are already wasted. According to top management, an additional 5,000 jobs will have to be cut, 1,100 of them for pilots alone. (kes)