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Big News Regarding The SAirGroup (& SR, LX, SN)  
User currently offlineGibberish From Switzerland, joined Sep 2000, 424 posts, RR: 2
Posted (15 years 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2682 times:

Big News regarding the SAirGroup just came out today. Check out the SAirGroup's Press Release:

SAirGroup Board shifts emphasis of corporate strategy and reorganises management

Zurich, January 23, 2001 - In further assessing the company's current situation, the SAirGroup Board of Directors has reaffirmed the Group strategy that focuses on the two main pillars of airline and airline-related sectors. The Board agrees, however, that the bottom line of the airline business must be successively improved.

The SAirGroup therefore aims to substantially upgrade the appeal of Swissair, Crossair and Sabena while simultaneously enhancing the level of cooperation among the airlines. In doing so the Group will place a great deal of emphasis on the quality of passenger service. As Swiss airlines, Swissair and Crossair will increasingly utilise the quality location afforded by Switzerland in an effort to promote an attractive and top-quality product.

The Group's alliance strategy will be aimed squarely at making the airline business profitable. This necessitates, among other steps, reducing the risk associated with equity holdings in the airline sector. The Group will make no further investments or acquisitions in this area.

The SAirGroup and Philippe Bruggisser have mutually agreed that Mr. Bruggisser leave his post with the Group with immediate effect. Group Chairman Dr. Eric Honegger will assume the function of Group CEO on an interim basis. Wolfgang Werlé, CEO of SAirRelations, will serve as his deputy. The Group's SAirLines division, which includes Swissair, Crossair, Balair CTA, Sabena, AMP and the Group's airline equity holdings, will now be managed by Moritz Suter, CEO of Crossair. Mr. Suter will also serve in the Group's Executive Management body.

Beat Schär has been named new CEO of Swissair while André Dosé will take over that position at Crossair. Mr. Schär was previously responsible for flight operations at Swissair and Mr. Dosé held the same position at Crossair.

All decisions reached by the Board of Directors were unanimous in nature.

What do you think will happen? The end of Qualiflyer? A new era in oneworld? The selling of the unprofitable lines? Do you think it's good?

All opinions are welcome.


14 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5600 posts, RR: 33
Reply 1, posted (15 years 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2570 times:

Hi marc
It is really interesting. For the moment it is difficult to see the effect on the different equity holdings in other airlines. I think they will keep Sabena (85%) and perhaps get ride of the French and Italian airlines and won't buy stakes of TAP. LTU? The shares of LOT and SAA are quite good because they are profitable. SAA is the largest airline in Africa and Poland will be a huge market (size Spain) in the future and the door to the East. This won't be the end of Qualiflyer (still SR, LX, SN, LOT and ..?) but perhaps they go closer to Oneworld.

Regards Philipp

User currently offlineSR3496 From Switzerland, joined May 2000, 792 posts, RR: 18
Reply 2, posted (15 years 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2556 times:

I think they'll sell LTU, VolareGroup and maybe the French airlines, but keep the rest (ZRH said it correctly)
We'll see...

User currently offlineAF-A319 From France, joined Oct 1999, 603 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (15 years 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2542 times:

Sell the French airline ?!? But who would buy it? These three airlines have sooo many problems and need so many cash to change their ageeing fleet that I don't think that any major player in Europe would make an offer.
You've made a mistake SAir Group!
Good luck to Suter...


User currently offlineAvion From Bouvet Island, joined May 1999, 2205 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (15 years 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2537 times:

I think a french company named "Taitbout Antibes" has made an offer to SR group to buy the 49% SR holds.


User currently offlineKrushny From Spain, joined Dec 2000, 776 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (15 years 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2533 times:

It is a bit too much saying that Poland air market could have the same size as Spain's... Both countries have roughly the same number of inhabitants, but Spain attracts much much more tourism. Also Spain has strong ties to Latin America. I do not see LOT getting as big as Iberia at any time.
Anyway I agree that with the integration in Europe Poland has lots of room to grow, it looks like investments in their air market will pay off.
If SAir leans towards Oneworld, there will be too many Euro airlines there, probably we should expect some defections (BA/Iberia??) .

User currently offlineYMQ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (15 years 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2524 times:

Isn't Taitbout the holding through which SairGroup bought Air Liberte in the first place?

User currently offlineIkarus-64 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (15 years 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2514 times:

Difficult to say what will happen with the other Qualiflyer Airlines. But honestly, some of the Qualiflyer Airlines cost SR a lot of money, appr. 1 BCHF last year. Is it really worth to follow that strategy?
I think, SR should go closer to Oneworld. I do not agree with Mr. Bruggisser, who always said, that SR would become something like a commuter airline for the big ones in an alliance. SR as a brand, is well established in the market, especially in the long haul segment. BA and AA as major partners of Oneworld would also generate more business for SR.

User currently offlineEVA744 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (15 years 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2510 times:

If I interpretted that article correctly, I thought it said that they would not be purchasing anymore. That doesn't mean that they have to sell, it just means that they are going to concentrate on what they already own a stake in. All of those airline alliances that they have are great for them and the unit and Qualiflyer as a whole. They could all benefit from making most of the airlines profitable. They would cover a large chunk of Europe. Good business, I think they reached critical mass on the acquisition mode, and are shifting gears to make it all clockwork, the swiss are excellent at efficiency and will make this work with a little time.

User currently offlineGibberish From Switzerland, joined Sep 2000, 424 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (15 years 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 2486 times:

I can somehow imagine SAir holding on to Swissair, Sabena, Crossair and maybe LOT and their charter airlines (LTU, Sobelair, Balair). They should get rid of the highly unprofitable French airlines, Volare, TAP and Portugalià to "save" some money. They should also forget about MAS and THY. They should however raise their Stake in SAA (which is profitable) and pull them into their alliance. They definately need stronger ties in Asia/Oceania, the Americas and Southern Africa so Joining Oneworld is only a question of time and I think the SAir consortium (then consistent of Swissair, Sabena, Crossair, LOT and SAA) would complement Oneworld perfectly. It will become an excellent alliance with a strong (maybe even too strong....) presence in Europe having the smaller european airlines being feeders to BA, SR, IB and SN (Africa). The Qualiflyer group will dissolve but the frequent flyer program (which is very good at the time) will be kept. This is nothing but speculation, it seems pretty realistic though.

User currently offlineAF-A319 From France, joined Oct 1999, 603 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (15 years 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 2470 times:

YMQ wrote :

Isn't Taitbout the holding through which SairGroup bought Air Liberte in the first place?

Taibout Antibes already owns 51% of the "French Airline" in partnership with the SAir Group. Ernest Antoine Seillière, the CEO of Taibout was a good friend of Brugisser, so I think his departure could have big consequences in the management team of AOM-Air Lib-Air Littoral.

Everything remain possible!


User currently offlineGibberish From Switzerland, joined Sep 2000, 424 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (15 years 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 2424 times:

OK, it's definate: SAirGroup will make no more aquisitions whatsoever, the new SAirLines CEO, Moritz Suter, announced today in Swiss TV SFDRS' news bulletin "10-vor-10". The airline (meaning specifically Swissair) will concentrate on quality instead of quantity again. So, it will become the world's best (in terms of service) airline again! Also, excpect a slogan change.

More news will be posted as soon as they're available!


User currently offlineBlink182 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 5499 posts, RR: 14
Reply 12, posted (15 years 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2394 times:

I don't mean any disrespect, but AOM,Volare, and PGA aren't really good quality airlines and don't have extensive route networks, so I think SR can afford to lost those, I think they need to keep the majors(TAP,Swissair,Sabena,LOT,Crossair,Sobelair,Balair and possibly LTU)as those are probably the biggest cash cows for SAirGroup and offer the most extensive networks, as well as service.

Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
User currently offlineToxtethogrady From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1750 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (15 years 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2390 times:

New chief, new direction? Having your profit sliced to the bone will do that. Wonder what it will mean for their US partners?

User currently offlineLN-MOW From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 1916 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (15 years 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2369 times:

Swissair has really gone nowhere in the past 10 years when it comes to service, and its management has in the same period created a cluster of different divisions/companies to handle the activities around the core activity. Maybe with a new management direction it is time to try to win back the employees' trust and goodwill and maybe even bring core activity employees (Swissport CH, Swisscargo) back into the actual airline?
As a former employee it would be good to see SR bounce back to where it belongs, the top choice in the sky!

- I am LN-MOW, and I approve this message.
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