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Should Sabena & Swissair Split Up?  
User currently offlineOO-VEG From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 1168 posts, RR: 1
Posted (14 years 2 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 1923 times:

We all know Sabena is in deep financial troubles and Swissair is also.

Last week I saw a belgian TV-program about Sabena. They said Swissair was partially to blame for the situation Sabena is in now. Swissair takes over several routes of Sabena so they have more passengers. An example they gave was:
Sabena had to stop flying to Johannesburg. Swissair took over those flights. Swissair also has code-share agreement with South African Airlines on that route so the money comes in for Swissair. Instead of co-operating with SAA to Brussels Swissair managed to get Sabena's passengers. Sabena also can't fly to Asian destinations like Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok etc.
I think Sabena could make profit out of such flights but just because Swissair performs those flights. Also the quality of flying from BRU goes down as passengers have to transfer at ZRH to such a flight. Instead of that they decide to fly non-stop from AMS, DUS, FRA or CDG.
This is not an offence against Swissair as Sabena may cause the same problems to Swissair in some cases.
Nevertheless I think it would be best for Sabena to seek for a new partner.

Maybe Alitalia or KLM would be a good move?

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I am very curious what your opnions about the relation between SR and SN are....

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineGibberish From Switzerland, joined Sep 2000, 424 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (14 years 2 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 1877 times:

If the Swissair/Sabena partnership would have come out the way it was supposed to, it would have probably become the best airline alliance in Europe. A few of the many strong points: Dual hub-and-spoke system, practically exact same fleet and of course the Airline Managment Partnership AMP. Sadly, a big IF.

Unfortunately huge mistakes were made by the management on both sides - not only at Sabena but at Swissair as well. Given the current financial situation of both airlines I hardly see any chance the two can survive together, especially Sabena. Swissair has - although not quite yet - decided to give up and sell their 49.5% stake in the money-gobbling (I am sorry, but that's the way it is, not a thing one can do about it) Belgian flag carrier.

One cannot give up hope for Sabena though, there are chances they will survive this crisis - with or without Swissair. I can see a tiny chance the two airlines stay together: There have been proposals to shrink Sabena into a regional carrier serving European cities only. However, next to the fleet and several destinations jobs will have to be cut as well. There have been talks that 2000 of the current 11000 employees must leave Sabena in order to keep them flying.

Of course it would be sad to see one of the world's oldest (founded 1923!) carriers be downgraded to a minimum but if that works, it can only go upwards again and Sabena will climb to a new height - most likely even more successful than now.

That is however a long way to go. What we all have to do now is just wait and see what happens - what Sabena decides, what Swissair decides, what the labor unions decide and what the court decides.

Let's wish the best for Sabena and not give up hope!


User currently offlineLJ From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4649 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (14 years 2 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 1881 times:

Tonights "Terzake" reports that 1200 to 1670 employees must leave SN. They claim that they have an outline of Mr. Muleller's business plan. According to the plan SN will stop flying to Washington, Tokyo and Chennia. Also all A340's will go and SN will focus on European flights with Avro jets. Their aim is to get the business traveller onboard.


User currently offlineKUGN From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 615 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (14 years 2 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 1869 times:

I hope they team up with BA and AA, it would be great for all of them.

User currently offlineFlying lsd From Belgium, joined Feb 2001, 291 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (14 years 2 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 1859 times:

Sabena needs money, a lot of money 500 millions €.
Swissair which have 49.5 % of SN and a agreement with belgian government to go to 85 % is in a very difficult financial health himself and says NO MORE € FOR SN.
Belgian government if they wants inject cash in SN , they can't do ( european law forbid from now cash injection in national company).
Then in this case , if Mr Muller cut some long haul routes like Tokyo, Washington, Chennai, return all A 340, thanks approxymatly 2000 people from 11000, it's not enough.
SN needs a business plan to cut everything which cost cash but also a lot of money to survive.
Then a new alliance , AA or BA which will take a part of SN and take control of SN AND Brussels airport a marvellous airport without slots restrictions, 3 runways , a brand new concourse B and another (pier A )to open in may 2002, dedicated to intra european perfect for AA to connect with new long haul AA flights between AA US hubs and BRU and the rest of Europe.
BA can use BRU to tranfer people from secondary cities of UK to USA and then not connection thru LHR.
THEN why not a marvellous alliance between BA AA SN
Maybe the only great solution if SN doesn't want become a simple regional airliner in ....the center of Europe ....

User currently offlineJAL From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 5094 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (14 years 2 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 1841 times:

Given that Sabena had costs SwissAir tons of money. I think that SwissAir should just split with Sabena.

SwissAir should hook up with OneWorld!!!

Work Hard But Play Harder
User currently offlineOO-VEG From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 1168 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (14 years 2 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1817 times:

I agree with you JAL that Swissair suffers from Sabena. But Sabena also suffers from Swissair. And that causes both companies to make more loss every time again.
Besides... Swissair is the main Qualiflyer airline. So they could better stay in the alliance.
Sabena however may be better of with another alliance.

User currently offlineCeilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (14 years 2 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1816 times:

Frankly, Sabena should be closed down. It's always been lossmaking; it's been an example of Belgian unions at their absolute worst; and although there have been the odd one or two individuals who do their utmost to provide excellent service they are more than outnumbered by time-serving obstructionist jobsworths that wouldn't know customer service if it hit them in the head! I've dealt with the very highest levels of SN management since the mid 1980s, and although the faces change, the attitudes, frankly, don't. There was hope for them when SR bought in; but as usual it was the unions that blocked the most radical moves required to make SN competitive.

In any case, given the multitude of airlines in the EU, why does a country like Belgium need a state owned flag carrier? CityBird does a perfectly adequate job without costing the taxpayer a cent - even though SN has done its utmost to destroy it.

Equally, Ryanair's new operation out of Charleroi is providing the low cost traffic - again, SN has done its best to destroy them as well - proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that the customer's interests are not Sabena's!

Close them down now!

User currently offlineTripple7 From Netherlands, joined Aug 1999, 539 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (14 years 2 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1815 times:

Quite frankly, I will have to agree wit Ceilidh.

I think Sabena, should be closed down or become a regional feeder airline for a larger one. Still I think the best is to close the airline. Sabena is not able to compete with the other European airlines. One can question if an airline operating from Brussel can ever be successful. Brussel lies right between the four major airports of Europe, Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris CdG and Amsterdam.

I know this will make a lot of Sabena enthousiasts mad, but Sabena really sucks. Sabena is an airline that is incapable of competing with the other players. Off course it is a lovely airline with a nice history. But history doesn't matter. The fact is that Sabena can not operate without the support of the government, and costs the tax payers millions of euro's. Why should these people pay to keep Sabena alive as they can also fly with any other airline that serves Brussels. And there are quite a lot of them that serve Brussels. Furthermore all these airlines operate on their own without government support. We all know that government support leads to unfair competition.

User currently offlineApuneger From Belgium, joined Sep 2000, 3032 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (14 years 2 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1810 times:

To all you guys that keep on saying that Sabena should be closed down etc...:

Then, why did Mr. Müller confirm in his plan that Sabena would be making profits today, if it wasn't for the gigantic expansion plans that SR came up with?

'Expand, expand, change aircraft, type commonality'. Result: enormous costs, losses,...

It appears to me, that SR's plan was great, in theory, but that they forgot the price tag that came along with it...

Anyway, now it's too late, and it's always easy to comment on everyting AFTERWARDS. One has to admit that.


Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
User currently offlineJAL From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 5094 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (14 years 2 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1788 times:

The Qualifyer group is in my opinion to small to compete successfully with competing alliances like OneWorld and Star. So SwissAir and the other members should join other alliances.


Work Hard But Play Harder
User currently offlineBelugaBoy From Belgium, joined Mar 2001, 139 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (14 years 2 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1786 times:

One remark, I heared a couple of days ago that AA CAN not take control in Sabena . That would cause problems with the landing rights in Europe or something.

Is that true ?
Is AA also interested as a minority shareholder of Sabena ?

User currently offlineKUGN From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 615 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (14 years 2 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1783 times:

Why wouldn't they let them?

User currently offlineCeilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (14 years 2 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 1778 times:

Maximum foreign ownership permitted is 49% - unlike in the (protectionist) USA where the maximum is 24%. Airlines flying internally in the EU can have 51% ownership by any/all EU nationals; those operating outside the EU must have 51% ownership in the hands of citizens from their home country.

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