EZYcrew
Topic Author
Posts: 454
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 7:26 am

Will Swiss Make It Through The Winter?

Tue Dec 02, 2003 7:43 am

Everyday since about 2 weeks, I hear rumors that we don't have any cash left and that when the Federal elections are over on Dec. 10, Swiss will shut down for good.
Most my flights are really empty (20-50% loadfactor, European routes), and all my colleagues tell me they are afraid that the company won't last for much longer.
And since Oct, we've gone sort of lowcost on the entire European network, with prices going down and no more free drinks and snacks for Y-cl. And since then, all I get is complaints from pax, and nearly empty flights.

I feel this is the end....
 
wgw2707
Posts: 1110
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 10:37 am

RE: Will Swiss Make It Through The Winter?

Tue Dec 02, 2003 7:50 am

Swiss is about to join oneworld, and I don't think they would allow Swiss to join if they were uncertain about the long term survivability of the airline. In my opinion, British Airways will quite possibly take over Swiss before allowing it to collapse.

-WGW2707
 
dutchjet
Posts: 7714
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2000 6:13 am

RE: Will Swiss Make It Through The Winter?

Tue Dec 02, 2003 7:59 am

Swiss does have its problems. What ever happened to the deal with Lufthansa that was even announced in the media whereby LH was going to take over SR and in return SR would get a small interest in the combined Lufthansa?
 
poh2
Posts: 177
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2003 5:54 am

RE: Will Swiss Make It Through The Winter?

Tue Dec 02, 2003 8:04 am

From what I've seen on

http://www.swiss.com/web/IE6/about-swiss/sw-nw-pr-press-releases-03.htm?newsid=34200

the new Swiss in Europe concept is doing quite well. Fares are down, but loads have increased to more than compensate for the lower yields. This is according to the latest news release.

To be honest, I was a bit sceptical at first of the "Swiss in Europe" concept, but I now think it was a necessary and correct decision. Most people nowadays just want the lowest possible fare, period. This is especially true on short-haul flights.

I remain a loyal SWISS customer and I hope that they can pull this turnaround off successfully. EZYCrew, I know it's tough seeing all the negative headlines in the Swiss media, but it's especially you (as a SWISS employee) that can make a difference. Don't give up!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
"Life is too short to take everything seriously."
 
EZYcrew
Topic Author
Posts: 454
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 7:26 am

RE: Will Swiss Make It Through The Winter?

Tue Dec 02, 2003 8:04 am

DutchJet,

Swiss is LX, not SR! (I am ex-Crossair and still cannot get over it, it seems!)... I guess it's like calling KLM AF....

No offense though...
 
dutchjet
Posts: 7714
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2000 6:13 am

RE: Will Swiss Make It Through The Winter?

Tue Dec 02, 2003 8:07 am

WOOPS - sorry about that, silly (but hopefully understandable) error.
 
ssides
Posts: 3248
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2001 12:57 am

RE: Will Swiss Make It Through The Winter?

Tue Dec 02, 2003 8:18 am

I flew Swiss for the first time a few weeks ago, and while it didn't disappoint, I don't understand how they can make it with their short-haul business class product. On both of my flights, which were both on business days, there was NOT ONE PERSON in business class. Coach on my LHR-LH / LFSB), France">BSL leg was also pretty empty, but probably 80% full on the return. However, when looking at the business class seats, I kept wondering why anyone would pay the extra money to sit here. The pitch looked exactly the same, and the seats themselves just seemed to have a bit more headrest. Plus, drinks and food are complimentary. Does that justify the price difference? I sure don't think so. But here's the kicker: business class takes up HALF OF THE PLANE, at least on the A320.

I think this will need to change if Swiss will make it in the long run.

Also, they should look hard at whether Europe really needs this airline, anyway. In my opinion, Swiss and SN Brussels could probably go away and no one would really notice. BA and the new AF/KLM product could easily fill the markets they left behind, with LH and Alitalia picking up some slack. For better or for worse, with Europe integrating even further both economically and politically, I just don't think every little country needs its own airline anymore.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
poh2
Posts: 177
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2003 5:54 am

RE: Will Swiss Make It Through The Winter?

Tue Dec 02, 2003 8:30 am

SSides,

SWISS does not differentiate between its C and Y-class product any more or less than British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France, KLM, etc. I'm strictly talking about short-haul, intra-European flights.

I doubt you will find an airline that offers a true business class on intra-European flights. By this I mean special C-class seats that offer more legroom and width.

Most airlines have a system in which they can change the size of their C-class and Y-class within a few minutes simply by moving the separating wall between the two classes. This can be found on most A320 and B737 family aircraft, at least in Europe. The seats themselves, are exactly the same. Only thing I noticed is that there is a 3X2 configuration in the front few rows, and then farther back it changes to 3x3. But depending on how many C-class pax are aboard, you may sit in Y-class, but still have a C-class seat...depeding on where that movable, separating wall is.

However, I do agree with you. I too do not understand why people are willing to pay twice or three times (if not more) for a biz class ticket when the only real difference is getting free food. My guess is that most people flying biz class intra-Europe today are getting the fare paid by their companies...in which case I can understand it.

Just my 2 cents...
"Life is too short to take everything seriously."
 
dutchjet
Posts: 7714
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2000 6:13 am

RE: Will Swiss Make It Through The Winter?

Tue Dec 02, 2003 8:40 am

Dont forget that on most intra-european flights, business class is essentially a full-fare coach product.......travellers, usually businessmen and women, who do not qualify for any special or discount fare, ie, because they are not staying over a Saturday night or are going and coming on the same day, must pay a full or higher fare and therefore are given a seat in business class. Business class, as mentioned, usually offers some amenities and slightly more room, depending on the airline, and I agree its nothing special. Swiss, and most european carriers, have done away with the more traditional first class-type cabin on their smaller aircraft.
 
PiedmontGirl
Posts: 1112
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 2:39 am

RE: Will Swiss Make It Through The Winter?

Tue Dec 02, 2003 9:31 am

EZYcrew, I hope Swiss makes it. I really do. Watching airlines shut down makes me very sad. I wish you and your airline all good success.

Years ago, I flew old Swiss Air on an industry discount and was put in F/C. The flight was just immaculate and I enjoyed it tremendously.
 
kosmonaute
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2003 1:32 pm

RE: Will Swiss Make It Through The Winter?

Tue Dec 02, 2003 9:52 am

For better or for worse, with Europe integrating even further both economically and politically, I just don't think every little country needs its own airline anymore.

Isn't Switzerland trying its best to keep its distance from an integrated Europe, meaning that they don't want to become a part of it?

The last thing I think Switzerland would give up is its national airline, even letting foreign carriers invest in it to keep it afloat.
Burning airlines give you so much more.
 
Chgoan
Posts: 217
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 5:38 am

RE: Will Swiss Make It Through The Winter?

Tue Dec 02, 2003 10:07 am

PiedmontGirl,

SWISS is offering IATAN members a promotional discount on flights through end of March. I think my friend and I are going to take them up on it and go to Zurich for a few days.....its so cheap. You said you were upgraded to F/C....was that upon booking or at the gate? Any tips?  Smile
 
PiedmontGirl
Posts: 1112
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 2:39 am

RE: Will Swiss Make It Through The Winter?

Tue Dec 02, 2003 10:19 am

Chogan, it was due to a snafu. There were three seats left on the flight. One in F/C and two in coach. A married couple were trying to upgrade to F/C, but with only one seat left, it wasn't possible.

While the couple huffed and puffed, the agent checked me in and handed me a boarding pass. When I looked at the seat number, I was grateful indeed. So, I can't give you any tips. It was just pure luck and the fact that I was very nice to everyone -- that goes a long way. The other people trying to board the flight were not being nice at all -- all of them were industry travelers other than the couple who wanted to upgrade and couldn't.

 
vermeer
Posts: 433
Joined: Fri May 12, 2000 6:21 am

RE: Will Swiss Make It Through The Winter?

Tue Dec 02, 2003 10:20 am

one of the few carriers in Europe offering a different seat configuration( 2x2), more comfortable seat and more pitch is AZ.
They do truly have a great product, now if they could only be more reliable... Wink/being sarcastic
 
saab2000
Posts: 1216
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2001 6:19 pm

RE: Will Swiss Make It Through The Winter?

Tue Dec 02, 2003 10:34 am

I have been wondering the same thing - if they will make it. As some of you know I am one of the pilots who got laid off about a month ago. Since then I have been at FlightSafety in Florida working on my US licenses. I have lost track of SWISS, though I must say that I hope they survive and I can someday get my job back.

But a part of me says that they have done too little and too late. The company started with a huge gift of cash from investors and the state. But when the numbers were not there the management was slow to react. Additionally, the conflict with the pilots was very expensive and should probably have been handled differently from the very beginning. Instead, the company allowed itself to get backed into a corner and had two groups of pilots with conflicting contracts. This did not need to be the case. I am blaming neither side in this conflict, though clearly both are somewhat to blame. Cool heads and common sense could have saved us that terrible conflict. Only now is it beginning to settle down a bit, and at a huge cost both financially and emotionally to all involved.

I am not sure they will make it. Other companies in Europe are not losing money nearly as fast. They seem to have costs under control someplace where SWISS does not. The pilot contract issue was just one thing. There are other losses elsewhere as well. The problem is not really empty airplanes. During my last few months we were flying with quite high load factors, at least on my flights. I cannot really say where the money is going, but somewhere in the company the costs are clearly too high.

I think that some type of take-over/rescue by BA is possible, but with drastic changes to SWISS if that is what finally happens.
smrtrthnu
 
DALelite
Posts: 1318
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2000 7:00 am

RE: Will Swiss Make It Through The Winter?

Thu Dec 04, 2003 9:03 am

I remember an article from a Swiss Newspaper "Cash" lilkey ten years ago. It was the time when the Alcatraz thing was being discussed. The letters said:
SWISSAIR SOLD TO DELTA!!

Even though myself not a SR fan, couldn't picture that SR would be sold to
another Company.

But nowadays SR is gone, but there is Swiss and I now can see the possibility
that LX remainders is going up in BA.

I blame the Board and CEO who started LX with one foot in the grave.
A Country the size of Switzerland doesn't need daily nonstops throughout the
world. The fleet was way to big from the very beginning.
And how they bragged that LX is going to be a premium Airline.(LXEurope , do understand that they have to save money but still...) When it
came down to true facts and figures they never where embarresed to make up bad excuses.

The sheet has turned now!!!

But for the sake of all Swiss Employees I hope that there will be a change and better days will appear.
Qualitiy, Pride, Money and Fun factor will rise again.
But therefore the Board and CEO MUST be replaced!

regards DALelite
I
They loved to fly and it showed..