Swiss International Airlines is hopeful that its latest round of restructuring, which will see it scale back Basle operations and remove 13 regional aircraft, will enable it recover enough financial strength to eventually go ahead with its order for 15 Embraer 195s.
The Swiss flag carrier is to focus regional services at Zurich, close its French subsidiary Europe Continental Airways and cut over a quarter of its regional aircraft fleet.
The changes are part of a SFr300 million ($253 million) cost-cutting drive aimed at returning the Swiss to profit. Swiss insists that "once back in the black" the deferred 195 order is back on. "The order is still pending, but we have no delivery date to communicate."
A decision on which of its 39 regional jets and turboprops will be retired will be taken after the future of operations from Basle-Mulhouse airport becomes clear. Swiss hopes to sell its Basle operations, possibly including aircraft.
Next year it will transfer a "large number" of its Basle-originating services to partner airlines, establishing codeshare deals on affected services.
Source: Flight International