Crossair has secured access to SFr500 million ($305 million) credit from Swiss banks as it seeks to salvage what it can from struggling Swissair. The funding comes as details of the Phoenix Plus financing plan were due to be finalised on 22 October - at which time the SFr450 million government credit to Swissair was likely to run out.

Credit Suisse and UBS have agreed to provide the cash in a series of SFr100 million tranches while Crossair seeks to gain approval for Phoenix Plus. The initial SFr100 million, which has been approved by the Crossair board, is immediately available, to be followed by a further SFr100 million when the new business plan has been approved by the board and banks. Additional tranches would be available according to later stages of the business plan.

The plan envisages Crossair taking over 26 Swissair short-haul aircraft types by the start of the winter schedule and 26 long-haul aircraft by next March, says Basel-based Crossair.

If Phoenix Plus, which is being closely examined at the highest levels of the Swiss Bundesrat federal government, is approved, it is likely that Crossair would acquire up to 13 ex-Swissair BoeingMD-11s, 13 Airbus A330s, 20 A320s and six A321s. An alternative scenario would see Crossair taking on just 15 long-haul and 26 medium-haul aircraft.

Crossair is stressing, however, that implementation is only possible if there is "a sound financial basis" to integrating Swissair, which is likely to cost aroundSFr4 billion.

Several Swiss businesses have expressed funding support for a new Swissair. The major itself is continuing to operate under a moratorium of debt situation protecting it from creditors for now.

Source: Flight International