In an effort to cut costs by SFr1.6 billion ($1.2 billion), Swiss is reducing its fleet by 34 aircraft, its workforce by 3,000 people, and its flying by 35%. The drastic survival measures were outlined in a new business plan that features a low-fares element of Swiss' European service. Although it is moving towards a no-frills operation for its short-haul flying, Swiss will retain a business-class section on these routes.

Overall, its short-haul jet fleet of 24 Airbus A320 family aircraft will fall to 21; while its regional fleet will be reduced from 67 to 35 aircraft. Swiss will maintain a full three-class service on its long-haul aircraft. However, its fleet of 25 Boeing MD-11s and Airbus A330s will be reduced by seven. Analysts have previously said that Swiss needs to cut its long-haul fleet by at least 50%.

Swiss has entered talks with its unions on the job cuts, which will involve 700 cockpit posts, 850 cabin jobs, and up to 1,500 ground-based positions. The network changes will come into effect from the start of the winter 2003 schedule.


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Source: Airline Business