Swiss World Airways (SWA) suspended operations on 2 December after suffering consistently poor load factors on its single route between Geneva and New York Newark.

The airline has informed the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Aviation (OFAC) that it is seeking Chapter 11-style bankruptcy protection through the courts and that it hopes to restart flights at some point in the future. "On request from the company, we have suspended their operating permit and their obligation to operate scheduled flights," says the OFAC.

The airline, which had been operating a single Boeing 767-200ER, recently concluded a deal to lease an Air Holland 757-200 and planned to introduce four 737-700s on transatlantic routes from next year. SWA, set up after flag carrier Swissair decided to move most of its Geneva-based long-haul flights to its main hub at Zurich, launched its inaugural Newark service in September.

Despite suffering load factors as low as 30% during its first few weeks of operations, the airline recently insisted that it was on course to reach break-even by its first anniversary. SWA was unavailable for comment.

Source: Flight International