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Crossair Board Meets To Settle Financing Plan

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

20 December 2001


The newly appointed Crossair board met yesterday for the first time to discuss its plan to transform the regional carrier into Switzerland’s national carrier after the collapse of the Swissair Group. Two weeks ago the entire Crossair board resigned including Moritz Suter, who founded Crossair and commanded wide support among the staff and customers of the airline, the largest regional carrier in Europe. Only two members of the old board were reappointed to the new one, which is led by Pieter Bouw, a former chief executive of KLM, the Dutch flag carrier.

The board was due to review its business plan and discuss the size of its future operating fleet; Crossair is due to complete the takeover of 26 short-haul and 26 long-haul routes from Swissair next spring. Some have doubted whether the former regional airline can make such a major transition, but the rescue plan was given a boost on Tuesday, when Crossair said it had raised SFr2.2 billion ($1.35 billion) in a new share issue aimed at increasing its capital base.

The number of shares subscribed to date exceeds the minimum required for Crossair to operate the 52 Swissair routes. “We consider this as an expression of confidence,” said Crossair’s chief financial officer, Thomas Hofmann. Now the company is waiting for cantonal governments to agree their investment of just over SFr400 million, particularly Zurich, whose voters will have their say on the issue in January.


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