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Swiss Close To Frequent Flyer Deal With BA

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

27 August 2002


Switzerland’s national airline, Swiss, which wants to join the Oneworld global alliance led by British Airways and American Airlines says it is close to agreement with BA on a joint frequent flyer programme.

“We have been in discussions with British Airways about a frequent flyer programme and we have more or less agreed on the terms,” said a spokesman.

Full membership of the alliance is seen as crucial to the financial success of Swiss, the airline formed from the rubble of Swissair and its regional subsidiary, Crossair. Swiss carried 5.2 million passengers in the first half of this year at an average seat-occupancy rate of 66.1 per cent - not high enough for long-term profitability.

Swiss already cooperates closely with American Airlines through code sharing and reciprocal membership of frequent flyer programmes. BA has been reluctant to match American's treatment of Swiss, which it sees as a competitor on key transatlantic routes.

The spokesman said talks were still continuing over Swiss’s membership of Oneworld, but he said the agreement with BA was a good sign. Other partners in the Oneworld alliance include Aer Lingus, Iberia, Cathay Pacific and Qantas.

Swiss has been facing major staff problems as it has tried to reconcile vastly different pay scales among staff inherited from Swissair and Crossair.


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