By David Ingham
Results for the airline's first half year of existence ‘exceed initial expectations by one third’, it says.
Swiss, the airline rescued from the ruins of Swissair, reported that sales for its first half year of existence were well above target at CHF 1754 million (CHF 1 = US $0.6627.) The airline had set itself a revenue goal of CHF 1209 million. Although it also reported a loss of CHF 447m for the period, the airline put a positive spin on things. “We are certainly on track, delivering a new, improved carrier synonymous with Swiss’s quality values,” said Felix Rodel, area manager for the Arabian Gulf, Swiss. “Our seat load factors have increased globally, as well as in this region. Thanks to strict expenditure monitoring, costs have not increased out of due proportion, despite the rapid growth of the company as a whole.”For 2003, Swiss says it will introduce a number of new product enhancements, such as improved economy seats with more recline and lie-flat beds in business class. Swiss currently operates 31 weekly flights from the Middle East, including daily flights from Dubai; three weekly flights from Riyadh, Muscat and Abu Dhabi; and two weekly flights from Jeddah.Rodel says that Swiss will continue to upgrade its fleet of 128 planes. The process will start with the introduction of the first of 13 new Airbus A340-300 aircrafts in June 2003 and will be complete by August 2004. “This will offer passengers on our longest flights the highest standards of comfort when travelling,” says Rodel. “The new aircraft will carry 228 passengers – 8 in first, 48 in business and 172 in economy.”