After securing the necessary traffic rights, Deutsche Lufthansa AG will acquire all the remaining shares in Swiss International Air Lines AG. Effective 1st July 2007 Lufthansa will then own all the equity in Swiss International Air Lines AG through the Swiss-domiciled AirTrust company.
The integration of SWISS into the Lufthansa Group has been realised quicker and more successfully than expected. Synergies generated by the merger, totalling more than 200 million euros (around 300 million Swiss francs) during 2006, are far higher than initially planned. Lufthansa Chairman and CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber said: “The result underlines the added value of our partnership, it underpins the sustainability of team oriented strategy and is the reward for excellent work by the SWISS management and its dedicated staff.”
Mayrhuber emphasised: “The SWISS business model is a success. The airline is still heading for growth and progressing extremely well. Also in future, SWISS with its own brand identity will further develop its strengths and expand its locational advantage in the Swiss market. SWISS will stay SWISS – also in partnership with Lufthansa“.
Christoph Franz, SWISS CEO highlighted: “The focus in our partnership is clearly on the benefits for the customers of both airlines. As part of the Lufthansa Group and a member of Star Alliance, SWISS can offer its customers an expanded route network with more destinations and better connections, interlinked frequent flyer programmes and mutual lounge access.“ The SWISS CEO continued: “The assurances given when integration was announced have been more than honoured. After the successful completion of restructuring, our long-haul fleet is growing even more significantly than envisaged in 2005. With that growth, we are creating numerous new jobs in Switzerland and strengthening the Zurich hub.”
This successful business model also ensures that, within the framework of the Lufthansa Group´s strategy, SWISS will remain an autonomous carrier with an own business management and headquarters based in Switzerland as well as with its own crew and fleet. The development of the Zurich hub will continue alongside the hubs in Frankfurt and Munich as integral part of Lufthansa’s multi-hub strategy. In addition, the SWISS fleet will further expand thanks to the high capacity utilisation in its long-haul traffic and ongoing market growth.
Aside from the announced five additional long-haul jets, the fleet will be joined by three further aircraft of the A340-300 type in the course of next year. Two A330-200 jets in the existing fleet will be replaced. All three additional Airbus A340-300 are equipped with a three-class configuration, they seat 228 passengers: eight seats in First Class, 48 in Business and 172 seats in Economy. The new aircraft will further strengthen SWISS’s position as a quality airline, since the A330s scheduled for replacement operated only in a two-class configuration. Christoph Franz emphasised: “We are raising the quality of our services by further investing in our fleet“.
Both Wolfgang Mayrhuber and Christoph Franz concluded: “All parties benefit from the successful partnership: Our customers from better services, the Swiss location from a growing network and our staff as well as shareholders from more promising perspectives“.
Lufthansa and SWISS – the figures
With the integration of SWISS, the Lufthansa Group will further expand its position as a leading international company. Last year, 53.4 million passengers flew with Lufthansa to 185 destinations. SWISS carried 10.5 million passengers to its current 70 destinations. Lufthansa operates a fleet of 430 aircraft, while the Swiss group currently operates services with 73 aircraft. The Lufthansa Group employs in total 101,000 people worldwide originating from 165 nations.