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National airline rethinks plan to pull out of Geneva

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National airline rethinks plan to pull out of Geneva
Swiss planes will still fly out of Geneva airport. Photo: Geneva International Airport
11:37 CET+01:00
The airline Swiss is to continue operating flights out of Geneva’s Cointrin airport in an apparent about-turn by mother concern Lufthansa.

According to newspaper reports, Swiss has abandoned plans to pull out in favour of low-cost subsidiary Eurowings.

The news reported last August had caused consternation in the French part of Switzerland.

Pierre Maudet, a member of the Geneva cantonal and city government, who had called the reported departure of Swiss “shameful” and “a strategic error”, welcomed the airline’s change of heart.

Lorenzo Stoll, the airline’s head of western Switzerland, told Swiss radio romande that while Swiss would retain a base at Cointrin drastic measures were required to ensure a return to profit.

A new fleet of Bombardier C series aircraft from spring 2017 was central to the cost-cutting plans, Stoll said.

In addition there would be a small reduction in the number of destinations served balanced by an increase in the number of flights.

Stoll said he was “confident” Swiss would be able to reach its goal of profitability by the end of 2018.

A spokesperson for the airline said there were no plans to make substantial changes to the number of staff, aircraft or destinations.

Swiss currently employs 230 people at Cointrin.

Eurowings has also denied plans to set up a base at Geneva airport, according to the reports, quashing suggestions of a low-cost competitor to easyJet, which currently controls 40 percent of the market.

 

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