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HEALTH

Swiss airlines pays out executive bonuses despite coronavirus pandemic

Swiss has paid out manager bonuses in October, despite the company undergoing significant losses and requiring public funding due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Swiss airlines pays out executive bonuses despite coronavirus pandemic
Photo: MICHAEL BUHOLZER / AFP

The bonuses, based on figures from 2019 and due to be paid out in October, were paid out to members of the company’s executive board. 

The payments are being made much later than expected due to the airline suffering liquidity problems, with the requisite cash only now being made available. 

Swiss, along with parent company Lufthansa, have experienced significant losses since the start of the pandemic and have received a number of public bailouts. 

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According to a request from the Tamedia news organisation, these are to be the last bonus payments currently due

Swiss told Tamedia that the payments were not strictly bonuses, but were instead “part of a variable wage component that is a fixed and binding part of the employment contract… due when certain key figures are exceeded.”

Results for 2019 were “very good” a spokesperson told Tamedia. 

Outgoing Swiss boss Thomas Klühr was the only member of management to waive his right to the bonus, saying that he would be unable to make up the losses for the company was he was leaving at the end of 2020. 

Klühr, along with the remainder of the company’s executives, waived up to 20 percent of their wages for six months in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, Watson reports. 

 

Member comments

  1. Executives make more than enough money,they could have let go of their bonuses this year. This practice has to change or be prepared face serious anger and social unrest in the society.

  2. The fact that any of the public funding went into the pockets of executives is a complete joke to be honest. How can this even be allowed?

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TAXES

Masks, tests and jabs: Can I deduct Covid-related costs from my taxes in Switzerland?

Switzerland’s tax deadline is just around the corner. Are Covid-related costs tax deductible?

Masks, tests and jabs: Can I deduct Covid-related costs from my taxes in Switzerland?

March 31st is the deadline for filing taxes in Switzerland relating to the 2021 financial year. 

Over the past two years, the Covid pandemic has seen a change in our spending habits. 

While we may have saved on restaurants and travel, we laid out considerable costs on a range of new expenses, including disinfectant, masks and Covid tests. 

As some of these costs are required by law, can they be deducted from your tax?

In some cases, expenses directly related to the Covid pandemic can be deducted. 

Masks, for instance, can be deducted as medical expenses in some cantons, Swiss tax specialist Markus Stoll told 20 Minutes

This depends on the specific framework for tax deductions related to medical expenses in that canton. 

EXPLAINED: What can I deduct from my tax bill in Switzerland?

Generally speaking, any medical costs paid out of pocket can be deducted. However, most cantons impose a minimum percentage limit from which these costs can be deducted. 

In many cantons, this will start at five percent of your yearly income in total (i.e. including other out-of-pocket costs like dental or specialist visits), meaning you would need to purchase a significant amount of masks to beat the threshold. 

What about testing and vaccination?

Testing and vaccinations however were largely free as their costs were covered by the Swiss government, which means associated expenses cannot be deducted. 

Those tests which were not covered by the government – for instance for travel abroad or for visiting clubs – cannot be deducted, Stoll says. 

“Tests for travel abroad or to visit clubs are not deductible” Stoll said. 

For a complete overview of taxation in Switzerland, including several specific guides, please check out our tax-specific page here. 

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