The Swiss government has announced a multi-billion dollar financial plan to ensure the country continues to have a national airline following the collapse of Swissair. Swiss government and industry funds totaling more than $2.5 billion will help restructure the airline.
The air traffic chaos following September's terrorist attacks in the United States brought an end to Swissair, which had been struggling financially for many months.
The Swiss government has again intervened to ensure that the country has a national airline after the collapse of the former flagship carrier, Swissair.
It announced a plan involving the takeover of most of Swissair's flights by Swiss-based European regional carrier Crossair, turning Crossair into Switzerland's leading international airline.
Crossair needs money to be able to expand and absorb some of Swissair's assets and staff. Between 9,000-27,000 jobs in the Swissair group are expected to be lost when Crossair takes over on Sunday.
Swiss President Moritz Leuenberger says the government will provide over $600 million in a bridging loan to assure a scaled-down schedule of international flights until next March, while the restructuring of the airline takes place.
The Swiss government will also invest $375 million in the new airline company headed by Crossair.
Local and regional governments have already provided more than $200 million worth of financial aid. Major Swiss banks and industry are expected to pledge their assistance as well.
Swissair had been forced to ground its entire fleet for two days earlier this month, because it had no money to pay fuel and landing expenses. This compelled the Swiss government to help keep the airline flying until the profitable Crossair takes over.