The Swiss airline returned to profit in the first half, after two years of losses following the coronavirus pandemic.
The company is now aiming to return to operational profitability for the whole of 2022, despite macroeconomic uncertainties and soaring oil prices.
“The positive commercial trend already initiated during the first months of the year was further strengthened in the second quarter,” explained the subsidiary of the German group Lufthansa on Thursday in a press release.
The national carrier took advantage of strong booking demand and restructuring efforts to improve its financial performance. The surge in prices for kerosene, a consequence of the rise in oil prices, was partially offset by an increase in the price of plane tickets. Freight also made it possible to go up the slope in terms of results.
“Thanks to the strong renewed interest in air travel, the increase in ticket prices and the improvement in cost structures, our cash position has developed positively in recent months”, underlined Chief Financial Officer Markus Binkert. .
Over the first six months of the year, Swiss posted a positive operating result of 67 million francs, after an operating loss of 398.2 million a year earlier. Turnover more than doubled to 1.8 billion francs and the number of passengers carried was multiplied by more than five to 5.3 million.
Lufthansa, parent company of Swiss, made a net profit of 259 million euros (253.1 million francs) in the second quarter, its first net profit since the Covid-19 pandemic. The leading European air transport group forecasts an operating result of at least 500 million euros for this year.
Like the entire aviation sector, the Swiss airline had been severely affected by the health restrictions decreed to fight the coronavirus pandemic. In 2020, it had recorded an operating loss of 654 million francs and in 2021 a negative result of 427.7 million.
In 2019, before the outbreak of the pandemic, the company had still recorded an operating profit of 578 million francs.
The Confederation had flown to the rescue of the company in 2020, granting a guaranteed loan of a maximum of 1.5 billion francs. Swiss, which only used half of this amount, indicated in June that it had repaid this credit three years before its maturity.
800 planned hires
Thanks to the recovery in global air traffic and restructuring measures, Swiss expects a return to profitability for the whole of the 2022 financial year, without further details.
The company cut a total of some 1,700 full-time positions and reduced its fleet by around 15%. The abrupt resumption of air transport has, however, put Swiss, like other airlines, to the test. Some 676 flights were canceled between August and October, or 2% of the flight schedule.
For Dieter Vranckx, managing director of Swiss, the return to financial health allows the company to reinvest “in improving customer service and in (its) own staff, and therefore to reduce the measures of crisis”.
“We are working at full speed on recruitment and training”, with the airline aiming to hire some 800 cabin crew members by mid-2023, she told AWP. .
Since April, more than half of the cabin crew based in Zurich and Geneva who had to leave the company as part of the restructuring, are in the process of returning to their employer.
This article has been published automatically. Source: ats/awp
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