Emerging from pandemic, SWISS ends state-backed loan early
Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) has ended a state-backed loan from Switzerland ahead of time, saying that its financial situation is now more stable.
Like many airlines, SWISS turned to the government for help to keep it afloat while travel was restricted, and planes were grounded during the COVID-19 pandemic. But now travel restrictions have eased and it can sell more tickets, the airline, part of Lufthansa Group, is once again able to get financing on the capital markets.
The carrier said on June 9, 2022, that it terminated the bank loan facility guaranteed by the Swiss Confederation at the end of May 2022. It noted that it never took more than half of the total amount available under the loan, which could have run until 2025, and said it has paid a total of CHF 60 million ($61.4 million) in fees and interest.
“We are very grateful to the Swiss Confederation that, together with the banks, it provided SWISS and Edelweiss with the liquidity they needed during the COVID pandemic,” commented Dieter Vranckx, chief executive officer of SWISS, in a press release.
During the crisis, SWISS shrank its fleet by 15% and cut 1,700 jobs.
The airline’s chief financial officer Markus Binkert said the cuts were paying off. “After incurring cumulative losses of more than CHF 1 billion ($1.02 billion) in the past two years, we have now been able to return SWISS to financial stability, and generated a positive cash flow in the first quarter of this year.”
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