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SWISS and Lufthansa mark five years of collaboration

24th March 2010 Print

It was five years ago this month that SWISS and Lufthansa embarked on what has proved to be a highly successful airline and business collaboration.

In March 2005, the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG and the Board of Directors of Swiss International Air Lines Ltd. approved the business model for Lufthansa’s acquisition of SWISS that had been jointly drawn up by the partners’ managements. And on 22 March 2005, the top executive bodies of both companies put their signatures to the formal agreement on SWISS’s integration into the Lufthansa Group.

Speaking on the occasion of the agreement’s five-year anniversary, Wolfgang Mayrhuber, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said: “SWISS’s business success is extremely encouraging, and is a great achievement by everybody involved. We should all be pleased, because there are only winners here, inside and outside the company. SWISS’s management and personnel have made the most of the opportunities our collaboration has offered. And, in doing so, they have not only brought their company back to sound corporate health; they have also helped Switzerland to retain its appeal as a place to do business, and restored SWISS’s position as a quality-minded ambassador of the country and its values.”

“SWISS has also made a major contribution to ensuring that the Lufthansa Group continues to maintain a stable and successful position worldwide in a volatile competitive environment,” Mayrhuber continues. “These efforts have been helped by synergies which, at some EUR 200 million a year, have exceeded our expectations. It is a true success story. And the company and group concept that we have developed, and the form of collaboration that Lufthansa and SWISS have forged, have become a model for others to follow.”

Harry Hohmeister, SWISS Chief Executive Officer, adds: “We can safely say today that SWISS is SWISS. And we will continue to work to ensure that it remains so. It is a lot easier to face a harsh headwind with the backing of a strong parent company. Our integration into the Lufthansa Group has delivered tangible benefits for everyone concerned both within and outside our company, and above all for our customers.”

“With Lufthansa and SWISS we laid the foundation for the Lufthansa Airline Group,” Mayrhuber continues. “Our grouping has grown steadily since; and today, in addition to Lufthansa and SWISS, it also includes Austrian Airlines, bmi and Brussels Airlines. This collaboration of globally-reputed air carriers with their specific market segments, the strongest of commitments to quality and customer service and their own separate identities has proved a successful and an efficient business and industry model. And it’s one that provides particular benefits for our customers, through the greater choice it offers with more destinations, more connections and interlinked frequent flyer programmes. For our employees and our shareholders, our strong airline group offers a basis for better prospects and perspectives; and for Europe it reduces the risk of becoming dependent on third parties in the mobility options we offer.”

Following its successful turnaround, SWISS has increased its passenger volumes by 50% and created over a thousand new jobs in the last five years.