Crossair split from Swissair

In complicated maneuvering aimed at preserving something from the wreckage of Swiss national airline Swissair, Crossair was acquired by two Swiss banks. Credit Suisse and Union Bank of Switzerland bought Swissair’s 70 percent stake in Crossair on 1 October. The move was intended to provide Swissair with much-needed cash and to separate Crossair from Swissair’s impending bankruptcy. The idea was to then use Crossair as the core of a new Swiss national airline. The plan supercedes that announced less than two weeks before, under which Crossair’s operations would have been integrated with Swissair’s shorthaul operations. The move has proven to be extremely controversial, with critics accusing UBS and Credit Suisse of cherry-picking the most viable part of the Swissair Group, leaving other creditors in the lurch. The controversy deepened when a promised loan from UBS to Swissair did not materialize in time to prevent the carrier from suspending operations on 2 October. Crossair continued operating its own flights, and then took over several of Swissair’s schedules until a loan from the Swiss Federal Government allowed Swissair to return to the skies on 4 October. The loan will allow Swissair to keep flying until 28 October, when Crossair is scheduled to take over most of Swissair’s operations under the UBS-Credit Suisse plan.

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