Tue, Jan 28, 2003
The firm of Ernst & Young, hired to look into the collapse
of Swissair, has released its 3300-page report; and it is not
flattering to that airline's management.
Although much passenger inconvenience accompanies
any airline's shutdown, the report noted that Swissair, when it
shut down on October 2, 2001, was actually sitting on ten times as
much cash as it said it had -- and could have made the impact on
its customers quite a bit less-severe. [The numbers cited were 123
million francs actual, vs. 14 million, as-reported at the time
The AP says E&R noted the airline knew
internally, well over a year ahead of the shutdown, that it faced a
$4.5 billion Swiss Franc shortfall for the coming year. It then
embarked on an orgy of acquisitions.
Additionally, the reports say Swissair's 1999 and 2000
financials "did not present the economic and financial situation of
the SAirGroup correctly," which hints at possible criminal
quoted former Swissair CEO Philippe Bruggisser as saying, "I always
acted to the best of my knowledge and tried to do my best for the
company. I regret that things went wrong."
The government's replacement airline, Swiss International, is
struggling to break even.
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