View Full Version : Sair Group : poor management ?

20th Apr 2001, 16:34
I am an outsider but i have the impression that Sair possesses a very poor management.
The Sair group suffered its worst losses in 70 years of operation.
At the same time most airlines of the world make operating profits.
Subsidiaries like the French AOM and Air Liberte Personel went on strike. The Belgian Sabena group subsidiary is also almost bankrupt.
Since i fly regularly Swissair i know the professionalism of their crew so i would not put the blame on them.
Could someone enligthen me ?

20th Apr 2001, 16:57
Yes indeed, poor planning on their part. Suspect that SR was feeling a bit "left out"
and decided to acquire a stake in other aircarriers, but certainly selected the wrong ones. A very simple due diligence would have revealed the massive ammounts of red ink at Sabena. It is a shame because SR flight operations are top notch.

20th Apr 2001, 17:42

As you have noticed correctly, the crews are not to blame. They are the ones keeping up the good reputation.

And now they are the first who have to pay for managements mistakes!!!

The first action was asking the pilots to give away 5% of their sallaries.....

20th Apr 2001, 21:18
euuuh Charly, sure don't want to disappoint you, but the truth is slightly different:
The SAir Group (will be called Swissair Group soon) having to work some changes and eventual shavings in sight, said pilots were slightly worried. So, in prevision of the coming storm, they braced, and offered to Mr. Dr. Corti (the new big boss) to drop 5% of their wages in exchange for an extension of their present CLA of 5 years. This garantees (amongst some other things...) a mimimum amount of pilots, therefore preventing any layoff, should the ride go through even more severe wx...

... cut my wings and I'll die ...

F/O Junior
21st Apr 2001, 14:23
fly4fud is correct.
Salaries from pilots, working longer than 5 years are reduced by 5%. (This to protect the younger ones.) Management wasn't only poor, it was disastrous. They 'managed' to lose 3.0 billion SFr. (~1.75 bil US$) within a year. The acquired companies in France cost us 80 Mio. SFr. per month.

21st Apr 2001, 20:18
"Poor management" is the title of the thread. Well poor they surely ain't. The local press, and therefore it must be 100% correct, states that the immediate ex-Cheermin of the Bored of Dewreckters wants to collect his "golden parachute" for CHF 5 million/USD 3m. That is responsibilty for you. Wish I could be that poor for making such a cock up! :)

His future of Sair Group will be decided next Wednesday at the AGM when the banks, most of whose high and mighty sat previously on the Bored, will hopefully recapitalise the company so those old dewreckters can be paid out in full. Is this a system/cheese full of holes? http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/eek.gif

Emmentaler actually, and everyone knows what the holes in a swiss cheese are filled with....swiss air....!

Thank goodness, when the heat goes on, a fondue is not usually made with Emmentaler! :rolleyes:

22nd Apr 2001, 03:55
All "front-staff" of Swissair, Balair and Crossair are doing a great job to keep the bird flying. It is a shame to see how all the early earnings have been pumped from the "management" (did they really manage things or just screwed the whole thing up ?)into some other european crab airlines. All the productivity increase by the "front-staff") did not pay off and now the "management" will be asking for a next increase. But how ?

The salary question of the Swissair and Balair drivers is a never ending story within the swiss public media. They earned and still earn very good money and have an excellent pension fund when leaving the company with 57 or so. Have no problem with that but come on.... 5% reduction on a top salary of roughly 300'000 swiss francs a year is just 15'000 a year. So where is the beef in this move ?
Swissair-drivers as mother Theresa for the new Swissair Group ?
Congratulations to the Aeropers guys, this package is an extremely rational calculated strategic move for job security.
But if the future operating costs have to be further lowered in the airline-segment, I would not bet that this will be the end of the never ending salary-story.


You splitter
22nd Apr 2001, 18:40
As I understand it actuall airlines make up only a percentage of the Sair groups interest. And yes they are loosing money. However I believe the other pie's they have their fingers in make a tidy profit for the group.

And as I fly with SR often I would also like to say that yes the guys in the air and on the ground who are on the front line do an excellent job!

dallas dude
22nd Apr 2001, 19:53
It's all well and good to point fingers at the "drain" on revenue caused by AOM, Sabena, Littoral, etc. etc. but it's the shell game that SR group plays that really should cause concern.

When they purchased stakes in these foreign airlines these acquisitions were suddenly required to be serviced by SR group owned operations. Swissport, STech, Gate Gourmet etc. Consequently, their operations costs skyrocketed.

If you were an SR Group executive, would you want to pay tax to the French/Belgian Government on real earnings or would you bleed the money over into your Swiss owned companies (answers on a postcard to the usual address). Good luck "finding" the money in the Swiss banking system.

SR is just moving the money from the right pocket to the left.

Aeropers and CCP need to hold the line and not offer (mis)-management the excuses they hope everyone else will buy!

Folks, you're worth EVERY SFranc you make.


22nd Apr 2001, 21:10
Before Swissair decided to buy AOM and Air Liberte (among other things) in order to create the second biggest french airline, one of the smart guys of the company told the Board that it would never work and that it would be a huge waste of money. Apparently that was not what the Board wanted to hear... The guy was fired !!!!

Guess who's laughing now !

22nd Apr 2001, 23:27
Well, according to "Le Matin Dimanche" (a Swiss paper), today, Philippe Brugisser was swept off his feet when the AOM president invited him to dinner with Jacques Chirac two months before the deal was signed. Furthermore, a "portage" system was allegedly used so that Sair Group could control 100% of AOM shares while technically limited to 49% by EU law. Allegedly, the AOM president will have to be paid something like 450 million SFr. to deal with this, if I understood correctly.

The greatest current mystery is: What is the Swissair strategy? This is quite different from the Sair Group strategy, which has clearly failed. I feel that the Swissiar strategy and mission has disappeared while all this has been going on.

What is the mission of Swissair? Is it to become the Europe or the world's largest airline? Hardly. Is it to be Switzerland's largest airline? Been there. So what is it then? I can find no indication on the website, or by talking to Swissair crews. Perhaps it should return to a mission of somehting like "To be the most admired airline in the world." If so, none of the current weird alliances are needed. Only the first class service is up to the industry average today. Business is below par on the MD-11s, and about average on the A330s and within Europe. Economy is well below the average. (Mind you, the latest European downgrading of economy by BA lowers the standard considerably.)

Jeffrey Katz essentially wanted to move Swissair to an American business model, and failed. At the moment, Swissair is a pale shadow of what it was 10 years ago. Read my lips for the following - in all industries, appointment of the CEO from outside the company has always failed, with the possible single exception of IBM, which will fail soon.

Ideas on what the current Swissair mission and strategy are?


23rd Apr 2001, 13:02
Let's wait for wednesday 25th: general assembly of SAir Group shareholders. Plenty of questions to be answered. Sure's going to be an interesting round...

As for my humble view, SR's strategy is to come back to a "certain" level of quality and make oneself attractive enough to join one of the big clubs.

... cut my wings and I'll die ...