Crossair, Europe’s largest regional airline, spreads its wings next month when it formally takes over Swissair routes following the national carrier’s bankruptcy last year. The airline, to be known as Swiss, will fly to 123 destinations in 60 countries with a fleet of 128 aircraft. But André Dosé, the airline’s president and CEO, insisted that the regional roots of Crossair would form the foundation of Switzerland’s new national carrier.
The Swiss federal court last month acquitted Crossair chairman Moritz Suter, CEO André Dosé and four other former airline employees of homicide by neglect in connection with the crash of an Avro RJ100 during approach to Zurich Airport on Nov. 24, 2001. The trial began on May 5 at Bellinzona in southern Switzerland. The “not guilty” verdict was read May 16, much earlier than expected.
French authorities on December 13 acted on a court order to seize one of Crossair’s Embraer ERJ-145s at Nice Côte d’Azur Airport at the behest of Air Lib, the French airline formed through the consolidation of former Swissair subsidiaries Air Liberté and AOM.
In his opening speech at Crossair’s December 6 extraordinary shareholders assembly in Basel, Switzerland, Crossair founder and outgoing chairman Moritz Suter expressed regret over the new shareholders’ decision to oust him and six other members of the board, but resigned “to ensure a smooth transition and secure a good start” for the reconstituted Crossair intercontinental airline.
Switzerland’s Crossair suffered its second fatal accident in less than two years on November 24, when one of the regional airline’s Avro RJ100s crashed into a wooded area on approach to Zurich Airport, killing 24 of the 33 on board. Flight LX3597, en route from Berlin, went down during a snow shower shortly after 10 p.m., some two miles short of Zurich’s 8,200-ft Runway 28.
The future of the SAirGroup’s troubled French regional airline subsidiaries hung in the balance as the Swiss airline conglomerate awaited a decision from the commercial court responsible for examining offers for Air Liberté/AOM.
For the upcoming European football championship, jointly hosted by Switzerland and Austria, the Zurich police department has decided to supplement its crowd control systems using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) supplied and operated by the Swiss air force as observation platforms. Light drones are cheaper to fly than manned aircraft and will free helicopters for other tasks such as carrying personnel.
Marc Dufour, president of French independent regional airline Air Littoral, finds the prospects “encouraging” for this year–a bold statement coming just months after the collapse of Swissair, its former owner.
Switzerland’s Federal Office of Civil Aviation ordered 34 Swiss Air Lines pilots grounded after three of the airline’s flying instructors “failed to fulfill all their formal requirements for their duties.” According to Swiss, it voluntarily agreed to pull the Embraer ERJ-145 pilots from duty, but it called the incident a matter of formality, attributing the violation to a documentation oversight in the instructors’ records.
A Swiss federal prosecutor confirmed today that he will indict Moritz Suter, André Dosé and four former employees with management functions of the defunct regional airline Crossair for homicide by neglect in connection with the crash of an Avro RJ100 during approach on Zurich Airport on Nov. 24, 2001. The prosecutor announced plans to bring charges last November, but he identified the suspects only by their initials.