In an article published in Handelszeitung, it is being suggested that Swiss is having internal conversations regarding the potential splitting of Swiss into two separate carriers as part of improving operating results. One would be focused on long-haul flights while the other would be focused on short haul routes. It was also suggested that the short haul carrier may be based outside of Switzerland. A spokesperson for Swiss suggested that there are no immediate plans for such a move.
The article also referenced an internal document that referred to the two different carriers as “Calvin” and “Zwingli” and also cited that there are other scenarios being discussed. Why Calvin and Zwingli? Click Here.
Currently Swiss does have a European subsidiary that operates certain European routes, but Swiss International also operates certain European flights in addition to their long haul flights. This plan may be designed to formally create a dedicated airline that will serve only and all of Swiss’ European destinations.
No doubt the driving factor behind finding operating efficiencies is Lufthansa’s focus on its SCORE program where it aims to reduce operating expenses by €1.4 billion by 2015. Swiss has committed to finding at least €84 million as part of their contribution to the SCORE initiative.
This is not the first time that The Lufthansa Group has considered the idea of having a separate low cost carrier (LCC). In April, Lufthansa had suggested that it is considering creating an LCC that is referred to internally as “Direct 4 You” that would focus on Intra-European routes and compete directly against Ryanair, Easyjet and other European LCC’s.