New name and new strategy: Watts

Watts ... great day for Swiss aviation.

The new inter-continental airline for Switzerland has announced that it will fly under the trademark, Swiss, once it is launched with the introduction of the summer timetable on March 31 this year.

Speaking at a media briefing in Dubai, Chris Watts, vice president global external affairs for Crossair, said: "This is a great day for Swiss aviation and we are very excited about the new name and new brand strategy, which will come into effect 1 April this year.

"With a proposed total fleet of 128 planes operating to 122 destinations in 60 countries including eight destinations in six Middle East countries, I believe that Swiss will be a strong inter-continental airlines of the future," he said.

Swiss will continue to operate a total of 31 weekly flights from the region including daily flights from Dubai, six weekly flights from Cairo, four weekly flights from Karachi, three weekly flights from Riyadh, Muscat, Tehran and Abu Dhabi and two weekly flights from Jeddah.

Speaking at a press conference in Basel, Andre Dose, chief executive officer of Crossair and of the new airline, said that there were two decisive factors in the choice of name.

"The new airline is a unique instance in Swiss post-war history of a collective alliance between politicians, industry and the people of Switzerland," he said.

"It will be the qualities, which have made our country great, on which we are banking in the building up of our new airline."

The registered company name of Swiss will be Swiss Air Lines Ltd for legal reasons, the change from Crossair can not be made until October and the start of the winter timetable 2002, as it is waiting authorisation from the next general assembly of shareholders.