Wednesday 31.12.2003, CET 16:52
In a damning indictment, a report by Ernst & Young says management incompetence and a lack of aviation experience brought down Switzerlandï¿½s national airline.
The grounding of the Swissair fleet on October 2, 2001, could have been avoided had the management kept a proper grip on the carrierï¿½s finances.
"Swissair's annual statements did not fairly present the economic situation."
Swissair investigation ordered
SAirGroup creditors told to wait
Ernst & Young's Ancillo Canepa was highly critical of the situation in general.
"When such huge amounts [of money] are involved, you rarely see such a debacle," he told swissinfo.
Few Swiss will forget the national humiliation felt on October 2 and 3, 2001, when pictures of thousands of stranded Swissair passengers were beamed around the world.
Airline bosses blamed the fallout from September 11 for pushing Swissair over the edge. But an Ernst & Young inquiry into the debacle ï¿½ made public on Friday ï¿½ maintains that the cash was there to keep the airline flying, at least temporarily.
The report contradicts the version of the bankrupt SAirGroup ï¿½Swissairï¿½s parent company ï¿½ which blamed the grounding on a lack of liquidity, saying it only had SFr14.5 million ($10.6 million) in its coffers.
Ernst & Young says Swissair actually had a total of SFr50 million at its disposal on the morning of October 2. It adds that a further SFr73 million could have been tapped had it not been for ï¿½administrative inadequaciesï¿½.
quote:I don't know why these articles don't mention that this same incompetence and the lack of aviation experience of swissair's management led to a horrific crash which IMHO is a far greater embarrassment to this lousy airline.
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