Swiss Airlines will downsize to meet the post-COVID future, slashing the size of its Airbus fleet by 15 jets across both short-range and long-range international routes.
The flag-carrier says it will reduce its fleet "by 15 per cent from its 2019 size as planned in response to the decline in demand."
That cull will be broken down into five Airbus A330 or A340 jets currently flown by Swiss and a further ten from its regional arm Helvetic Airways, which together represent more than 90 jets.
"Which five Airbus long-haul aircraft (A330s or A340s) and which ten short-haul aircraft will be withdrawn to this end is yet to be decided," the airline confirmed in a statement.
"On the short- and medium-haul fleet front, the reduction in the number of Helvetic Airways aircraft operated on SWISS’s behalf will be proportionately higher than the number of SWISS’s own aircraft withdrawn."
Swiss will also redraw its extensive international network, with the Star Alliance member "considering modifications to its route portfolio, reductions in frequencies and a delayed resumption of services to some long-haul destinations."
"In the future SWISS will be smaller. But it will also be more focused, more digital, more efficient and more sustainable," stated Swiss CEO Dieter Vranckx.
"The transformation planned will be conducted over the next three years through our ‘reach’ strategic programme, with which we aim to realign our company to the changed market situation and achieve sustainable cost savings of some CHF 500 million (US$556 million)."
The airline said that deep "structural changes" to its market, coupled with "a lasting 20% decline in customer demand in the medium term", also required the loss of 550 jobs to right-size the airline for the leaner years ahead.
Swiss expects that come high summer 2021, capacity is likely to be at around 50-55% of 2019 levels, while barely reaching 40% for the whole of 2021.