The support provided to SWISS/Edelweiss (Swiss Airlines) during the COVID-19 pandemic has paid off. With the early repayment of the credit at the end of May 2022 and the subsequent early termination of the contracts, the Confederation can end the surety without a loss.
The COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted the aviation industry, which is an economically critical infrastructure. In particular, Switzerland’s international links are essential for the country as a business location. Therefore, the Federal Council decided in spring 2020 to provide support in the form of sureties to the airlines SWISS and Edelweiss to bridge liquidity shortfalls. The banks granted SWISS and Edelweiss a credit line of up to CHF 1.5 billion with a term of five to seven years. The Confederation guaranteed 85% of the default risk, i.e. a maximum of CHF 1.275 billion.
SWISS/Edelweiss repaid the credit in full and ahead of schedule at the end of May 2022. The contracts were definitively terminated on 7 June 2022. Accordingly, SWISS and Edelweiss no longer have any credit lines guaranteed by the Confederation. The termination of the contracts also means that the location policy conditions monitored by the Aviation Foundation no longer apply.
Finance Minister Ueli Maurer is grateful to SWISS for the constructive cooperation. In his view, the good relations with SWISS and the mutual trust have paid off. The Confederation is delighted that SWISS has already repaid the credit. The support provided to SWISS resulted in no loss for the Confederation, which received interest and fee revenue totalling around CHF 50 million as compensation for the risk taken with the surety.