Swiss airline to expand with 750-mln-euro investment: report

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Switzerland's leading airline will receive 750 million euros worth of new aircraft as part of a broader expansion plan by its parent company Lufthansa, the newspaper NZZ reported on Sunday.

"The nine new planes represent an investment of one billion (Swiss) francs," the equivalent of 754 million euros or 1.0 billion dollars between now and 2012, a spokesman for Swiss International Air Lines said to NZZ.

On Wednesday, Lufthansa had announced its plans to order 48 airplanes, 40 of which would be Airbus, to distribute among its various subsidiary companies at a total cost of 3.5 billion euros.

Five A330-300, two A321 and two A320 are destined for Switzerland.

The new aircraft will allow the Swiss airline to expand its number of international destinations, though it has not stated which new cities it might serve.

The enlargement should also create an additional 200 jobs in Switzerland, NZZ reported.

The top Swiss airline was formed on the base of Swissair in April 2002. A week ago its president, Rolf Jetzer, died suddenly from heart failure.

Vice-President Walter Bosch has stepped in until the company appoints a new chief.

© 2010 AFP

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