INTERNATIONAL: Eight-strong corp comms arm for Swissair

ZURICH: Beleaguered airline Swissair has announced the line-up of

its corporate communications arm ahead of its merger with sister group

Crossair next year.

A restructure, led by Swissair Group corporate communications chief

Rainer Meier, has seen the departure of more than one quarter of the

original PR team and the creation of a eight-strong division to run

comms until March, when Swissair will fold into Crossair.

Meier, who took over from Beatrice Tschanz in May (PRWeek, 18 May), has

confirmed he will be supported by a team of up to seven, including Erwin

Scharer, Urs Peter Naef, Jean-Claude Donzel, Christine Buhler and

Claudia Imhasly.

Spokesman Scharer said the division will work their transitional

contracts until the end of next April.

'All the people in corporate communications have been dismissed and

about a quarter of the team got new contracts to cover the closing down

period of the old Swissair,' said Scharer.

A team of PROs will lead the recently formed group of smaller companies

within Swissair, which include Atraxis, Avireal, Cargologic and

Swisscargo and Swissport.

Crossair, Europe's largest regional airline, is being formed from

Swissair, which filed for protection from its creditors last month, and

will become Switzerland's national airline.

Crossair's comms team is headed by Ruth Zueblin, who it is understood

will remain in post next year.

At Swissair, former journalist Meier has been leading all corporate PR

through the demise of Swissair since his promotion from deputy PR chief

earlier this year.

Meier's immediate task after his appointment to the top PR post was to

oversee all comms during the rebrand of the group's corporate name from

SairGroup to Swissair, announced in April.

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