3 OCTOBER 2001

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Swissair folds up

Ailing carrier Swissair has run out of cash and suspended all its flights indefinitely. During the day, some of its planes were impounded and fuel suppliers refused to deliver. Swissair aeroplanes at foreign airports will be recalled to Switzerland as soon as possible, and stranded passengers have been urged to make other arrangements.

The company said it was not in a position to pay compensation. The grounding of the Swissair fleet is the culmination of a long, drawn-out financial crisis, brought on by an ambitious but ultimately disastrous expansion programme.

Trading in Swissair's shares remains suspended, but even before the termination of flights analysts at investment bank Merrill Lynch said the shares were now "effectively... worthless".

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