Cash-haemorrhaging airline Swiss International could be kept aloft if talks with German national carrier Lufthansa reach a successful conclusion.

Swiss, formerly Swissair, was once regarded as the epitome of that nation's legendary efficiency. It nosedived in 2002 and after financial restructuring emerged as Swiss International - since when its financial woes have multiplied.

In the final quarter of 2004 it managed a pre-tax profit of €20 million ($26.62m; £13.87m) but this failed to cancel out a massive full year loss.

The two airlines have constructed a business plan for a merged operation, which now awaits approval from major shareholders in Swiss and the Lufthansa supervisory board.

Data sourced from Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung; additional content by WARC staff