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SWISS Celebrates 20th Anniversary and Evolution Into One of the World’s Leading Carriers

Swiss International Air Lines celebrated their 20th anniversary on Thursday, marking their first flight from Basel to Zurich which took place on March 31, 2002. The airline was created on the foundations of Crossair and Swissair’s flight operations.


Swiss International Air Lines Celebrates Their 20th Anniversary - Courtesy SWISS

On Thursday (March 31, 2022), Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) celebrated the 20th anniversary of their first flight from Basel to Zurich which occurred on March 31, 2022. Over the last 20 years, the airline has evolved from ‘problem child’ into one of the world’s most respected airlines. The company was created on the foundations of Crossair and Swissair’s flight operations and the early days were marked by rigorous restructurings and uncertainties over its continued viability. Initially, both an oversized fleet and workforce has to be substantially scaled down before the company could generate profits from flight operations. The new SWISS also lacked the critical mass required to survive in the ultra-competitive air travel industry. However, such critical mass was secured in 2005 when the airline was integrated into the Lufthansa Group.


Speaking on the occasion of the airline’s 20th anniversary, SWISS’ CEO, Dieter Vranckx, said,


“If it weren’t for the great loyalty of our customers, the strong commitment of our employees in the air and on the ground, our fruitful collaborations with our airport partners and our suppliers and – not least – the firm support that we have received from the Swiss people, the Swiss political world and the banks, including in the present pandemic times, SWISS would simply not be one of the leading airlines today. We have all achieved so much together. And I would like to say a sincere thank-you to everyone who has given us such strong and solid support over the past 20 years, and has helped us ensure that SWISS will continue to fly the Swiss cross with pride and with gratitude all over the globe.”


SWISS achieved another major milestone in 2006, becoming a member of the Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance. One year later, Delhi became the carrier’s first new intercontinental destination since the company’s founding, followed by the addition of Shanghai in 2008, San Francisco in 2010, Beijing in 2012 and Singapore in 2013. In 2011, SWISS adopted a new corporate brand and over the next decade around CHF 8 billion (US $8.46 billion) was invested in aircraft acquisition, expanding their destination portfolio from Zurich and Geneva, and enhancing premium their premium product with new lounges and aircraft cabins.


SWISS' 20th Anniversary Jubilee Video - Courtesy Swiss International Air Lines


In 2016, the carrier marked another milestone with the introduction of the highly economical Airbus A220 to their fleet ( then known as the Bombardier C Series). The same year, the carrier also received their first long-haul flagship Boeing 777-300ER, twelve of which are now in service. Over the last 20 years, SWISS has performed 2.8 million flights, flying an aggregate distance of 3.8 billion kilometers, the equivalent of traveling 95,000 times around the world. The flights carried just under 266 million guests, about 40 times the entire population of Switzerland, as well as 5.6 million tonnes of cargo.


Today, SWISS serves 92 destinations from their Zurich hub and 46 points from Geneva. Together with their sister airline, Edelweiss, which also joined the Lufthansa Group in 2008, Swiss International Air Lines is well-positioned in both the premium business and leisure air travel segments.

As part of their 20th anniversary celebration, SWISS is launching a 48 hour sale from April 2, 2022, with attractive fares across their European network. The airline will also formally name 20 of their Airbus A220 aircraft after Swiss tourist resorts between now and the end of the year. The naming ceremonies will be held in select locations throughout Switzerland on a “We’ll come to you” basis. From July through September, SWISS guests will also be offered a special edition of the inflight SWISS Magazine, providing intriguing insights into the fascinating journey of the airline over the last 20 years along with their Travel Specialists’ favorite destinations. Additionally, the company is planning to launch a big 20th anniversary competition, which will offer various attractive prizes.



Source: Swiss International Air Lines

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