Swissair, S.A./AG was the former national airline of Switzerland.
It was formed from a merger between Balair and Ad Astra Aero (To the Stars), in 1931. For most of its 71 years, Swissair was one of the major international airlines and known as the “Flying Bank” due to the financial stability of the airline, causing it to be regarded as a Swiss national symbol and icon. The airline thrived into the 1980s, when it was one of the “big four” Western European airlines. It was headquartered at Zurich Airport Kloten.
After the expansive “Hunter strategy” in the late 1990s and after the economic turndown following the September 11 attacks, Swissair’s assets dramatically lost value, grounding the already-troubled airline in October 2001. The airline was kept alive until 31 March 2002 by the Swiss Federal government.
On 1 April 2002 the successor airline Swiss International Airlines was founded on the base of former Crossair, taking over most of the routes, planes and staff of former Swissair. Swiss International Air Lines was taken over by the German airline Lufthansa in 2005.