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Zurich, 27. March 2002

Farewell Swissair, farewell Crossair...

Installation of the new logo at the ticket counters in Zurich

With the arrival of SWISS, the new Swiss airline, the brands Swissair and Crossair are disappearing. Most of the signs and logos at Zurich Airport have already been changed. And it is almost impossible to spot an aircraft with Swissair-titles, except the grounded ones. The 52 planes which will fly for SWISS have already received a sticker with the new airline's name on it. By the end of march, there was just one MD-11, which was wearing Swissair titles again, with proud. On the last flight of Swissair.

At the 27th of March, the last official flights of the two airlines departed from Zurich Airport. About 5000 employes of Crossair and the SAir Group companies celebrated that event and welcomed the new airline. We were at the event, which took place in a hangar at Zurich Airport, and we brought some exclusive pictures for you.

Mario Corti, CEO of the SAir Group (Swissair)

The event started with speeches of Mario Corti, the CEO of the SAir Group. He couldn't save the airline, but together with Crossair and all the investors, he rescued at least a lot of jobs from his former staff.

During his speech, he thanked all his employees for the outstanding job they did during the last weeks and months, as this was the base of a successful takoff for the successor SWISS. And of course, he sent his best wishes to the new airline and the new team, wishing them "many happy landings". Corti will continue his job at the SAir Group until this fall. During that time, his main work will be to deal with the creditors during the liquidation of the group.

The second speech came from André Dose, the president of Crossair AG and the new Swiss Air Lines Ltd. "We should not look back, but into the future, and the future is SWISS" he told the people during his speech. He also said that everything is prepared for the take off of the new airline and he informed, that he had just signed an agreement with SR Technics about the maintenance of the new fleet that day.

After the speeches, the briefing for the last Swissair flight was projected to large screens arround the hangar, directly broadcasted from the operations centre at Zurich Airport.

After that, the door was opened and all the people could go out of the hangar to the tarmac, where the two aircraft for the last flights were prepared. Crossair's last flight went to Nuernberg (Germany), the first city that Crossair served under scheduled service after its launch in 1978. The aircraft for this flight was a Saab2000 (HB-IZG).

The Swissair MD-11, which was used the last flight.

The symbolic last flight of Swissair went to Cape Town. It was a special charter flight. A Swiss tour operator has chartered the aircraft for this historic flight. The aircraft used was a very special Boeing MD-11 (HB-IWC). The aircraft was already painted in the new SWISS livery with large Swissair stickers on both sides. A very special sight, that we will never see again.

At about 21.00 local time, both planes were pushed back under massive applause of all the people on the tarmac. A lot of cars from the fire brigades and the police were at the scene as well as some follow me-cars, which escorted the planes to the runway.

A very special event. For all the people, it was very sad to see the two airlines go away. But with SWISS there is a new airline at the start, there is something going one. And we are all looking forward to a bright future of this new company!

Michael Meier

 

Picture Gallery (click on a picture to see the large version)

The captain of the Swissair flight...
...and his crew
 
Swissair and Crossair employees saying goodbye
The push-back truck arrived
 
The follow-me cars, ready to escort the planes
The Saab 2000 for Crossair's last flight
 
The Swissair MD-11, pushed back through the smoke...
The Crossair plane departs from the "gate"
 
The MD-11, starting the engines after pushback
A salute from the fire brigades to say goodbye
 

 

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