Swiss International Airlines is the premier airline of Switzerland, with its main hub at Zurich Kloten Airport. The airline has a regional airline subsidiary as well, called Swiss European Air Lines. This carrier has its own air operator certificate and operates the non-Airbus fleet. Headquartered in Basel, it is a subsidiary of the German airline - Lufthansa. However, Lufthansa continues to maintain Swiss as a separate brand.
Swiss International Air Lines was formed in 2001, when Swissair, former flag carrier of Switzerland, went bankrupt. Swissair’s biggest creditors, Credit Suisse and UBS, sold a part of Swissair's assets to Crossair, the regional counterpart to the transatlantic Swissair. Both Swissair and Crossair were under the same holding company, SairGroup. Crossair later changed its name to Swiss, and the new national airline started its operations officially on March 31, 2002. In 2005, Lufthansa confirmed its plan to take over Swiss. Lufthansa has acquired a minority stake (11%) in the new company called Air Trust, set up to hold Swiss shares. The takeover was complete by 2007.
Presently, Swiss International Air Lines, flies to 69 destinations worldwide. These include 42 European destinations and 27 Intercontinental destinations. It flies to Canada, US and Brazil and among the European destinations, it covers Germany, Hungary, Poland, Austria, Czech Republic, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Serbia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, UK and Luxemburg. In, Africa it serves Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Cameroon and Tanzania.
In Asia, Swiss International has scheduled flights to China, Japan, Thailand, Cyprus, Israel, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and UAE. In India, it flies to Delhi and Mumbai. The airline is also adding some new routes to its present network. From June 19, 2009, it started flying from Zurich to Oslo. It will also operate a daily service from Zurich to Shanghai. It plans a major expansion at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg. Services to Singapore were terminated in 2009 and all services between Singapore and Zürich will be now be scheduled by the airlines' Star Alliance partner - Singapore Airlines.
As on February 2009, Swiss International Air Lines had a fleet of 69 aircrafts, with an average age of 10.5 years. The fleet consists of Airbus A319-112, Airbus A320-214, Airbus A321-111, Airbus A330-223, Airbus A330-343X, Airbus A340-313X, and Avro RJ100 "Jumbolino". It has also placed orders for 32 new aircrafts. Over the next two years Swiss International will re-brand its fleet after the names of local towns and cities.
The codeshare partners of Swiss International Air Lines are Air Canada, Air India, Air Malta, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Egypt Air, EL Al, Lufthansa, Lufthansa Italia, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways International, Ukraine International Airlines, United Airlines, U.S Airways, Tam Airlines and Edelweiss Air.