History of Edelweiss
Milestones in the history of Edelweiss
Founded in 1995 by Kuoni Reisen AG and Niklaus Grob, Edelweiss is today the leading Swiss holiday airline. As a sister company of Swiss International Air Lines and a member of the Lufthansa Group, Edelweiss flies guests nonstop to over 80 holiday destinations worldwide.
Key figures for the business year 2022
|Number of passengers (in millions)||2,19|
|Number of flights||16,567|
|Available seat-kilometres (in millions)||10,255|
|Seat load factor||76%|
|Turnover (in millions)||CHF 675|
|Number of employees on 31 Dec. 2022||1,108|
|Fleet on 31 Dec. 2022||16|
After a two-year break, Edelweiss is once again providing passengers with a magazine on board. Under the name "edelweiss experience", the most beautiful pages of the world and stories from Edelweiss holiday destinations are presented on 50 pages. The magazine is published twice a year and is available on all Edelweiss flights.
Edelweiss CEO Bernd Bauer is taking over the post of CEO of Eurowings Discover in Germany in addition to his previous duties. Like Edelweiss, Eurowings Discover belongs to the Lufthansa Group. Both companies will remain independent in the future.
Edelweiss announces that it is expanding its fleet. With an additional Airbus A340 and an additional Airbus A320, the fleet will grow to a total of 18 aircraft in 2023.
New toys for children make flying with Edelweiss even more family-friendly. The youngest Edelweiss guests now have toys tailored to their age. These include the plush marmot and Edelweiss mascot Giancarlo, a puzzle book, coloured pencils and sports bags in three different designs.
Edelweiss passenger numbers in July 2022 exceed pre-crisis levels and are even at a new high. Never before in the company's history have so many guests flown in one month as in July 2022. Edelweiss carried 304,039 passengers in this month. This represents an increase of 3% compared to July 2019, with seat occupancy remaining at 84%. At the same time, the number of flights operated increased by 16%.
In cooperation with Flying Bag, Edelweiss offers all guests flying via Zurich Airport a convenient baggage pick-up service at home or at a Swiss hotel. In addition to baggage transport to the airport, the service also includes baggage check-in and secure delivery to any Edelweiss destination.
Edelweiss presents an Airbus A320 with special livery. The latest addition to the fleet features an unusual design. The familiar red nose and the red background on the tail fin have been replaced by countless red hands. They symbolize the helping hands of the Lufthansa Group aid organization help alliance and Edelweiss.
After a break of two years, Edelweiss resumed non-stop flights to North America at the beginning of March. Tampa Bay (Florida) is the first holiday destination to be served. Flights to Las Vegas and Denver resumed at the end of March and in mid-June. In May and June those to Vancouver and Calgary.
Key figures for the business year 2021
|Number of passengers (in millions)||1,819|
|Number of flights||9,913|
|Available seat-kilometres (in millions)||5,595|
|Seat load factor||66%|
|Turnover (in millions)||CHF 344|
|Number of employees on 31 Dec. 2018||950|
|Fleet on 31 Dec. 2021||14|
With the 2021/22 winter timetable, Edelweiss will be flying to 50 holiday destinations in 29 countries. These include new destinations such as Muscat in Oman, Sal in Cape Verde, Liberia in Costa Rica and Luxor in Egypt.
Edelweiss enters into a partnership with the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Formula 1 team and flies the team to various race destinations worldwide.
Edelweiss moves its head office to the Circle at Zurich Airport. In Switzerland's largest ever Minergie-certified office building, the more than 170 Edelweiss ground staff have access to attractive and state-of-the-art premises.
Due to the Corona crisis, Edelweiss' six long-haul aircraft cannot be used productively. For this reason, the two Airbus A330s (HB-JHR and HB-JHQ) will be leased to Eurowings Discover from 1 June 2021.
Dieter Vranckx becomes the new Chairman of the Edelweiss Board of Directors. Markus Binkert is elected as a new member of the Board of Directors.
Key figures for the business year 2020
|Number of passengers (in millions)||0,87|
|Number of flights||6’831|
|Available seat-kilometres (in millions)||4’594|
|Seat load factor||67%|
|Turnover (in millions)||CHF 250|
|Number of employees on 31 Dec. 2020||1’026|
|Fleet on 31 Dec. 2020||16|
The Corona virus hits the world and Switzerland and becomes the worst crisis for global aviation. Edelweiss has to suspend scheduled flight operations for almost 2 months due to travel restrictions. Part of the Airbus A320 fleet is temporarily parked at the military airbase in Dübendorf. In cooperation with SWISS and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Edelweiss brings thousands of Swiss tourists back home with repatriation flights.
Host also on the ground: Edelweiss opens the "Edelweiss Café" at Zurich Airport in cooperation with Autogrill Switzerland. Guests will be able to choose from a wide range of drinks and food, based on Edelweiss' holiday destinations.
Key figures for the business year 2019
|Number of passengers (in millions)||2,67|
|Number of flights||16’152|
|Available seat-kilometres (in millions)||12’977|
|Seat load factor||83%|
|Turnover (in millions)||CHF 652|
|Number of employees on 31 Dec. 2019||1‘124|
|Fleet on 31 Dec. 2019||16|
Edelweiss launches a new culinary concept that includes the introduction of innovative inflight tableware in all travel classes.
Edelweiss is the first airline in Switzerland to integrate voluntary CO2 offsetting into the booking process on its website. This allows Edelweiss passengers to compensate their CO2 emissions easily and conveniently when paying for their ticket. In collaboration with the Swiss non-profit organisation myclimate, these contributions are used to support projects that reduce CO2 emissions by the same amount.
Edelweiss joins the TSA PreCheck programme of the US Transportation Security Administration. Registered passengers enjoy several advantages at US airports, including quicker and easier departures.
Edelweiss adds another Airbus A320 to its fleet. The additional aircraft will be used to selectively expand the range of flight services and as a reserve plane for operational backup, so as to further increase flight schedule stability.
Key figures for the business year 2018
|Number of passengers (in millions)||2,35|
|Number of flights||14‘509|
|Available seat-kilometres (in millions)||11‘162|
|Seat load factor||82%|
|Turnover (in millions)||CHF 378|
|Number of employees on 31 Dec. 2018||1‘101|
|Fleet on 31 Dec. 2018||15|
24 Edelweiss employees build a new house for an impoverished family in a poor neighbourhood of San José (Costa Rica). The project is carried out together with the Lufthansa Group charity “help alliance” and takes just two days to complete.
Thomas Klühr is appointed as the new Chairman of the Edelweiss Board of Directors. His predecessor, Karl Ulrich Garnadt, will remain on the Board as a member.
Key figures for the business year 2017
|Number of passengers (in millions)||1,73|
|Number of flights||10‘700|
|Available seat-kilometres (in millions)||8‘500|
|Seat load factor||81%|
|Turnover (in millions)||CHF 537|
|Number of employees on 31 Dec. 2017||800|
|Fleet on 31 Dec. 2017||10|
Edelweiss announces new long-haul destinations, with flights to the Seychelles, Colombo und Ho Chi Minh City on offer as of 2018.
Edelweiss announces the addition of three Airbus A320 medium-haul aircraft in spring and summer 2018. The Edelweiss fleet will encompass fifteen aircraft by the end of 2018.
Second-largest expansion of holiday destinations in the history of the airline: Edelweiss to add eleven new destinations to its route network in summer 2018, including Orlando, Denver and Varadero.
Edelweiss expands its fleet to include a second Airbus A340.
Key figures for the business year 2016
|Number of passengers (in millions)||1,46|
|Number of flights||10‘000|
|Available seat-kilometres (in millions)||6‘600|
|Seat load factor||74%|
|Turnover (in millions)||CHF 420|
|Number of employees on 31 Dec. 2016||666|
|Fleet on 31 Dec. 2016||10|
For the first time in twenty years, the Edelweiss crew uniforms undergoes a complete redesign. The new attire was created by the ASANDRI design studio in Zurich.
Introduction of the first of four Airbus A340s to the Edelweiss fleet. The aircraft cabin was fully refurbished and equipped with comfortable, state-of-the-art seats. Refurbishing also involved fitting the aircraft with a new lighting concept that includes LED technology.
The Züri Fäscht festival visitors are treated to a very special sight. Together with the PC-7 TEAM of the Swiss Air Force, an Edelweiss A320 passenger aircraft performs a spectacular flight formation in the sky above the festival.
Decision to further expand Edelweiss’s long-haul route network, with flights to Cancún, Costa Rica and San Diego as of 2017.
Edelweiss launches its new “Edelweiss Travel Magazine”. The magazine is available on all Edelweiss flights.
Refurbishing of the entire A320 fleet with new seats, a fresh interior design and a wireless entertainment system that allows passengers to access movies, music and digital reading by way of their own smartphones and tablets.
Addition of a further long-haul aircraft as part of the expansion programme. The Airbus A330-300 “Chäserrugg” is the first aircraft to be named according to the airline’s new “Where Edelweiss is at home” naming concept. In keeping with this concept, all future Edelweiss aircraft will be named after Swiss regions in which the Edelweiss flower grows.
Key figures for the business year 2015
|Number of passengers (in millions)||1,21|
|Number of flights||8‘300|
|Available seat-kilometres (in millions)||5‘100|
|Seat load factor||80%|
|Turnover (in millions)||CHF 390|
|Number of employees on 31 Dec. 2015||527|
|Fleet on 31 Dec. 2015||10|
Addition of a further A320 to the Edelweiss fleet and the first to receive the new Edelweiss coating.
July 2015 marks the start of the largest fleet expansion in the history of Edelweiss. The expansion will be completed at the end of 2018 when the Edelweiss fleet will encompass twelve aircraft. Edelweiss will take over four Airbus A340 long-haul aircraft from its sister company SWISS. The expansion will translate into as many as 400 new jobs in Switzerland.
Edelweiss celebrates its twentieth anniversary. The summer celebrations include scenic flights with the Edelweiss Zeppelin at six different locations in Switzerland, available to the general public.
Edelweiss expands its long-haul route network: Rio de Janeiro, Calgary and Mauritius will be included as new holiday destinations starting in 2016.
Key figures for the business year 2014
|Number of passengers (in millions)||1.06|
|Number of flights||6,800|
|Available seat-kilometres (in millions)||4.500|
|Seat load factor||82%|
|Turnover (in millions)||CHF 378|
|Number of employees on 31 Dec.||566|
|Fleet on 31 Dec. 2014||8|
Bernd Bauer takes over as CEO of Edelweiss.
Refurbishing of the airline’s A330 long-haul aircraft: Edelweiss introduces new Business Class comfort featuring modern fully lie-flat seats which convert into two-metre long beds. The refurbishing also includes 15 cm more legroom in Economy Max.
Airbus A320 number 5 is added to the Edelweiss fleet.
Key figures for the business years 2010 to 2013
|Number of passengers (in millions)||1.04||1.11||1.11||1.03|
|Number of flights||6,300||7,000||6,800||6,300|
|Available seat-kilometres (in millions)||3,400||4.200||4,500||4,300|
|Seat load factor||81%||74%||77%||81%|
|Turnover (in millions)||CHF 354||CHF 354||CHF 364||CHF 369|
|Number of employees on 31 Dec.||322||379||420||518|
|Fleet on 31 Dec.||4||5||6||7|
A fourth Airbus A320 is added to the Edelweiss fleet.
Edelweiss adds a new Airbus A330-300 to its fleet und now has two long-haul aircraft for flights to the world’s loveliest holiday destinations.
Edelweiss becomes a sister company of Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) and a part of the Lufthansa Group.
Karl Kistler takes over as CEO of Edelweiss.
The first long-haul flight: An Edelweiss Airbus A330 takes off to the Maldives holiday paradise for the first time on 21st November 2000.
Edelweiss replaces the McDonnel Douglas MD-83 with modern and more economical Airbus A320 aircraft. The first of three aircraft is introduced in the fleet. The fleet renewal is completed in the course of the year.
Having received the green light for flight operations. Edelweiss carries out its first commercial flight on 10th February 1996, from Zurich to Paphos via Larnaca and back to Zurich. The fleet consists of two McDonnel Douglas MD-83.
Edelweiss Air AG is founded on 19th October 1995 by Kuoni Reisen AG and Niklaus Grob. Niklaus Grob becomes the airline’s first CEO.