Swiss International Air Lines
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15 February 2008
SWISS has named one of its Airbus A321 aircraft “Zermatt” after the world-famous tourist resort in Southwest Switzerland. The aircraft – registration HB-IOD – was symbolically named in a ceremony held on the town’s Kirchplatz yesterday. The aircraft itself was high above the clouds at the time, en route from Zurich to Barcelona. The formal naming was performed by Christoph Bürgin, the town’s present mayor. Also in attendance were Hans-Jörg Walther, president of the Zermatt Tourist Board, and SWISS CEO Christoph Franz, together with media representatives and invited guests.
Christoph Bürgin, Hans-Jörg Walther, Christoph Franz and the various invitees gathered in the centre of Zermatt to perform the symbolic naming and raise a glass to the town’s new flying ambassador. “Zermatt is a vacation destination of world renown,” said Mayor Bürgin in his remarks. “One in three visitors to Switzerland now arrives by air,” he continued. “SWISS, as our national airline, is a major provider of these services and thus a vital partner to us. So we’re delighted that SWISS and Zermatt can underline their close ties, and that a SWISS Airbus A321 will now be carrying the name of Zermatt all over Europe.”
SWISS is gradually naming its aircraft after its home country’s cantonal capitals, airport communities and major tourist destinations under its new fleet naming concept. As one of Switzerland’s leading resorts, Zermatt was an obvious choice. “SWISS and Zermatt are calling cards for Switzerland all over the world,” added SWISS CEOChristoph Franz. “Discerning guests in particular tend to seek out this wonderful town at the foot of the Matterhorn, and to come back time and time again. SWISS and Zermatt are both bywords for Swiss hospitality and top quality,” Franz continued. “So all in all, we’re an excellent combination.” The formal naming ceremony was followed by drinks on the Kirchplatz for the invitees and passers-by, courtesy of the Zermatt Tourist Board.
The “Zermatt” name will be carried on the fuselage of SWISS’s Airbus A321, while the aircraft’s interior will feature the town’s coat of arms.