Western Switzerland takes off

Western Switzerland is united by a language, a culture of pleasure, breathtaking landscapes – and now, with the first SWISS Bombardier CS300, by an aircraft.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017. The team responsible for applying the aircraft livery in the hangar at Geneva Airport carefully applies the last strips of foil to the brand new SWISS CS300. A laborious undertaking, because after all it is important that the motif is clearly visible from every possible angle. A 13-strong team worked solidly for 36 hours to apply the decal to the CS300, which measures 38 m in length. The special artwork is dedicated to Western Switzerland and its inhabitants – a symbol that illustrates how closely committed SWISS, as the airline of Switzerland, is to the people of this region.

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Flying canvas

The CS300 will ensure that the Suisse romande can be clearly seen all over Europe. The project is a first for SWISS, but also for the artist, whose first experience it was of working with an aircraft as his 'medium'. In contrast to the usually subtle imagery of SWISS, the new colours and the design of the illustration style accentuate Western Switzerland, which is known to represent openness, variety and tolerance.

SWISS asks – Western Switzerland answers

SWISS wanted to know from the people of Western Switzerland what it is that makes their region so unique. More than 7,000 people in French-speaking Switzerland answered our call, and shared their very personal opinions with us. The responses received inspired artist Mathias Forbach of Western Switzerland – also known by his stage name of FiCHTRE – and served as a foundation for the design of this staggering motif.

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Artist Mathias Forbach alias FiCHTRE

In the shade of the vineyards

The flying work of art, which will fly from Geneva to the hearts of various European metropolises, reflects the unique character of this region in numerous illustrated stories. For many inhabitants, Western Switzerland is simply one of the loveliest places in the world, and one that fills them with pride. The artwork on the aircraft can therefore also be considered as a ramble through the iconic landscapes and landmarks of Western Switzerland: from Murten and Neuenburg, Geneva and the Lavaux to Sitten. However, this also includes Montreux, home to the annual Jazz Festival that is also supported by SWISS.

Shared values such as variety and freedom, but also apparent opposites such as tradition, innovation and internationalism also represent the region's multi-faceted appeal. At the same time, they are  proof that the various viewpoints as to what French-speaking Switzerland  is, are not mutually exclusive. Western Switzerland is notable for its culture of pleasure, which starts with sharing a bottle of white wine in the shade of the vineyards and reaches its culinary highlight in the form of a creamy fondue at the chalet.

Heroes of Western Switzerland

However, Western Switzerland is much more than its landscapes and landmarks. SWISS issued a call for people to name the true heroes of Western Switzerland – those people who achieve big things in everyday life with small gestures. The names of a few "heroes" were then chosen from the numerous suggestions, and immortalised on the headrests of the first CS300. You may well notice these and other design elements if you have the pleasure of flying the CS300 from Geneva over the next 12 months.


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