Once an icon of luxurious air travel, Switzerland’s former national airline Swissair was grounded in 2001 when the company went bankrupt. Just three years previously, in 1998, it bore the disaster when flight SR111 crashed off Canada’s Atlantic coast, marking the beginning of the end for the brand.
Far from train-spotter fodder, the new tome, Swissair Souvenirs shows more than a century of gorgeous designs, from the fleet itself, to the Pan-Am style uniforms, to the branding, with the original livery marque by designer Reudi Bircher in the 1950s shown on the front cover.
Alongside these, we also get fascinating insights into the things we’re really interested in – bygone plane food and glamourous hostesses.
Thankfully, its rich trove of photographic imagery has survived, and is now held at ETH-Bibliothek in Zurich. Swissair Souvenirs presents 270 images from the archive, dating from 1910 – 2001.
Arranged thematically, rather than chronologically, the photographs document every aspect of flying – including dinners, the working day of hostesses, pilots and flight attendants and the technological aspects of the aircrafts themselves.
Swissair Souvenirs by Ruedi Weidmann is edited by Michael Gasser and Nicole Graf, published by Scheidegger & Spiess priced £ 45.00