Swissair DC-3 "Grand Old Lady" is ready for a nostalgic flight at the Airport Bern-Belp in Switzerland.
On 17th December 1935 the first flight of a Douglas DC-3 took place. The plane was a nicknamed "flying sleeping car" as its additional designation DST-Douglas Sleeper Transport suggests. Two years later the first Swissair DC-3, HB-IRA, flew its first route from Zurich to London. In 1948 Swissair introduced service from Bern to London which was replaced in 1957 by feeder flights to Zurich.
50 Years North Atlantic service in 1997, Swissair brought a vintage DC-4 of SAA Historic Flight in the Swiss Air Lines' 1947 colour scheme to Switzerland. In 1947 Swissair inaugurated a transatlantic route from Geneva to New York using Douglas DC-4. The first flight which took place on 2nd May 1947. A cheering crowd expected the take off at midnight while the national anthems of Switzerland and USA boomed out of the airport's loudspeekers. The plane had 21 passengers on board and made its first scheduled refueling stop at Shannon (Ireland). A seconed stop was made in Stephenville (Newfoundland). Due to a blizzard in New York the flight was diverted to Washington DC where the plane safely landed after a journey of nearly 21 hours (18 hours flight time). Nowadays a plane needs only up to 8 hours for the same route.
In 1997 Swissair wet-leased a DC-4 of South African Airways Historic Flight to comemmorate 50 years of transatlantic service. The plane was painted in the airline's 1947 colour scheme and was shortly registered as HB-ILI, later ZU-ILI. Several anniversary flights were carried out for four months before the plane was re-registered as ZS-AUB and returned to South Africa again.
Haute Cuisine of Swissair was famous for its delicous cooking. A look at the two menu cards let you enter the world of culinary highlights.