In the history of aviation in Switzerland, there are two Balair airlines; the first one existed from 1925 to 1931 and was a progenitor of Swissair. On March 26, 1931, "Swissair - Schweizerische Luftverkehr AG" ("Swissair - Swiss Aviation AG") was founded through the fusion of the airlines Ad Astra Aero (founded in 1919) and Balair.
This Douglas DC-8-63CF was flown on Balair's intercontinental schedules between 1972 and 1985
The second Balair started in 1953 as a flying school and pilot training organisation. Commercial service began with the acquisition of a Vickers VC.1 Viking in June 1957. Soon afterwards, Swissair invested heavily in Balair and in 1959, two Douglas DC-4s were acquired from Swissair. During that time, Balair flew charter flights and did so for many years. In 1960, the Douglas DC-6 came into service.
Balair became an all jet airline in 1982 and by 1986 the Airbus A310-325 and the MD-80 were the mainstay of the fleet. By this time, Swissair was a majority owner and in 1993 merged Balair with another subsidiary, CTA (Compagnie de Transport Aerien) to form BalairCTA.