Belair (airline)

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Belair Airlines AG
Belair Airlines Logo.png
Founded 1925 as (Balair)
Hubs Zürich Airport
Basel Airport
Frequent-flyer program topbonus
Fleet size 8
Destinations 38
Parent company Air Berlin
Headquarters 8152 Glattbrugg, Switzerland

Belair (Belair Airlines AG) is an airline located in Opfikon and based at Zurich Airport in Switzerland. Belair is a subsidiary of the German airline Air Berlin.


1925: the first Balair[edit]

Basler Aviation AG -Balair- was founded by Balz Zimmermann in 1925 in Basel. The name Balair is a reference to the French name of the Basel:Bâle. The first route was from Basel to Freiburg and Mannheim. Balair grew rapidly. In 1929 Basel Airport was the largest airport in Switzerland, with direct flights to Zurich, Geneva, Lyon, Karlsruhe and Frankfurt. Because of the global economic crisis, Balair (based in Basel) and Ad Astra Aero(based in Zurich) were pressured to merge by the Federal Aviation Office on 1 January 1931 to form Swissair, headquartered in Zurich.

Up to that point, Balair had carried over 18,000 passengers, 320 tons of cargo and 143 tons of mail. The company only flew in the summer and was mainly financed by federal subsidies and transportation of mail for the Swiss PTT companies.

1950s to the 1980s: the second Balair[edit]

Balair Douglas DC-8 in Zurich (1985)

The second Balair was founded in January 1953. On 5 October 1952, Basel voters approved the setting up a limited company. Hans Peter Tschudin was elected the first president.

Balair concentrated in the early years on flight training and aircraft maintenance and handling Swissair aircraft at Basel-Mulhouse airport.

In 1957, Balair entered the charter business with two Vickers 610 Viking. In 1959 Swissair acquired a 40% stake in Balair. Two Swissair DC-4 aircraft were added to the fleet.

During the Biafran airlift of 1967-71, chartered Balair aircraft, including C-97 Stratocruisers, were used extensively to deliver humanitarian aid to a remote Biafra airstrip in eastern Nigeria.

In 1979 Balair added a DC-10 (call sign HB-IHK), up to that point the fleet was made up of a DC-6, a DC-9 and two DC-8.

Balair CTA in the 1990[edit]

Later, under the name Balair charter flights were operated by Swissair, 1993, the two daughters Balair charter and CTA - Compagnie de Transport Aérien (Geneva) fused to balair CTA. Political factors remained the legal domicile of the company in Geneva, the accounting department in Basel, while the operational base was moved to Zurich. Despite restructuring and mass layoffs was the Swissair charter business could be conducted into the profit zone. In 1995 the operation was stopped. The short-haul went to Crossair on that long haul to Swissair. In 1997, the charter business is swapped out again and on 1 November 1997 flew the Balair / CTA as a subsidiary of Swissair.

The new Balair end of 1990[edit]

The combination of charter and scheduled services but not proved, and it was 1997 again formed a charter subsidiary of Swissair, which occurred under the old brand name Balair. Exclusive to the tour operator Hotelplan ESCO and its subsidiaries and M-travel trips were operated on medium-and short-range two Boeing 757-200, was the lessee hotel plan itself, also the Balair two Boeing 767-300 long-haul disposal. The new Balair fell into the vortex of the crisis following the grounding of Swissair. On 5 October 2001, the last landed Balair flight in Zurich. While the Boeing 767 went back to the lessor, transferred Hotelplan their own Boeing 757, which was founded as a collecting society Belair Airlines.

From Balair to Belair in the early 2000s[edit]

Boeing 757-200 HB-IHR of Belair (early 2007)
Boeing 757-200 HB-IHS of Belair with newer colors (mid 2007)

In the fall of 2001 was responsible for the travel company Hotelplan clear that heralded the end of Swissair and the airline companies of the Group SAir also the end of the charter company was Balair. After consultation with the parent company Migros founded Hotelplan the new charter airline Belair Airlines, on 16 October was registered in Commercial Register. This slight name change made it possible for the two (Migros) own Boeing 757 temporarily to repaint with very little effort. Of the 120 employees Balair could be assumed.

The aircraft remained a day at the ground before them the third after the transfer of all mission-critical documents to the new company and the issuance of air permit from the FOCA. In November 2001 for the first commercial flight the Belair took off from Zurich. The flights of the two machines perform since then mainly to seaside resorts on the Mediterranean and northern Africa. Besides the two Boeing 757-200 (HB-IHR HB-and IHS), has since been a Boeing 767-300 (HB-ISE) are leased, which is used over long distances.

In addition to the regular holiday flights were used Belair B767 and the Edelweiss A330 on several occasions along the returning holiday travelers from areas of conflict, natural disasters or after attacks. In collaboration with the Swiss Air Rescue REGA, the Swiss Air Rescue, the B757 HB-IHR was umkonzipiert of Belair so that they could be used in case of disasters as rescue aircraft Thus forming a partnership with REGA Belair in the repatriation.

Since 1 November 2007 Air Berlin in terms of a strategic partnership with a 49% stake in the company, which entered into force gradually. Cooperation with the Air Berlin increases its presence in Switzerland on the distribution network of the Migros group, conversely, is the Migros customers a significantly enlarged flights available. For this reason, the two Boeing 757-200ER has been repainted in Air Berlin colors and integrated into the fleet. The first aircraft in the new colors was the HB-IHR.

Belair as part of the Air Berlin Group[edit]

The company is since October 2009, fully owned by Air Berlin, which had entered 2007 with a 49% stake in Belair. The planes of Belair are integrated into the Air Berlin fleet and wear their colors.

Belair is today only company name. All flights are now being carried out under the Air Berlin brand. For legal reasons, certain traffic routes in non-EU countries will continue under the Belair IATA code '4T' out. Belair could increase significantly the number of employees (pilots and flight attendants). The corps of former Air Berlin Switzerland (Air Berlin pilots), the CHS Switzerland (Air Berlin flight attendants) and Belair were on the first January 2010 in the combined company Belair. Many of the former Belair flight attendants have left the company after the loss of long-haul destinations, due to staff turnover, many new employees for the flight attendant job are obtained, which has sometimes led to a slight narrowing of the cabin crews. Due to the domination of society is this out of Berlin, Air Berlin and in the financial statements are fully consolidated.


Belair operates on behalf of Air Berlin at different targets within its route network from Zurich, Basel and Geneva, in some cases. Targets are mainly located around the Mediterranean, as well as in Egypt and the Canary Islands. Flights within the EU are carried out with AB-Designator (Air Berlin). Flights outside the EU are on the road with 4T-flight number (Belair).


As of August 2013, Belair operates scheduled flights to the following destinations, in coopertion with Air Berlin.



Western Asia[edit]



(all flights are operated on behalf of Air Berlin)



As of 20 December 2013, the Belair fleet consists of the following aircraft:[1]

Belair fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
Airbus A319-100
Operate for Air Berlin
Airbus A320-200
Operate for Air Berlin
Total 8


  1. ^ "Swiss Aircraft Register". FOCA. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 

External links[edit]