Suisse Swiss Airways Poster
Swissair was founded on 26 March 1931 after the merger of the two main competing Swiss airlines, Ad Astra Aero AG and Balair. The new airline was legally named Schweizerischer Luftverkehrs AG but went under the commonly used name of Swissair. First Swissair flights were using the fleet of Fokker 7B/3M aircraft on domestic and European services - those same routes that the two merged carriers had flown. Swissair also used the the modern and fast American designed Lockheed Orion from 1932 on the Zurich to Munich route. DC2s were used by 1935 and Swissair is said to be the first airline to employ stewardesses (claimed also by a US airline and a British carrier). The DC-2 aircraft were to set high standards for European scheduled operations. The DC-2 was new to European airline operations and it competed well against the older European designs of the age. Swissair inaugurated a new service between Zurich and London via Basle with the new airliners in 1935.