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Crossair Logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded1975 (as Business Flyers Basel AG)[1]
November 18, 1978 (as Crossair)
Ceased operationsMarch 31, 2002 (formed Swiss International Air Lines)
HubsEuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg
Frequent-flyer programQualiflyer
Fleet size88
Parent companySAirGroup
HeadquartersSaint-Louis, Haut-Rhin, France
Key people
  • Moritz Suter (Founder and former CEO)
  • André Dosé (CEO)

Crossair Ltd. Co. for Regional European Air Transport (German: Crossair AG für europäischen Regionalluftverkehr) was a regional airline headquartered on the grounds of EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg in Saint-Louis, Haut-Rhin, France, near Basel, Switzerland. It became Swiss International Air Lines after taking over most of the assets of Swissair following that airline's bankruptcy in 2002.


The SAirGroup

The airline was founded as a private company under the name Business Flyers Basel AG in 1975 by Moritz Suter. The name later changed to Crossair on November 18, 1978, before the beginning of scheduled services on July 2, 1979 with flights from Zürich to Nuremberg, Innsbruck and Klagenfurt.[citation needed] It was headquartered at Zurich International Airport in Kloten in 1985.[2] It added charter services for major shareholder Swissair in November 1995.

After the parent company SAirGroup had to apply for a debt restructuring moratorium in October 2001, it became necessary to change the entire planning. On March 31, 2002, Swissair passed out of existence as most of its assets were taken over by Crossair which then changed names to Swiss International Air Lines.[citation needed]


Crossair flew from Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lugano and Zurich. Crossair was very interested in serving from several hubs and, therefore set up a multi-hub business plan. Crossair set up a Eurocross scheme from their Basel base to serve smaller airports and transfer their passengers to larger hubs with short transit times (only around 20 minutes) This helped Crossair link with partners, such as Swissair from Zurich. Crossair also operated flights between Swiss airports.


A Crossair McDonnell Douglas MD-83 at Zurich Airport in 1999 wearing a McDonald's livery to promote the restaurant

Crossair operated the following aircraft:[3][4]

Crossair fleet
Aircraft Total Introduced Retired Notes
Avro RJ85 4 1993 2002 Transferred to Swiss International Air Lines. One RJ100 crashed as Flight 3597
Avro RJ100 16 1995 2002
British Aerospace 146-200A 3 1990 1994
British Aerospace 146-300 2 1991 1996
Cessna T210 1 1976 Un­known
Cessna 310P 1 1976 Un­known
Cessna 320C 1 1975 Un­known
Cessna 421B 1 1976 Un­known
Cessna 550 1 1976 Un­known
Cessna 551 1 1977 1982
Embraer ERJ-145LU 22 2000 2002 Transferred to Swiss International Air Lines
Fairchild Hiller FH-227 1 1984 1984 Leased from Delta Air Transport
Fairchild Swearingen Metro II 3 1979 1983
Fairchild Swearingen Metro III 9 1981 1990
Fokker F27 Friendship 2 1984 1984
Fokker 50 5 1990 1995
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-14 1 1995 1995 Leased from ALG Aeroleasing
McDonnell Douglas MD-82 1 1995 2001 Transferred to Nordic Airlink
McDonnell Douglas MD-83 11 1995 2002 Mostly used on larger routes from Zurich, and some from Basel
Piper L-4J 1 1975 2001
Saab 340 14 1984 2002 Mainly used from Basel as well as Lugano and Zürich. One crashed as Flight 498
Saab 2000 32 1994 2002 Largest operator. One written off as Flight 850

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 10 July 2002, Crossair Flight 850 made an emergency landing at Werneuchen Airfield in Germany. The aircraft was damaged beyond repair when it hit an earth bank placed across the runway, the markings of which did not conform to standards.

Head office[edit]

The current Swiss International Air Lines head office at EuroAirport was once the head office of Crossair

Crossair was headquartered on the grounds of EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg in Saint-Louis, Haut-Rhin, France, near Basel, Switzerland.[6] In 2002 the name "Crossair" was replaced with "Swiss International Air Lines" on the head office building.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Eintrag der Swiss International Air Lines AG, ehemals Crossair, im Handelsregister des Kantons Basel-Stadt". Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  2. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. March 30, 1985. 71." Retrieved on June 17, 2009.
  3. ^ "Crossair fleet". Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  4. ^ "Crossair Fleet Details and History". Retrieved 24 April 2021.
  5. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
  6. ^ "Location." Crossair. Retrieved on 13 June 2009.
  7. ^ "INDUSTRY BRIEFS." Airline Industry Information. 2 July 2002. Retrieved on 12 January 2010. "According to a company statement, the new name replaces Crossair at the corporate headquarters in Basel."

External links[edit]