Friday, March 15, 2013

No two rotations alike (My sky-high life)

For a pilot, no two flights and no two rotations are identical although they are similar, in a “same same but different” way. But sometimes you and your crew simply have a
“once-in-a-lifetime” trip.

First Officer Mathias Iwersen

When walking through our Operation Center (this is where all of our trips start and end) the place is always crowded with hundreds of pilots and flight attendants, all either checking in for their journey, taking a short break or checking out and going home for a well-deserved rest.

I usually see a lot of people about whom I can say “I have met this person before, but I don’t recall when and where it was and I definitely don’t remember their name”. Well, that is quite natural, because we fly with constantly changing crews and spend a maximum of four days together, and sometimes as little as half a day and only two flights. That makes for over 500 different crewmembers within just one year, making it impossible to remember everybody by name.

Friday, March 8, 2013

A roof with a view (My sky-high life)

Lilia Mironov, Cabin Crew Member

Have I mentioned before that I love airports? And movies? And sentimental movies that include airport scenes, such as Billy Wilder’s A Foreign Affair and Casablanca, with its iconic final scene in which Humphrey Bogart says “… this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship” to the little French official as the airplane carrying Ingrid Bergman fades into the night sky. So it has been for me! A beautiful friendship with airports. As a frequent traveller, the most important impression that I get from an airport is its roof! I clearly remember the first airport roof I was impressed by: Renzo Piano’s Kansai Airport, where I first landed in 1999 when Swissair operated direct flights to Osaka. Kansai Airport sits on an artificial island off the coast of Osaka and has a wavelike, surging roof that uses the motif of the sea and waves.

In E.M. Forster’s witty Edwardian novel “A Room with a View”, which was later filmed, there is the key scene where Lucy opens the window of the Florentine room overlooking breath-taking River Arno and Duomo scenery and is simply enraptured by the view. That scene is so reminiscent of my view of Los Angeles Airport’s new Tom Bradley Terminal from the cockpit of our Airbus 340.

Whenever approaching LAX during the last couple of years I’ve made sure I can go see my colleagues in the cockpit to catch a view of the landscape beneath us. So I would thus be able to see the Hollywood sign to the right, the various highways, the film studios and most importantly, the approaching airport. For the last couple of years I have been following the modernization of the new Tom Bradley International Terminal, where SWISS is located, from up in the air and have witnessed its beautiful cascading roof structure being erected - created by as an allusion to the breaking waves of the Pacific Ocean by Fentress Architects, who are famous for including vernacular symbols and the sense of place into their architecture. I find that very poetic! (Back home in Zurich, there’s yodelling and other Swiss references in the Skymetro between the main terminal and the midfield terminal.) I like that terminal so much that even when on vacation in L.A. I go hang out there with my friends Ekua and Robert, SWISS station managers at LAX airport.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Higher, faster, sunnier: White Turf 2013

Urs Limacher, Head of Sales Nordics

Let me tell you about my experience in St. Moritz where I had the opportunity to attend the White Turf 2013 event with some customers.

The White Turf is a unique, exclusive, top-class event taking place in one of the most beautiful place on earth: St. Moritz. Every year since 1907, it takes place on the frozen lake among majestic snowy mountains and thousands of amazed spectators.

In cooperation with Top Events of Switzerland, we invited some of our most loyal customers to enjoy this breath-taking experience of Switzerland. Despite travel plans being complicated by a snowy morning in Zurich, all of us made it to the four-hour train journey from Zurich to St. Moritz via Chur and particularly enjoyed the picturesque ride through the wonderful landscape of the Engadine. Admiring the traditional houses, the high mountains and the vertiginous Landwasser Viaduct (a 65-meter-high railway viaduct built in 1902) is always something special, even for Swiss people like me.

After our arrival in the cold and snowy winter wonderland, we experienced a guided tour of the Hotel Waldhaus Sils. This historical hotel, opened in 1908, is now run by this hotelier family’s fifth generation. The day was not over yet, however: A traditional Bündnerplatte and a tasty cheese fondue were waiting for us at the cosy chalet Villa Lyss situated at 2,456m above sea level, on top of Muottas Muragl.

Friday, March 1, 2013

SWISS on Instagram (@FlySWISS)

Birgit Reischl, Manager Marketing & Pricing Austria & Central Eastern Europe

Servus everyone,

I am happy to take over the SWISS Instagram account for the month of March. My name is Birgit Reischl and I am a traveller by heart, a photographer by chance, and a Viennese by choice…At SWISS, I work as Marketing & Pricing Manager for Austria and Central Eastern Europe in our office in Vienna.

Being this month´s photographer, I will provide you with a short intro of what my life @ SWISS feels like in one of the “outstations”, as we call it. With a team of 7 people, we are responsible for the marketing and pricing activities in 16 countries in Central and Eastern Europe including Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Serbia – just to name a few.

By the way, this is also one of the many reasons that make my job fascinating. I get to travel around Europe and meet people from different European countries and cultures.

Thanks for following @FlySWISS!