On October 19, 1995, Edelweiss Air was founded in Bassersdorf, Switzerland, with a fleet of just one aircraft, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83. The company was named after the Swiss unofficial national flower, the Edelweiss, which is also painted on the airplanes. Edelweiss Air, Switzerland’s leading leisure travel airline, operates flights to European and intercontinental destinations from its base at Zurich Airport.
In February 1996, Edelweiss Air is given the green light for business operations, and the first commercial flight takes off from Zurich to Paphos and Larnaca in Cyprus. In 1996, Edelweiss Air was operating two short-haul aircraft McDonnell Douglas MD-83.
In 1997, a third McDonnell Douglas MD-83 was added to the fleet, but the following year the airline decided to replace them and switch to modern Airbus jets.
In 1999, Edelweiss Air replaced the three McDonnell Douglas MD-83 aircraft with three new A320 aircraft.
In 2000, Edelweiss Air added the first Airbus A330-200 to its fleet, and the first long-haul flight is to Male (Maldives).
Between 2001 and 2008, on multiple occasions, Edelweiss Air won the Gold Travel Star Award for Best Holiday Airline.
In November 2008, Edelweiss Air was acquired by SWISS and became not only an affiliate of SWISS but also part of the Lufthansa Group. However, Edelweiss Air remained operationally independent within the SWISS Group, with its own management, brand, fleet, and crews. Since then, Edelweiss Air, focussing on high-quality, evolved from a classic charter operator to a modern leisure travel airline.
In March 2011, Edelweiss Air added to its fleet a new long-haul aircraft, the larger Airbus A330-300.
In 2014, to significantly improve the cabins with additional space and comfort, the Edelweiss long-haul fleet was refurbished. The Business Class was equipped with lie-flat seats and a new in-flight entertainment system, including sixteen-inch screens. The Economy Class also received a makeover with new seats and a new in-flight entertainment system, including touch screens. Furthermore, Edelweiss introduced a new class, Economy Max that offers passengers fifteen centimeters more legroom and many other amenities.
In the 2014 summer timetable, Edelweiss Air added to its network two new long-haul destinations, Las Vegas and Havana, to which the airline now operates direct flights from Zurich.
In 2016-2018, Edelweiss added to its fleet three long-haul aircraft of the type Airbus A340. The Airbus A340-300s, previously operated by SWISS, were fully refurbished and used to expand the Edelweiss route network with new destinations, such as Cancún (Mexico), San José (Costa Rica), San Diego (USA), Seychelles, Colombo (Sri Lanka), and Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam).
Starting October 2018, Edelweiss operates weekly direct flights from Zurich to La Palma, the total number of Edelweiss destinations reaching seventy. In November, two weekly direct flights from Zurich to Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital and the “Paris of South America”, will be added to the route network.
For summer 2019, Edelweiss Air announced the expansion of its route network with two new holiday destinations, Tirana (Albania) and Kalamata (Greece). Also starting in summer 2019, Edelweiss will offer year-round flights to Mauritius and Seychelles.
No fatal accidents involving Edelweiss Air were registered so far.