Swissair was once the flag carrier of Switzerland and they produced some amazing photos of planes. Their marketing team really made sure to take some really evocative images, which was helped by the airline’s location.

I always remember their excellent marketing photography and so I thought I’d put together some images I like. Airlines today could learn a lot from the Swiss, as certain carriers have pretty average pictures of their aircraft (looking at you, Aer Lingus!).

Swissair Photos of Planes

Okay, you might be wondering what is that Douglas DC-10-30ER doing wearing sunglasses in the image at the top. Well, this was 1 November 1989 and HB-IHL is wearing them to celebrate the inaugural service from Zürich to Los Angeles via Geneva. After all, it’s always sunny in California!

After an American Airlines accident in 1979, the worldwide fleet of Douglas DC-10 aircraft were grounded. The airline took the opportunity to photograph its entire fleet on the ground.

One of the rarer aircraft that Swissair operated is the Convair 990 Coronado. The picture below shows off the sleek lines of the American jet to great advantage.

As it is today, it’s quite a logistical challenge to be able to fly in formation and get decent shots. I guess that’s what they pay professional photographers for after all!

Step Back In Time

Here are a few more interesting ones, starting with a time lapse of a Convair 440 Metropolitan on the ground in Zurich. I loved time lapse photos of planes as a kid and still don’t mind them. This is followed by two classic shots of the French Sud Aviation Caravelle.

The Caravelle shots are interesting as it looks like Swissair were just flying their own planes in formation to get the shots. The last one of the Airbus A310 is one of the type I most remember.

Overall Thoughts

Naturally Swissair was showing off Switzerland quite frequently when taking photos of planes. They are quite lucky to have had a particularly striking landscape for their images.

You don’t often see really interesting pictures being taken of aircraft these days for airline promotional use. I lament it because I really like showcasing awesome pictures at the top of my articles. Sometimes they are very difficult to find (and god help you if you want two different airlines in one shot!).

Do you remember any airline that took memorable photos of planes apart from Swissair? What did you think of these? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image via ETH-Bibliothek Zürich, Bildarchiv/Stiftung Luftbild Schweiz / LBS_SR04-034724.
Alps Douglas DC-10-30 via ETH-Bibliothek.
All DC-10s on the ground in 1979 via ETH-Bibliothek / LBS_SR03-10752-30.
Caravelle via ETH-Bibliothek / LBS_L1-620982.
Caravelle over Aletsch Glacier via ETH-Bibliothek – LBS_L1-640976
Convair 440 via ETH-Bibliothek / LBS_L1-000578
Airbus A310 via ETH-Bibliothek / LBS_L1-845581.