Swiss International Air Lines AG is currently the largest airline in Switzerland and was founded in October 2001 as a result of the bankruptcy of the former airline Swissair. The existence of this new national airline may be attributed to the regionally operating carrier Crossair, which, with the financial support of the Swiss confederation and the two large banks UBS and Credit Suisse, brought up part of Swissair’s assets and re-established the company. After having been successfully re-established, the company’s name Crossair was changed to SWISS and it began to operate regular international flights from Swissair’s timetable with its fleet of 26 remaining aeroplanes under the project name of "Phönix+". After several failed attempts by Lufthansa to take over the company, the decision was taken in 2003 in Basel to join Oneworld-Allianz, but this was reversed without any positive results after only a year. After months of secret negotiations with Lufthansa AG, a takeover was agreed upon for the spring of 2005, a decision to a large extent forced by the major shareholders in Switzerland. In the two years that followed, Swiss was formally part of Lufthansa, although the company only owned 49% of shares, because the Swiss government was not prepared to give up control of its prestige asset. The complete takeover, however, took place on 1st July 2007.
Presently (July 2007), the fleet of the Swiss confederation and its subsidiary Swiss European Airlines consists of 75 aeroplanes of the companies Airbus and British Aerospace. In cooperation with the internationally operating Star Alliance, the airline transfer passengers to all parts of the world including Bombay, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, Muscat, Ottawa, Santiago de Chile and Tripoli.
Swiss serves destinations in north and south America, Europe, Africa and airports in the middle and far East. In the summer 2009 a total of 90 destinations were flown to in 42 countries.