A luxury hotel in Switzerland has launched its own branded aircraft to celebrate a centenary of direct routes from London.
One hundred years ago, Swiss pilot and aviation pioneer Alfred Comte completed the first direct flight from St Moritz to London.
He took off from the frozen lake opposite Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, a luxury resort in St Moritz.
To mark the anniversary, on 14 February Badrutt’s Palace is launching its own aircraft from London’s Biggin Hill airport to Samedan airport – about 7km outside St Moritz.
It is a 30-seat Dornier 328 jet, which will be offset by the hotel as a carbon-neutral aircraft.
After the inaugural 105-minute flight on Valentine’s Day, the route will operate on selected dates thereafter.
In-flight catering will be provided by the palace’s chef partner, Jason Atherton.
The launch comes as Samedan airport shifts from IFR (instrument flight rules) to VFR (visual flight rules), making landing in bad weather and low visibility safer.
“Badrutt’s Palace has been pivotal in making St Moritz the legendary destination it is today, and we want to continue to support the resort town and region through the introduction of direct flights on our own branded plane,” said Richard Leuenberger, managing director of Badrutt’s Palace Hotel.
There will be additional flights from London to Samedan on 15 and 16 February, and returns on 22 and 23 February, put on to coincide with half-term in UK schools.
These flights are part of a trial by the hotel which could see further routes to Samedan from key destinations.