Palace in the Air
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first flight between St. Moritz (Canton Grisons) and London. One of the initiators in 1920 was Hans Badrutt (1876-1953), owner of the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel in St. Moritz. The St. Moritz lake (St. Moritzersee) right in front of the hotel was also the location of the first flights by aeroplane in Switzerland in 1910. The first Swiss airlines were founded shortly after the First World War, one of them, Ad Astra, was owned by Alfred Comte (1895-1965). Comte flew more than 230 flights in the skies of Grisons in the winters of 1919 and 1920. Winter tourism was booming, again, and British aristocrats, captains of industry and artists formed the most significant group of tourists. The direct flight from St. Moritz to London and back with an estimated travel time of nine hours was the next logical step. It was made possible by the new international aviation agreement between France, Great Britain and Switzerland, signed shortly after the war. The first flight with Comte as pilot took place on March 4th, 1920, with a Condor CH-2. The Badrutt’s Palace hotel celebrates this centennial anniversary and organises the ‘Palace in the Air’ line between St. Moritz and London. The first flight from London landed after less than two hours on Friday, February 14th, 2020, not on the St. Moritz lake anymore, but on the nearby Airport of Samedan, and left St. Moritz again the same day. On 22 and 23 February there will be two more flights London-St.Moritz and back.