Swiss International Air Lines’ Airbus A320 HB-IJO was formally named “Verbier” this morning after the famous Swiss resort. The symbolic naming ceremony was held at the resort’s W Hotel and was attended by Eloi Rossier, the current mayor of Bagnes (to which Verbier belongs) and Lorenzo Stoll, SWISS’s Head of Western Switzerland.
The actual naming was jointly performed by three well-known personalities from the Swiss skiing world: Roland Collombin, the downhill silver medallist at the 1972 Winter Olympics and Alpine World Championships in Sapporo, Japan and winner of the overall downhill World Cup in 1973 and 1974; Philippe Roux, who earned six podium places in the downhill World Cup between 1973 and 1976; and William Besse, who won four downhill World Cup events including the 1994 classic Lauberhorn race.
The choice of Verbier for SWISS’s latest aircraft naming confirms the resort’s importance to the international tourism sector. “Verbier is one of Europe’s best-known and most popular tourist destinations,” said Lorenzo Stoll, SWISS’s Head of Western Switzerland, at the ceremony. “And visitors from the UK and Scandinavia in particular prefer flying SWISS to get here. So we’re pleased and proud that one of our aircraft will now carry the Verbier name out into the world, underlining both its importance to SWISS and our commitment to Western Switzerland, where we continue to expand and develop our Geneva hub.”
Eloi Rossier, the mayor of Bagnes, was equally pleased. “We are delighted that a SWISS Airbus now bears the Verbier name,” he said. “And we see this as a telling symbol of both our openness to the world and our own strong ties to our national airline.”
HB-IJO is one of 38 Airbus A320-family aircraft in the SWISS fleet. The A320 is primarily used on services within Switzerland and on flights from Geneva and Zurich to points in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Swiss International Air Lines Ltd.