The spiritus rector of the airship idea with “Skyship Cruise” was Christian Schulthess. An airline pilot by profession, he read an article in Flight Magazine in 1984 about the “Skyship 500” developed in England. The idea of using an airship in Switzerland for tourism inspired him. He then got in touch with the manufacturer “Airship Industries” in London and Bedford (UK) in order to deal more intensively with the possible applications and the operating concept of airships. This marked the beginning of the company.

After C. Schulthess was able to win over further supporters, friends and acquaintances as co-shareholders and “bonded workers”, the “Skyship Cruise AG” [SCL] was founded in Zurich (Switzerland) in 1996 as an important milestone, with an initial share capital of CHF 100,000.

Years later, a new airship was also developed in Friedrichshafen (Germany), the “Zeppelin NT 07”. The price for this was originally set at DM 2 million (German marks). Shortly thereafter, SCL, as the first customer, concluded a preliminary contract with the manufacturer “Zeppelin Luftschiff Technik” [ZLT], but already at a much higher price. In order to be able to implement its intention to buy, SCL increased its share capital to CHF 1.15 million.

However, the development and certification of the Zeppelin NT were delayed not only by months, but by years. At the same time, the price gradually rose to an unbelievable DM 16 million, or – since the euro was introduced in the meantime – finally to over € 10 million. This made it impossible to buy on terms that would have made it possible to operate profitably. Because all other initial customers had already pulled out due to the excessive price respectively the impossibility of financing, ZLT founded its own operating company, copied the concept already developed by Skyship Cruise of a round trip operation with passengers and put the first two airships into operation itself without further ado.

SCL had to reorient itself. Immediately after the previous contract was cancelled by ZLT, a contract was signed with a well-known Swiss company. And finally, in 2002, a Skyship 600, the larger version of the Skyship 500, was put into operation. An important milestone had been reached!