Skiplink Navigation

Main Features

Zeppelin postal delivery slowed by wind

The Zeppelin NT will take to the air on August 1.


The zeppelin "Friedrichshafen" was faced with unexpected difficulties in its unique National Day postal delivery as it was swayed by the wind in central Switzerland.

The zeppelin, in its first flight over the region, picked up the mail from a motorboat at Lake Lucerne to deliver it to Altenrhein. However, the manoeuvring turned out to be more troublesome than expected.

The "Friedrichshafen" had trouble keeping its position, which made hauling the postal sacks a real challenge.

But the mail bags were eventually hauled to the airship and all airmail letters contained inside them bore a special zeppelin stamp - the stamps were also sold to the public.

Proceeds of the sale are going to a German children's charity in Stockach at Lake Constance.

Another Zeppelin NT to fly over Lake Constance

With the production and development of the Zeppelin NT, which cost about SFr60 million, Deutsche Luftschiffreederei expected to conquer the world market. They had hoped to sell 20 airships, however, not one buyer has yet agreed to pay SFr11.2 million for the Zeppelin.

Skyship Cruise, a Swiss company which specialises in airships, had planned to buy the NT for round trips over Switzerland. However, managing director Christian Schulthess, has his doubts. "With this high purchase price we will never be able to make a profit."

Schulthess argues that SFr470 per ticket, the price the German company plans to charge, is astronomical. He thinks Skyship Cruise could charge Swiss customers SFr400 per hour at the most.

However, the price does not seem to deter Zeppelin enthusiasts. Oliver Schütz, marketing manager of Deutsche Luftschiffreederei, said the company was planning to fly until October. If demand continues they may extend the flights. .

The first Zeppelin was launched at Lake Constance on July 2, 1900. The early launch was a dramatic sight: The airship was pulled from its floating hangar on pontoons, before it rose in flight.

swissinfo with agencies

Neuer Inhalt

Horizontal Line

subscription form

Form for signing up for free newsletter.

Sign up for our free newsletters and get the top stories delivered to your inbox.

Click here to see more newsletters