Switzerland will not air conspiracy theory documentary

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Wed September 14 2011, 05:24 AM
Switzerland will not air conspiracy theory documentary
Sep 14, 2011 - 13:57
Swiss TV opts not to show Halifax crash film
Swiss television has decided not to air a conspiracy theory documentary which it co-produced on the 1998 Swissair crash over Halifax, Canada.
The documentary presents the argument that the crash was not due to a cable fire but a targeted attack.

Swiss television’s chief editor Diego Yanez said the film’s findings did not justify its broadcast at this time. “It’s not our task to spread speculation,” he said. Swiss television will not air the film until its own research uncovers more than circumstantial evidence on the issue.

The film, a joint production with the Canadian public broadcaster CBC, claims that evidence was withheld in connection with the crash and the results of the four-year probe into the accident were manipulated.

Investigating authorities ruled out an attack from the outset.

Flight 111 took off on September 2, 1998 from New York bound for Geneva. An hour into the flight the pilot noticed smoke in the cockpit and the plane crashed shortly afterwards into the Atlantic near Halifax in Canada.

The crash killed all 215 passengers and 14 crew members on board. It was the worst accident in the airline’s history. and agencies
Fri September 16 2011, 08:38 PM
Now that I've seen this documentary, I can certainly understand why Swiss television will probably not be airing it. It is filled with sensationalism, and very little if any scientific data to back it up.
Sat September 17 2011, 11:41 AM
I wonder why they participated in it, in the first place? Kind of weird if you ask me.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: BF,
Sun September 18 2011, 03:42 PM
One article I read said that the swiss participated in the research. What research?
Sun October 02 2011, 06:46 AM
I wonder if the swiss saw this recent conspiracy theory, as possibly clearing the swissair airliner's name from any responsibility of the tragic crash that killed 229 people? It's the first thing I thought of when I heard that the Swiss were involved in the 'documentary'. When they saw the final product, they seemed to distance themselves from it as it obviously doesn't have any information to support Juby's theory of a bomb being on board.

From a recent article:

The recent success of Swiss International Air Lines has restored faith in Switzerland’s national carrier, but not erased the trauma of Swissair’s grounding.
Ten years ago, on October 2, the Swiss carrier collapsed under a mountain of debts, sparking national anger and soul searching. Its successor, Swiss, endured a rocky early ride, but is now tasting success after being rescued by Germany’s Lufthansa group.

Under the wing of Lufthansa, Swiss survived the financial crisis and boom in oil prices and is now one of the most commercially successful airlines.

Operating profits more than doubled in the first six months of this year to SFr129 million ($142 million), while the full year of 2010 saw profits of SFr368 million. Compared with the rest of the airline industry, including Lufthansa, these figures represent robust performance.

The figures have impressed Andreas Wittmer, head of the Center for Aviation Competence at St Gallen University. As a successful multinational company, Swiss now attracts admiration from the public.

Misty-eyed romantics
But Swiss can never elicit the same nostalgic feelings of national pride as Swissair, according to Wittmer and other observers.

While many Swiss travellers still go misty-eyed at the sight of the national flag on the aircraft’s tail fin – a design that will be upgraded from October – the new airline fails to stir the same patriotic feelings as Swissair.

“Flying no longer conjures up the same romantic feelings as in the past,” Wittmer told “Airlines have had to remodel themselves commercially in the face of increased competition and a tougher environment and they are no longer being perceived in the same light.”

Swiss pilot Thomas Steffen, who also serves at the trade union Aeropers, believes there is a subtle difference in the perception of the airline domestically and abroad.

Steffen has noticed that far fewer Swiss people want to become pilots for the airline, with most new recruits coming from abroad, especially Germany.

What’s in a name?
That may have had something to do with a long running pilots’ pay dispute that ended in July. But Steffen also believes the demise of Swissair has put off some locals who are deterred by the knowledge that even a national airline can go bust.

“[But] outside Switzerland, people do not differentiate between Swissair and Swiss – they see the Swiss flag logo and do not recognise that it is a different company,” Steffen told “Many passengers still think that they are flying with Swissair.”

The Swiss flag has a resonance with international passengers, standing for quality and reliability, according to Steffen. And the fact that Swiss is now German-owned makes no difference to most travellers, inside or outside the country.

“Swiss has become successful in its own right and generates a lot of money for the parent company,“ he told

“Swiss is a pearl in the Star Alliance and Lufthansa did not change the name or identity of the airline because they realised they could profit from the brand.”

Swiss International Air Lines is forging ahead with a new dynamic identity rather than wallowing in the past, according to the airline’s spokesman Jean-Claude Donzel.

“We have a new generation of staff coming up as the old guard of former Swissair employees reach retirement,” he told “These new young people are developing a new spirit.”

Good image
The airline hopes that this spirit, allied with some traditions left over from the past, will convince Swiss people that their national carrier is very much alive and robust.

“Our colours and the name of our company are still very similar,” he said. “The nation is proud of having its own airline. Not so long ago many people thought this would never be possible.”

The wounds of 2001 appear to be healing – Switzerland also had to contend with a fatal fire in the Gotthard tunnel and a mass murder by a gunman at Zug’s parliamentary buildings that same year.

Efforts to assuage public anger at Swissair’s grounding with an expensive criminal prosecution of former board members proved fruitless. All 19 executives were acquitted in 2007.

But Swiss International Air Lines appears to have escaped from being tarred with the same brush as its failed predecessor.

The new airline has consistently scored progressively higher marks among the Swiss public in annual polls on the image of corporate brands, conducted by market research group gfk.

Swiss is now one of Switzerland’s most respected brands, according to gfk’s Claudia Merkel.

“In general, Swiss has enjoyed very good reputation in the last couple of years, with a constant upwards tendency;” she told “Compared to the whole transport industry [such as Swiss Railways], they are above average.”

Matthew Allen,


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