• Switzerland edition
 
Plan to cut aerobatic team raises hackles
Photo: Matthias Kabel

Plan to cut aerobatic team raises hackles

Published: 13 Feb 2013 18:38 GMT+01:00
Updated: 13 Feb 2013 18:38 GMT+01:00

Many Swiss were outraged Wednesday after hearing that the country's beloved aerobatic red planes with their characteristic white crosses, the Patrouille Suisse, will be cut from the Swiss air force by 2016.

"We will no longer have planes simply for folklore," President Ueli Maurer told a parliamentary security policy commission meeting on Tuesday, according to the Basler Zeitung daily.

The commission had been discussing Switzerland's pending purchase of 22 JAS 39 Gripen fighter jets from Sweden when a member reportedly asked about the future of the Patrouille Suisse, which has been a fixture in Swiss skies since 1964.

The Swiss president, who is also the country's defence minister and a member of the populist right Swiss People's Party, told the gathering that as of 2016 the cherished aerobatic team would cease to exist.

The revelation sparked outrage in Switzerland, with politicians leading the way.
   
"Maurer is underestimating the symbolic importance of the Patrouille Suisse," Martin Landolt, the head of the Conservative Democratic Party of Switzerland told the 20Minuten.ch website.

The head of the Christian Democratic Party, Christoph Darbellay agreed, describing the decision as "a provocation."

A former pilot with the aerobatic team, also quoted by 20Minuten.ch, denounced the move, stressing that the Patrouille Suisse had never had an accident since its creation in 1964.

"The Patrouille is the best business card Switzerland has," pilot John Huessy said.

"It is unacceptable to say that what they do is about folklore."

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Kerry bound for Geneva talks on Ukraine crisis
US Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva last year. Photo: Pool/AFP

Kerry bound for Geneva talks on Ukraine crisis

US Secretary of State John Kerry left on Wednesday for Geneva for high-stakes talks on Ukraine, armed with the threat of more sanctions against Moscow if diplomacy fails, as tensions on the ground escalated sharply. READ () »

Credit Suisse investment bank woes hurt profits
Credit Suisse offices in Zurich. Photo: Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse investment bank woes hurt profits

Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse said on Wednesday that its first quarter net profit took a heavy hit as its investment bank reeled from slumping trading in bonds. READ () »

Ski champion announces same-sex marriage
Sylviane Berthod (right in each of the photos) and her partner. Photos: Facebook

Ski champion announces same-sex marriage

Former Swiss alpine ski champion Sylviane Berthod has announced her engagement to marry another woman in a public way — on her Facebook page. READ () »

UK blocks Swiss deal with EU on Croatia
EU headquarters in Brussels. Photo: Dominique Faget/AFP

UK blocks Swiss deal with EU on Croatia

The UK has scuppered, at least temporarily, an agreement in principle between Bern and Brussels over the free movement of people between Switzerland and Croatia, the Swiss broadcaster RTS says. READ () »

US regulator seeks more Credit Suisse documents
Photo: AFP

US regulator seeks more Credit Suisse documents

A New York regulator probing Credit Suisse's role in enabling tax evasion has demanded a trove of additional documents from the bank, a person familiar with the situation said Tuesday. READ () »

Ex-footballer Makélélé faces Swiss tax probe
Claude Makélélé in his coaching role last year at Paris Saint Germain. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Ex-footballer Makélélé faces Swiss tax probe

Former France midfielder Claude Makélélé is facing a tax probe at home and in Switzerland, a filing showed Tuesday, as reports suggested it could relate to his investments in a Geneva football team. READ () »

Specialist says Swiss eat too much salty cheese
Photo: Switzerland Cheese Marketing

Specialist says Swiss eat too much salty cheese

The Swiss are known for their great love of cheese but a doctor from Lausanne is warning that they need to reduce their consumption of gruyère, emmental and other varieties because of the health risks. READ () »

Ukraine nixes 'internal affairs' talk in Geneva
Photo: UNOG

Ukraine nixes 'internal affairs' talk in Geneva

Ukraine on Tuesday ruled out any discussion of its "internal affairs" at talks this week with Russia, the US and EU, amid spiralling tensions between Kiev and pro-Moscow militants. READ () »

El Nino weather event seen likely: WMO
WMO headquarters in Geneva. Photo (detail): Mark Parsons

El Nino weather event seen likely: WMO

An "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean is likely this year, bringing droughts and heavy rainfall to the rest of the world, the Geneva-based UN weather agency warned on Tuesday. READ () »

Strong franc hits Nestlé's first quarter sales
Paul Bulcke: maintains 'organic growth' will improve. Photo: AFP

Strong franc hits Nestlé's first quarter sales

Nestlé, the world's leading food industry group, saw its sales slide 5.1 percent in the first quarter from the same period in 2013, the Swiss-based company said on Tuesday, blaming the effect of exchange rates and strength of the franc. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Former industrial zone transforms into Zurich’s trendiest spot
Tech
Swiss Solar Impulse team shows off new fuel-free aircraft
International
Suspect in Liechtenstein bank CEO murder case 'likely dead'
Sponsored Article
Caveman comedy comes to Zurich in English
Society
Innovative building provides refuge for hypersensitive tenants
Tech
VIDEO: Teenage boy sends Swiss army knife into stratosphere
International
Switzerland ranks second in world for social progress: report
National
Pharrell Williams set to perform in first Montreux jazzfest concert
Sport
American wingsuit flyer dies after Bernese Oberland accident
Business & Money
H&M plans hefty Swiss minimum wage for employees by 2015
International
Caterpillar accused by US senator of dodging taxes through 'Swiss plan'
International
Geneva man in Facebook page fight with Italian carmaker Ferrari
Advertisement:
International
Schumacher’s wife pays for 'medical suite' at Swiss family mansion
International
Aborted Swiss airlines take-off injures four at London airport
International
Swiss refuse asylum request from topless protest group founder
Business & Money
British expat former banker to head Swiss finance regulator FINMA
National
Swiss honey contains harmful plastic: TV consumer affairs report
Business & Money
Luxury watchmaker Patek Philippe threatens Geneva exit over taxes
Business & Money
World's largest watch fair opens in Basel amid uncertain times
International
'Fergie' credits hikes around Verbier mountains for recent weight loss
Etoiles de Montagne
Sponsored Article
How to summer holiday up a Swiss mountain
Swissbenefits
Sponsored Article
How to avoid Switzerland’s tax haven trap
International
Switzerland's residents are the happiest in the OECD: report
International
Swiss voters support bid to establish lofty minimum wage: poll
National
Switzerland's largest cities set to back regulated 'cannabis clubs'
Business & Money
Franc surges against other currencies on rising Ukraine concerns
Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,091
jobs available