Gstaad Hotel Copyright Gstaad Palace

A SWISS and Gstaad Palace Partnership in 2023

Vancouver – May 10, 2023 – SWISS and the Gstaad Palace luxury Swiss hotel are embarking on a pioneering new partnership under which the Gstaad Palace becomes the first five-star-superior hotel to procure sustainable fuel for all its SWISS business travel.

In doing so, the Gstaad Palace is not only reducing CO2 emissions generated by its business travel: it is also helping to promote the use and further development of sustainable fuels.

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) and the Gstaad Palace luxury Swiss hotel are embarking on a pioneering new partnership. Under their new accord, the Gstaad Palace will now procure sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for all its business travel on SWISS. The Gstaad Palace thus becomes the first hotel of its kind to commit to using solely SAF for all its business air travel.

SAF is a biofuel used to power aircraft that has similar properties to conventional jet fuel but with a smaller carbon footprint. SAF is made by blending conventional kerosene (fossil-based) with renewable hydrocarbon. This is certified as “Jet-A1” fuel and can be used without any technical modifications to aircraft. Renewable gasoline can be produced from various biomass sources. These include lipids (such as vegetable oils, animal fats, greases, and algae) and cellulosic material (such as crop residues, woody biomass, and dedicated energy crops).

“The Gstaad Palace and SWISS are reputed premium brands that are both committed not only to top-quality service but to sustainability, too,” says SWISS CEO Dieter Vranckx. “I’m delighted that our new collaboration brings the desire to make travel more sustainable a further key step forward. In committing to these actions, the Gstaad Palace is playing a truly pioneering role. And we hope at SWISS that many further companies will follow its example.”

“Ever since our hotel was established back in 1913, the Gstaad Palace has been keenly aware of its responsibilities in the sustainability field,” adds Andrea Scherz, General Manager of the Gstaad Palace and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the “Leading Hotels of the World”. “As a family business of entrepreneurially-minded people, we have always paid the keenest regard to resources and how we use them.

We work constantly, both within our walls and throughout the Saanenland region, to maintain a sustainable and socially compatible relationship with nature and the environment. In forging this new collaboration with SWISS, we aim to send a clear signal, both within our sector and to all our guests. By taking advantage of new technologies such as SAF, we can offer our own concrete contribution to making travel easier on the environment.”

In undertaking to purchase SAF for all its business travel on SWISS, the renowned and long-established Gstaad luxury hotel – which is also a member of “The Leading Hotels of the World” and of “Swiss Deluxe Hotels” – is not only tangibly enhancing its own carbon footprint, but is also helping substantially to promote sustainable air travel. SAF is currently only available in small volumes.

SWISS is specifically committed to promoting both the use of SAF and the scaling up of the new fuel’s production. And by participating in various research and pilot projects, SWISS and the Lufthansa Group are helping to drive the development of these new sustainable fuel technologies.

SWISS and the Lufthansa Group are also devising specific SAF product offers for their private and their corporate customers, and are further involved in strategic partnerships to promote the fuel’s market development. By opting to purchase SAF for their air travel, SWISS’s customers send a key signal to the market to pursue the use and the increased production of such sustainable fuels. The SAF available today generates some 80 per cent fewer CO2 emissions than fossil fuel alternatives.

SWISS already offers its customers a range of SAF products to reduce the CO2 emissions produced by their air travel. Further SAF collaborations with corporate customers are sure to follow, as these externally validated and certificated SAF products are generating sizeable interest in the corporate world. Any companies interested in a collaboration on the SAF front are asked to contact SWISS at

About Gstaad Palace (from their website)

Local secondary school teacher Robert Steffen (1878 – 1923) recognises the potential for a grand hotel on the Oberbort in 1905 and acquires the first parcels of land. As a result, the public holding company “Royal-Hôtel & Winter Palace Gstaad” is founded in Lausanne on 15 December 1911.

In April, 1912, the construction of the Palace Hotel commences. Led by architects Adrien van Dorsser (1866–1957) and Charles-François Bonjour (1870–1961), the project has a budget of 2.5 million Swiss francs, an unusually large investment for the time.

On 8 December 1913, the Palace Hotel opens its doors under the management of Albert Steudler and Hans Pünter. It has 250 beds in 165 rooms, of which 70 are equipped with their own bathroom. With a further 20 shared bathrooms, central heating and an in-house telegrapher, the hotel offers highest standards of convenience.

The number of overnight stays drops to half during World War II. Due to the threat of invasion, the Union Bank of Switzerland has a huge strong room constructed under the Palace terrace in 1939/40. In the event that branches closer to the border have to be surrendered, the bank’s management will set up base in the Palace. Important papers and gold are transferred to the strong room. Today, the facility is home to La Fromagerie.

In 1938, the Scherz-Bezzola family took over the running of the hotel, which was built just before World War I. After World War II, the 1950s and 1960s brought a dazzling recovery, with notable figures attending history-making events, until the 1973 oil crisis triggered another slowdown.

At an extraordinary general meeting of the Palace-AG on 21 January 1974, the company’s share capital is re-structured. With reference to Ernst Scherz ‘s succession planning, voting shares are introduced to strengthen the structure of the Palace-AG as a family-owned company. Ernst Andrea Scherz becomes president of The Leading Hotels of the World alliance.

The Palace then enjoyed a steady upturn – benefiting from the accomplished leadership of Ernst Andrea Scherz for 33 years. Andrea Scherz commences work at the Palace in the summer of 1996, initially as Chef de Réception. This marks the start of the third generation’s involvement in the business. In the same year, Les Chalets du Palace are completed. Third generation owner Andrea Scherz has been at the helm since 2001.

In a project instigated by Andrea Scherz, Gstaad schoolchildren plant new trees in a woodland on the Oberbort that was destroyed by cyclone Lothar in 1999. The reforestation is financed by the Gstaad Palace as part of its 100-year anniversary celebrations. To mark the anniversary, the Palace also publishes the comprehensive book “100 Years Gstaad Palace” in 2013.

Following a long illness, Senior Director Ernst Andrea Scherz passes away at the age of 81 in the year of 2021.

Andrea Scherz is made chairman of Leading Hotels of the World (LHW). He follows in the footsteps of his father, who held the position from 1974 to 1989. During that period, the leading consortium of luxury hotels expanded from 90 to more than 220 establishments worldwide. Today the number has risen to 400. The Gstaad Palace has been one of them for over 60 years. Under his expert guidance, the Palace prominently affirmed its standing in the top division of the world’s leading establishments.

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Leading Hotels of the World Organization

The Leading Hotels of the World is the largest collection of independent luxury hotels, with more than 400 properties from the snow-capped Alps of Europe to the African veldt. Leading Hotels carefully curates distinctive hotels, resorts, inns, chalets, villas, and safari camps for adventurous souls.

Just as the Gstaad Palace is a family-led hotel of more than three generations, more than eighty percent of Leading Hotels’ members are family-led, ninety percent are independent, and one hundred percent are luxury properties.

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About Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS)

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is Switzerland’s largest air carrier. With one of Europe’s most advanced aircraft fleets, SWISS is a premium airline that provides direct flights from Zurich and Geneva to keep Switzerland connected with Europe and the world. Its Swiss WorldCargo division offers an extensive range of airport-to-airport airfreight services for high-value, time-critical and care-intensive consignments.

As The Airline of Switzerland, SWISS embodies its home country’s traditional values and is dedicated to delivering the highest product and service quality.

Bombardier CS100 air-to-air – SWISS now offers carbon-neutral air travel options directly…

The company has also set itself ambitious carbon targets, and plans to halve its 2019 net carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and make its business and operations entirely carbon-neutral by 2050, particularly by promoting the use of sustainable aviation fuels. SWISS is part of the Lufthansa Group and is also a member of Star Alliance, the world’s biggest airline network.

The Chairman is Reto Francioni since 2016. Reto Francioni has been serving on the boards of directors of numerous major corporations. He is currently also Chairman of the Board of the UBS Europe SE and Member and Senior Independent Director of Coca Cola Hellenic Bottling Company. Doris Russi Schurter is the only woman on Board. Doris Russi Schurter has been serving on the boards of foundations and board of directors of a number of major corporations since 2005. Doris Russi Schurter has been a Member of the Swiss International Air Lines Ltd. Board of Directors since June 2016. She further serves as President of the VSUD, the association of Swiss companies in Germany.

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