Edelweiss donates 150,000 Swiss francs to help alliance

“Small money for big help” – this is the motto of the On Board Collection (OBC) of the help alliance, where passengers on board have been able to donate their small change from foreign currencies for many years. Since November 2017, Swiss colleagues have been collecting money for help alliance projects. In the past year, 75,000 Swiss francs were raised in this way – the Edelweiss management team then doubled it again, so that a total of 150,000 Swiss francs, around 133,000 euros, could now be handed over to the help alliance. One third of the money each goes to the help alliance projects in Pattaya (Thailand), Cape Town (South Africa) and the Ocean Care Foundation, which is committed to protecting the world’s oceans.

Edelweiss has already been cooperating with the help alliance for a year and a half. Bernd Bauer, CEO of the Swiss airline, explains in a brief interview what is special about this cooperation, what it consists of and why it is fun to get involved.

Mr Bauer, achieving such a large amount with a fleet of 16 aircraft is something special. How do you explain the great willingness to donate on board – are the Swiss particularly willing to donate?

The culture of donation is broadly anchored in Switzerland. This is certainly also due to the fact that we are still doing very well economically in Switzerland. In my opinion, the fact that our guests are particularly happy to donate also has to do with the relaxed holiday atmosphere on board and the personal commitment of our crews, who do everything they can to make our guests feel comfortable, but who also point out the possibility of donating again and again. In this pleasant environment the guests are very willing to give.

Last year you were on site yourself in the Saigon Children’s Charity project in Vietnam – what was your impression?

Not only in Vietnam. We also carried out an aid campaign in Costa Rica and inaugurated a school project in South Africa. These were pure emotions every time. If you can give help on site and then look into the glowing eyes of the children, it’s a goose bump feeling. These are the moments that confirm and encourage you to help where you can.

What is so special about the cooperation with the help alliance?

The cooperation over the last 18 months has been unbureaucratic, uncomplicated and very pleasant. With the help of the help alliance we can support projects at Edelweiss destinations, which is an important part of our comprehensive CSR programme. As a holiday airline, we often also promote tourism in poorer regions of the world. However, the added value does not reach everyone equally. With the help alliance projects, we can help to remedy this situation. In addition, we know that at help alliance, help arrives where it is needed.

Why are Edelweiss colleagues involved in help alliance projects?

Doing something good for someone, offering their help and creating something together in a team gives a good feeling. At the same time, such missions often bring you back to the ground of reality. Your own “problems” suddenly appear – to quote the German singer and songwriter Reinhard Mey – “void and small”.

Many thanks for the interview!


Bernd Bauer, CEO Edelweiss and Andrea Pernkopf, Management of help alliance