After halting operations in 1939 as a result of the World War II, funding from the Swiss government allowed Swissair to return to the skies in 1947, with the company going on to become a source of national pride.
The airline ran into financial difficulties in the late 1980s and never recovered. In 2000, Swissair announced a record loss of CHF 2.9 billion. Demand for flights worldwide plummeted following the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001. On 2 October 2001, Swissair was officially grounded and the company was forced to cancel all flights due to cash flow problems. Passengers and crews were left stranded all over the globe in what was undoubtedly the most spectacular bankruptcy in recent Swiss business history. On 3 October 2011, the price of Swissair shares was CHF 1.25. On 4 October 2001, the Swiss Stock Exchange announced that Swissair shares would be delisted at the end of the next day's trading and removed from all indices in the SMI family.
Swiss International Airlines was formed in the wake of the collapse of Swissair and was subsequently acquired by German airline Lufthansa in 2007.
The nominal value of Swissair shares was reduced from CHF 500 to CHF 350 by means of a share buyback scheme in November 1950. The capital reduction was undertaken in response to the airline's financial difficulties in the 1940s.