In 1944, Franz Gribi began his civil aviation career at Bern Airport as one of the first Swiss military pilots. On his first propeller aircraft, he trained numerous entrepreneurs as private pilots after receiving his flight instructor license.
In the 1960s, he was given the opportunity to purchase a 14,000 m2 property within the airport perimeter with access to the runway from a local farmer. In the following years, he built various aircraft hangars, an aircraft maintenance yard and an office and training building for the newly founded company GRIBAIR AG on this property.
To meet the increasing demand in the luxury travel sector, Alex Gribi founded his own airline SKYWORK AG in 1983.
In 1989, he bought his first business jet and was the first Swiss jet flight school to train numerous professional pilots. Furthermore, he acted as an expert on behalf of the Federal Office of Civil Aviation and took numerous official examinations over a period of more than 30 years.
Through great dedication and due to the Europe-wide reputation that had been created, SKYWORK, based at Bern Airport, operated six state-of-the-art business jets in 2000, most of which were ordered by Alex Gribi at the American manufacturing plants, test flown there and certified in Switzerland after their transatlantic overflight.
After CROSSAIR as well as other well-known airlines had to discontinue their scheduled flights from/to Bern due to insufficient passenger numbers in 2002, Bern Airport suffered a financial and operational standstill with the bankruptcy of AIR ENGIADINA/KLM ALPS, also based in Bern.
As the demand for charter flights for travel agencies and private companies increased at that time, SKYWORK resp. Alex Gribi took over a 30-seater Dornier 328 Turboprob and founded the subsidiary SKYWORK AIRLINES with it.
A further milestone was reached in 2003, when the newly constructed VIP terminal and handling and office building on the North Terminal replaced the original office and training building, which had been severely damaged by the airport flooding in 1999.
The increasing popularity of SKYWORK and SKYWORK AIRLINES at home and abroad in the following years was followed by more and more transport and flight requests, which created the need for an additional, but more than twice as large aircraft. Thus, in 2008, in cooperation with investors, a brand new Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 with 72 seats was purchased and the company was further expanded with additional hired flight and ground personnel. Shortly thereafter, SKY WORK and its approximately 55 employees celebrated its 25th anniversary at Bern Airport with the participation of a broad public and representatives of the press, and launched its first scheduled services to Rotterdam and Barcelona.
Within the following years, earnings decreased steadily until SKYWORK airlines reached a financial low point in 2010 and were on the verge of bankruptcy. However, Alex Gribi did not want to give up his good reputation for reliability, continuity and entrepreneurial tradition lightly, so he went looking for investors among his acquaintances and customers. Thus he found an investor who, despite the financially ailing state, took over the SKYWORK AIRLINES shares by purchase and subsequently gave the SKYWORK flight operations with up to 8 airliners and 180 employees a renewed, unprecedented upswing. As a result of the rapid expansion of SKY WORK airlines following the economic retirement of Alex Gribi, the company left its operations center at the North Terminal and moved into a new business building in Belp.Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
In order to continue the family tradition started almost 70 years ago at Bern-Belp Airport with his twin sons Matteo and Manuel, Alex Gribi decided to continue operating his private, 9-seater business jet when he sold the SKYWORK companies. To this end, he founded the airline ALPINE SKY JETS AG in 2011, which, under the management of his sons, was again located at the North Terminal of Bern Airport.
New construction of a jet hangar on the North Terminal
Farewell to our beloved founder, father and mentor Alex Gribi
Redesign of the website, as well as the VIP FBO interior at Bern Airport.