Swiss Vice-President Doris Leuthard welcomes Solar Impulse in Abu Dhabi

Press release, 28.07.2016

Vice-President Doris Leuthard welcomed the solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 as it completed its round-the-world flight in Abu Dhabi last Tuesday, 26 July. She congratulated the initiators and pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg on behalf of the Swiss Government and referred to the completion of their journey as "a milestone on the path towards using our world's resources sustainably".

Swiss Vice-President Doris Leuthard welcomes Solar Impulse in Abu Dhabi

When Solar Impulse 2 touched ground in Abu Dhabi on early Tuesday morning Vice-President Doris Leuthard was present to congratulate the accomplishment of the two Swiss initiators and pilots together with Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar and Prince Albert II of Monaco.

In their round-the-world flight that started in Abu Dhabi on 9 March 2015, the two pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg travelled 17 countries and over 40 000 km, set 8 world records, and all of that with a usage of 11 655 kWh of solar energy - a historic project that showcases how new innovations and effective partnerships can bring solutions to the enormous challenge of climate change. It also represents one of the most modern examples of Switzerland's entrepreneurial and pioneering spirit.

©Embassy of Switzerland in the United Arab Emirates

On the occasion of the celebration of the round-the-world flight, Swiss Ambassador to the UAE Maya Tissafi highlighted the importance of enhancing cooperation between states and called it not only "A historic moment for Switzerland, but also for the United Arab Emirates and Masdar, that have accompanied this adventure in a spirit of cooperation for years now."

In an appeal for a future world in which technologies ensure the sustainability of our planet and the long term viability of humankind, Ambassador Tissafi quoted the words of the Vice-President: "Today, an idea born in Switzerland has landed in the UAE, hopefully, tomorrow, an Emirati innovation will land in Switzerland." 

©Embassy of Switzerland in the United Arab Emirates

At the open door event that was organised together with Solar Impulse, Swiss visitors of all ages had the chance to talk to members of the Solar Impulse crew and to experience the inspiring words and passion of the two Swiss pilots in a live presentation. A performance by Alphorn player Patricia Monory brought in a little taste of "home". The positive spirit that Solar Impulse has brought along was also felt among the guests.