On March 26, 1931, Swissair - Schweizerische Luftverkehr AG was founded through the fusion of the airlines Ad Astra Aero (founded in 1919) and Balair (1925). The founding fathers were Balz Zimmermann and the Swiss aviation pioneer Walter Mittelholzer. In contrast to other airlines, it did not receive support from the government. The name "Swissair" was the proposal of Dr. Alphonse Ehinger, president of the directorial board of the Balair, although "Swissair" was first deemed "un-Swiss". For most of its years, Swissair was one of the major international airlines and known as the "Flying Bank" due to the financial stability of the airline, causing it to be regarded as a Swiss national symbol and icon.