About ch-aviation

Belgrade office picture - flag

We are all about accurate data and news on the airline industry.

For more than 20 years, we have been supplying decision-makers around the globe with relevant and up-to-date airline intelligence and insightful news. Today, ch-aviation proudly serves more than 800 customers, and many of the industry’s most reputable companies use its data to make informed decisions.

Using its extensive network of sources and data feeds from across the globe, ch-aviation accurately tracks and monitors airline-specific data sets, presenting them in an easy-to-use format. With only a few clicks, clients can gain a complete overview of the airline industry.

Get access to the most accurate data and news on the airline industry.

We provide one of the largest and most thoroughly researched airline industry databases, including data for:

  • 110,000+

    News Articles Published

  • 13,000+


  • 75,000+


  • 2,900+

    Aircraft Owners

  • 110,000+

    Schedule Entries

  • 10,000

    Operator Contacts

First Steps

In 1998, obtaining data and news about the aviation industry was tedious.

You had to order books and magazines that took weeks to arrive and were already outdated when they reached you.

It was difficult for aviation enthusiasts like Thomas Jaeger, who spent his time plane spotting at Swiss airports as a fifteen-year-old high school student.

So, it's not surprising he decided to change that.

Without internet access at home, Thomas went to work in the computer lab at his high school to create one of the very first aviation websites in Switzerland, containing all the information he ever wished for himself.

And so, in the fall of 1998, ch-aviation was born, which, despite being built by a high school student, quickly became the go-to source for aviation enthusiasts in Switzerland.

The website contained airline and airport profiles, fleet summaries, and route networks for all Swiss airlines. It was free for everyone, and soon, it had a big followership of supporters, as Thomas had solved a problem for many.

The Name

We're often asked what the "ch" in our name stands for. The internet was still evolving back then, and the first host of our website was GeoCities (later acquired by Yahoo!). Unfortunately, the desired name, "Swiss Aviation", had already been taken. So, Thomas had to come up with an alternative. Being more interested in planes than marketing, he used the international country code for Switzerland, "CH" (which stands for Confoederatio Helvetica). And that's how ch-aviation got its name, which has since become synonymous with reliable and up-to-date aviation information.

Today, we're proud to be one of the most trusted aviation data and news sources worldwide. With our finger on the pulse of the industry, we provide timely and accurate information to aviation professionals, researchers, and enthusiasts alike. We're excited to continue expanding our reach and providing even more valuable insights into the aviation industry as it evolves and grows. Thank you for trusting ch-aviation as your go-to source for aviation information.

Going Global

Soon after launching ch-aviation, Thomas realised he had found a new hobby. Instead of just going to the airports for plane spotting, he started to enjoy collecting data and news about the aviation Industry in Switzerland itself.

He worked countless hours but soon encountered a problem - Switzerland was a small country with only a few airlines. He had to choose between going back to plane spotting or expanding the website to cover the rest of the world.

Thankfully, he chose the latter, and ch-aviation became the go-to place for aviation enthusiasts around the globe in the early 2000s.

For the first time, ch-aviation also received larger international publicity when USA Today mentioned ch-aviation in its news and praised its thorough and detailed list of all European low-cost carriers. Since then, hundreds of publications have relied on ch-aviation data for their news coverage.

During the 2000s, the audience of users grew considerably. So, ch-aviation started to provide full aircraft production lists for Airbus and Boeing-built aircraft and built-up profiles for every aircraft operator worldwide.

In the fall of 2005, Max Oldorf, another 16-year-old high school kid, joins Thomas to work on Regional Aircraft data.

At that time, ch-aviation was still a website by enthusiasts for enthusiasts and free to use for everyone. Everyone in the team had their real day-to-day jobs that paid the bills. Thomas himself worked for a company that built airline reservation systems.

However, towards the end of the decade, it became clear that there might be a future in providing aviation data as a business as more and more companies inquired about licensing the data.

At that time, many companies struggled with their current old-school providers, who were either too expensive or inaccurate.

So, Thomas and Max started working on first ideas for a new subscription-based ch-aviation that would eventually allow them to quit their jobs and make a living out of their hobby.

It was an exciting time for the team, and they even got their very first logo for a hundred Swiss Francs, which they were incredibly proud of.

A New Era

The decision on whether ch-aviation should be commercialised is sort of taken out of hand. By then, Thomas is working as Director of Product Development for an airline reservation system, but he gets tired of his job, and the airline Max works for is being sold. So, both find themselves in a place where it does not matter if they take the risk or not. And so, the decision is made: ch-aviation will be re-launched as a professional data & news provider for the aviation Industry, hopefully generating enough revenue at some point to finally turn the hobby into a profession.


On the 21st of March, the big relaunch finally took place.

We launched globally from Chur, Switzerland, with two different subscription packages: one for enthusiasts, called ch-aviation basic, and one for professionals, called ch-aviation pro.

Our first paying customer was from San Francisco, and the most notable subscriber in the first year was AerCap, the world's largest aircraft lessor.


Our dream was to have a round-the-clock airline news stream, and by April 2013, we had enough subscribers to reinvest and hire a full-time journalist.

At the end of that year, ch-aviation was receiving an average of 56,000 unique visitors per month.


This year, it became clear that we made it through our start-up phase when signing our first six-digit data feed contract with one of the largest US-based hospitality firms.

When we started the new ch-aviation, we committed ourselves to reinvesting our profits, and thanks to our growth in 2012 and 2013, we launched a comprehensive airline management directory containing contact information for over 10.000 senior airline managers.

For the first time, we welcome more than 100.000 visitors to ch-aviation.com monthly.


In 1998, when ch-aviation was first launched, there was a book called JP Airline Fleets. It was known as the "bible of civil aviation", and back then, it was the world's most comprehensive annual fleet reference guide. It had 700+ pages and was used at almost every airport and airline worldwide. The JP provided administrative information on 6000+ known commercial aircraft operators, plus technical information on more than 50.000 aircraft, including their most current registration, type, serial number, previous identity, date of manufacture, delivery date, engine type and number, maximum take-off weight, configuration, Sel-cal, fleet number, name, remarks, and more.

Sadly, after 47 years of consecutive years, publishing the book, which served as the role model for digital ch-aviation, was stopped, leaving many airports worldwide without a supply of the critical maximum take-off weight billing information data.

Upon the request of Munich Airport, we were able to research such data for more than 40.000 aircraft in record-breaking time. This enabled our airport customers to continue their business without interruptions. Today, we are probably one of the most important fleet data providers for airports worldwide, with market shares reaching almost 100% in some markets, such as Germany or Switzerland.

At the end of the year, Sanja Ples joined our organisation. At that time, she was already a power user of ch-aviation due to her position as the Head of Sales at a European charter airline. Sanja's addition to our team further boosted our customer-centric approach. Over the next few years, Sanja became not only our Chief Operating Officer but also one of the company's owners.


We signed one of the World’s largest aircraft manufacturers as a new client (today, we serve all major manufacturers) and went eastwards. With the growing demand for our Data and News, we opened a subsidiary in Croatia to operate our new Data Lab in Zagreb. In a very first project, the Data Lab launched a very extensive Aircraft Ownership database that shows who owns and manages an aircraft, which trust is involved, what type of lease it is, and when the lease ends.


We continue to fully re-invest. For most of our data, we now offer an instant download functionality. An increasing number of companies are also directly integrating our data into their own systems, including CRMs and ERPs.

At the end of the year, we now have 19 full-time employees working at ch-aviation.


Our website, ch-aviation.com, now has over 150.000 unique monthly users.

We launched an aircraft order database that tracks orders for all major aircraft manufacturers.

We also have first ideas to refresh our corporate identity and our user interface.


Air Lease Corporation, Sabena Technics, and Jetstream Aviation Capital have become the launch customers for our latest aircraft data module. This new module significantly upgrades our fleet data by adding aircraft utilization. Going forward, we will track hours and cycles on a tail number level and provide an aircraft utilization forecast.

Additionally, we are pleased to announce the release of a new airline search feature, which now tracks more than 10.000 aircraft operators worldwide.

Towards the end of the year, the old corporate identity, which was created at Max's kitchen table in the early 2010s, is retired as we excitedly launch our new corporate identity.

Becoming the number one

At the beginning of the year, we outgrew the old data lab in Zagreb and moved into a new one. It is the first one fully branded in our new corporate identity. We also make our contacts database fully downloadable.

Covid-19 hits ch-aviation as well. The new data lab (good thing we got one!) is shut down, and everyone starts working from home until further notice. There is a week of shock with little activity, but then the buzz picks up again as everyone wants and needs to know what's going on, and we stop worrying. As an outcome, we permanently introduced a very flexible hybrid work-from-home policy (loved by our team), which is still in place today.

Towards the end of the year, one of the largest updates ever is released. We now have operator history for almost any aircraft in the database. So, our customers can see which airline operated a specific aircraft from when to when.

There are now 35 people working at ch-aviation.


Sanja acquires shares in ch-aviation. The entire C-Level of ch-aviation is now personally committed to the company—something we find extremely important to guarantee a high commitment of service and dedication. In line with our philosophy to re-invest our profits into the further development of ch-aviation, we continue to be management and founder-owned and remain the only independent data and news provider in the industry. All our competitors are now owned by larger stock-market-listed publishing houses or private equity firms with multi-faceted interests having to deliver associated shareholder returns.

In May, we kick off work on a new user interface for ch-aviation. The new interface will feature the latest technology, enabling us to grow into the next decade.

Our Swiss Headquarters is moving from Chur in Grisons to Stansstad in the canton of Nidwalden. We reside in the heart of the Swiss Aerospace Valley, directly on the path of approach to the famous Buochs airport (ICAO: LSZC) and the Pilatus aircraft factory.


In March 2022, we welcomed a record-breaking 360.000 users on ch-aviation.com. We now also send out over 4 million e-newsletters annually, and there is hardly any senior aviation industry manager left who does not read our news or relies on our data.

In 2022, our news desk published more than 11.500 news articles. We now track more than 12.500 aircraft operators and more than 69.000 aircraft.

At the end of the year, we opened a new facility in Belgrade, Serbia. We are setting up the structures for additional growth, considering several new features and products we plan to launch within the next few years.

There are now 70 people working at ch-aviation, close to 50% of which are dedicated to implementing new functionality and data sets since we continuously reinvest.

Team Members

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