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The main entrance to the Lufthansa headquarters
Deutsche Lufthansa AG ( ) ( ) is the largest airline in Europe in terms of overall passengers carried, and the flag carrier of Germanymarker. The name of the company is derived from Luft (the German word for "air"), and Hansa (after Hanseatic League, the powerful medieval trading group).The airline is the world's fifth-largest airline in terms of overall passengers carried, operating services to 18 domestic destinations and 183 international destinations in 78 countries across Africa, Americas, Asia and Europe. Together with its partners Lufthansa services around 410 destinations. It has the third-largest passenger airline fleet in the world when combined with Lufthansa CityLine, Lufthansa Italia, Air Dolomiti, Eurowings, Germanwings, Augsburg Airways, Contact Air, SWISS, Brussels Airlines, Austrian Airlines and Lauda Air operating over 531 aircraft.

Lufthansa's registered office and corporate headquarters is in Cologne, with its main operations base (Lufthansa Aviation Center (LAC)) and primary traffic hub at Frankfurt Airportmarker in Frankfurt am Mainmarker with a second hub at Munich Airportmarker. The majority of Lufthansa's pilots, ground staff, and flight attendants are based out of Frankfurt.

Lufthansa is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's largest airline alliance. Star Alliance was formed in 1997 together with Thai Airways, United Airlines, Air Canada and Scandinavian Airlines System. The Lufthansa Group operates more than 500 aircraft and employs worldwide 105,261 people of 146 nationalities (31 December 2007). In 2008, 70.5 million passengers flew with Lufthansa (not including Germanwings, BMI, AUA, Brussels Airlines).


The company was founded on January 6, 1926 in Berlin, following a merger between "Deutsche Aero Lloyd" (DAL) and "Junkers Luftverkehr". The company's original name was Deutsche Luft Hansa Aktiengesellschaft. Lufthansa, as one word, has been used since 1933. On December 9, 1927, Deutsche Luft Hansa, on behalf of the German government, established an agreement with the Spanish government authorising an air service between the two countries. This included a capital investment to establish an airline that would eventually become Iberia.

In the years prior to World War II, the company pioneered routes to the Far East and across the North Atlanticmarker and the South Atlanticmarker, using a fleet of mostly Dornier, Junkers, Heinkel, Focke-Wulf and other German-designed aircraft. It was also actively involved in the establishment of a few South American airlines, particularly via its subsidiary Condor Syndikat. After the outbreak of war in 1939, Lufthansa was only able to maintain service to neutral countries. Early in the war, along with the Italian Transcontinental Airline (Linee Aeree Transcontinentali Italiane, or LATI), the company competed vigorously in South America. However, all service was suspended by Lufthansa following Germany's defeat in 1945.
Lufthansa was recreated on January 6, 1953 as Aktiengesellschaft für Luftverkehrsbedarf (Luftag) and was renamed Deutsche Lufthansa Aktiengesellschaft on August 6, 1954. The "new" Lufthansa of 1953 is not the legal successor of the Lufthansa founded in 1926 and which existed during and before World War II. On April 1, 1955 Lufthansa resumed scheduled service within Germany. International operations started on May 15, 1955, with flights to points in Europe, followed by service to New York on June 8 using Lockheed Super Constellations. South Atlanticmarker routes were resumed in August 1956.

East Germanymarker attempted to establish its own airline in the 1950s using the Lufthansa name, but this resulted in a dispute with West Germany, where the airline was already in operation. East Germany renamed its national airline to Interflug, which ceased operations in 1991. Lufthansa was banned from flying into West Berlin until the demise of the GDRmarker regime.
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In 1958, Lufthansa placed an order for four Boeing 707s, used to start jet services from Frankfurtmarker to New York in March 1960. Boeing 720s were later bought to back up the 707 fleet. In February 1961, Far East routes were extended beyond Bangkokmarker, Thailandmarker to Hong Kong and Tokyo. The cities of Lagosmarker, Nigeriamarker and Johannesburgmarker, South Africa were added in 1962.

Lufthansa introduced the Boeing 727 into service in 1964 and in May of that same year they began the Polar route from Frankfurt to Tokyo. In February 1965, the company placed an order for twenty-one Boeing 737 medium-haul jets, which were introduced into service in 1968.

Lufthansa was the first customer to purchase and also bought the largest number of Boeing 737 aircraft, and was one of only four buyers of the new 737-100s (the others were NASAmarker, Malaysia-Singapore Airlines and Avianca– while the NASA airframe was technically the first constructed, it was the last delivered and originally intended for delivery to Lufthansa). In doing so, Lufthansa became the first foreign launch customer for a Boeing commercial plane.

The beginning of the wide-body era for Lufthansa was marked with the inaugural Boeing 747 flight on April 26, 1970. In 1971 Lufthansa began service to South America. In 1979, Lufthansa and Swissair were launch customers for the advanced new Airbus A310, with an order for twenty-five aircraft

The company's fleet modernisation programme for the 1990s began on June 29, 1985 with an order for fifteen Airbus A320s and seven Airbus A300-600s. Ten Boeing 737-300s were ordered a few days later. All of the aircraft were delivered between 1987 and 1992. Lufthansa also bought Airbus A321, Airbus A340 and the Boeing 747-400.

Lufthansa adopted a new corporate identity in 1988. The fleet was given a new livery while cabins, city offices and airport lounges were redesigned.

On October 28, 1990, 25 days after reunification, Berlin became a Lufthansa destination again. On May 18, 1997 Lufthansa, Air Canada, Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways and United Airlines formed the Star Alliance, the world's first multilateral airline alliance.

In 2000 Air One became partner airline of Lufthansa and nearly all Air One flights are code-shared with Lufthansa. In June 2003, Lufthansa opened Terminal 2 at Munichmarker's Franz Josef Strauß Airportmarker to relieve its main hub, Frankfurt, which was suffering from capacity constraints. It is one of the first terminals in Europe partially owned by an airline.

On May 17, 2004, Lufthansa became the launch customer for the Connexion by Boeing in-flight online connectivity service.

On March 22, 2005 SWISS merged with Lufthansa Airlines. The merger included the provision that the majority shareholders (the Swiss government and large Swiss companies) be offered payment if Lufthansa's share price outperforms an airline index during the years following the merger. The two companies will continue to be run separately.

On December 6, 2006, Lufthansa placed an order for 20 Boeing 747-8 airliners, becoming the launch customer of the type. The airline will also be the second European airline to operate the Airbus A380 (after Air France). First delivery is scheduled for March 2010. The first route of the Airbus A380 with Lufthansa will be Frankfurt to New York-JFK.

Lufthansa is owned by private investors (88.52%), MGL Gesellschaft für Luftverkehrswerte (10.05%), Deutsche Postbank (1.03%) and Deutsche Bank (0.4%) and has 37,042 employees (at March 2007).

On December 14 Lufthansa and American low-cost airline Jetblue announced the beginning of a partnership initiated through the 19% stake purchase in Jetblue shares by Lufthansa. This is the first major ownership investment by a European carrier in an American carrier since the EU–U.S. Open Skies Agreement became effective in 2008.

Lufthansa is an advocate of consolidation in the European aviation sector.

In late 2007, the Lufthansa cargo hub dispute was started by Russia. Lufthansa was forced to relocate its cargo hub from Kazakhstan to Russia.

On August 28, 2008 Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines announced that they were negotiating joining together.On September 15, 2008 it was jointly announced by both airlines that Lufthansa will acquire a 45% stake in Brussels Airlines with an option to acquire the remaining 55% from 2011. As a part of this deal Brussels Airlines will join Star Alliance. A date for the airline's entry into the alliance has yet to be determined.

On 28 October 2008, Lufthansa exercised its option to purchase a further 60% share in BMI (additionally to the 20% Lufthansa already owned), this resulted in a dispute with former owner Sir Michael Bishop, though . Both parties reached an agreement at the end of June 2009, so the acquisition could take place with effect from July 1, 2009. By acquiring the remaining 20% from Scandinavian Airlines Lufthansa has full control over BMI since November 1, 2009.

In November, Lufthansa and Austrian announced a deal in which Lufthansa will buy the majority stock from the Austrian government. The deal was completed in January 2009.In January 2009, Lufthansa announced that they are in serious talks with Scandinavian Airlines System about a merger between the two airlines but Lufthansa would have to make great changes to SAS before this is viable because of the financial state of Scandinavian Airlines System over the last few years. In May 2009, it announced that talks are occurring between about a "closer commercial co-operation" between the two companies, but that a takeover is not in Lufthansa's plans. Additionally, it announced that if British Airways was unable to complete its merger with Iberia Airlines, it would attempt to begin talks with the Spanish airline itself.


In addition to its main operation, Lufthansa has subsidiaries, such as:

Airline subsidiaries:

Other operations:
  • Delvag, an insurance company specialising in air transport
  • LSG Sky Chefs, the world's largest airline caterer, which accounts for one third of the world's airline meals
  • Lufthansa Commercial Holding, in which Lufthansa holds a 19% stake. LCH contains over 400 service and finance companies of which Lufthansa holds shares
  • Lufthansa Flight Training, a provider of flight crew training services to various airlines and the main training arm for the Airline's own pilots
  • Lufthansa Regional, a brand operated by an alliance of several small regional airlines, including Lufthansa CityLine
  • Lufthansa Systems, largest European aviation IT provider
  • Lufthansa Technik, aircraft maintenance providers

History of the brand

The Lufthansa logo, an encircled crane in flight, was created in 1918. It was part of the livery of the first German airline, Deutsche Luftreederei GmbH (DLR), which began air service on February 5, 1919. The stylised crane was designed by Professor Otto Firle. In 1926 Lufthansa adopted this symbol from Aero Lloyd AG, which merged with DLR in 1923. The original creator of the name Lufthansa is believed to be F.A. Fischer von Puturzyn. In 1925 he published a book entitled "Luft-Hansa" which examined the options open to aviation policymakers at the time. Luft Hansa was the name given to the new airline which resulted from the merger of Junkers Luftverkehr AG and Deutscher Aero Lloyd.



Lufthansa Fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Options Passengers
Airbus A319-100 24 11 0 126 (0/24/102) Germany domestic, Europe
Airbus A320-200 36 14 0 146 (0/32/114) Germany domestic, Europe
Airbus A321-100 20 0 0 186 (0/31/155) Germany domestic, Europe
Airbus A321-200 14 27 0 186 (0/31/155) Germany domestic, Europe
Airbus A330-300 15 0 0 221 (8/48/165) Intercontinental from Frankfurt and Munich
Airbus A340-300 27 0 0 266 (0/44/222)
221 (8/48/165)
Intercontinental from Frankfurt, Munich and Düsseldorf
Airbus A340-600 24 0 0 345 (0/66/279)
306 (8/60/238)
Intercontinental from Frankfurt and Munich
Airbus A380-800 0 15 10 526 (8/98/420) Frankfurt to New-York JFK, the route will start as soon as LH receives 2 A380s.
Boeing 737-300 33 0 0 124 (0/18/106) Germany domestic, Europe
Boeing 737-500 30 0 0 108 (0/18/90) Germany domestic, Europe
Boeing 747-400 29 0 0 330 (16/80/234) Intercontinental from Frankfurt
Boeing 747-8I 0 20 20 TBA TBA
Embraer 170 1 0 0 100 (0/0/100) Germany domestic (opb Cirrus Airlines)
Total 253 87 30

Fleet history

Over the years, Lufthansa operated the following aircraft types:

Lufthansa Mainline past fleet since 1955
Aircraft Introduced Retired Notes
Airbus A300 1976
Airbus A310 1984 2005
Airbus A319 1996
Airbus A320 1989
Airbus A321 1994
Airbus A330-200 2002 2006
Airbus A330-300 2004
Airbus A340-200 1993 2006
Airbus A340-300 1999
Airbus A340-600 2003
Airbus A380 2010
Boeing 707 1960 ? also used in cargo configuration
Boeing 720 1961 ?
Boeing 727 1964 ? could be converted into cargo aircraft
Boeing 737-100 1967 1983 launch customer, dubbed City Jet
Boeing 737-200 1969 2000
Boeing 737-300 1986
Boeing 737-400 1992 1998
Boeing 737-500 1990
Boeing 747-100 1970 1979 also used in cargo configuration
Boeing 747-200 1971 2005 also used in cargo configuration
Boeing 747-400 1989
Convair CV-340/440 1955 ? also used in cargo configuration
Lockheed Super Constellation/Starliner 1955 1967
Douglas DC-4 1957 ? cargo aircraft
McDonnell Douglas DC-10 1974 1996
McDonnell Douglas MD-11 1998 cargo aircraft
Vickers Viscount 1957 ? also used in cargo configuration

Lufthansa's vintage aircraft restoration

Lufthansa Technik, the airline's maintenance arm, restored a Junkers JU-52 built in 1936 to airworthiness; this aircraft was in use on the 10-hour Berlin to Rome route, across the Alps, in the 1930s. Lufthansa is now restoring a Lockheed Super Constellation, using parts from three such aircraft bought at auction. Lufthansa's Super Constellation "Starliners" served routes such as Hamburgmarker-Madridmarker-Dakarmarker-Caracasmarker-Santiagomarker. Lufthansa Technik recruits retired employees and volunteers for skilled labor. Lufthansa sells aviation enthusiasts rides on the restored airplanes. (See also List of airworthy Ju 52)



First Class: Lufthansa First Class is offered on Boeing 747, Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft. Each seat converts to a two meter bed, includes laptop power outlets, as well as entertainment facilities. Meals are available on demand. Lufthansa offers dedicated First Class check in counters at most airports, and offers dedicated First Class lounges in Frankfurt and Munich, as well as a dedicated First Class Terminal in Frankfurt. Arriving passengers have the option of using Lufthansa's First Class arrival facilities, as well as the new Welcome Lounge. It has been announced that a new First Class will be established aboard the Airbus A380 in the spring of 2010.

Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 Business Class
Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 Economy Class
Business Class: Lufthansa's long-haul Business Class is offered on all long-haul aircraft. Each seat converts to a two meter lie-flat bed, includes laptop power outlets and entertainment facilities. Lufthansa offers dedicated Business Class check in counters at all airports, as well as dedicated Business Class lounges at most airports, or contract lounges at other airports, as well as the Lufthansa Welcome Lounge upon arrival in Frankfurt.

Economy Class: Lufthansa's long-haul Economy Class is offered on all long haul aircraft. Passengers receive meals, as well as free drinks. In 2007, Lufthansa began installing personal Audio-Video-On-Demand (AVOD) screens in Economy Class. All A330-300 and A340-600 aircraft have been refitted, and most of the remaining long-haul A340-300 have been refitted.

European domestic

Lufthansa stewardess sells duty-free cigarettes on board
Business Class: Lufthansa's short-haul Business Class is offered on all A319, A320, A321 and B737 aircraft. Passengers receive meals and drinks, as well as access to dedicated Business Class check-in counters, and Lufthansa Business Class lounges. These aircraft are used on selected medium-haul flights. Inflight entertainment is not offered on any short-haul flights.

Economy Class: Lufthansa's short-haul Economy Class is offered on all A319, A320, A321 and B737 aircraft. Passengers receive free beverages, and snacks or meals. Inflight entertainment is not offered on any short-haul flights.


Lounge Access - Class Access - Status Notes Number on Network
First Class Terminal First Class HON Circle FRA Only 1
First Class Lounge First Class HON Circle FRA and MUC Only 3
Senator Lounge First Class Senator (or higher)

Star Alliance Gold
Business Lounge Business Class (or higher) Frequent Traveller (or higher) 26
Welcome Lounge Business Class (or higher) Frequent Traveller (or higher) FRA Only

Intercontinental passengers only

No Star Alliance Gold

Lufthansa operates four types of lounges: First Class, Senator, Business, and Welcome Lounges. Each departure lounge is accessible both through travel class, or Miles and More / Star Alliance status; the Welcome Lounge is limited to arriving premium Lufthansa passengers only.

First Class Terminal

Lufthansa operates a First Class Terminal at Frankfurt Airport. The first terminal of its kind; access is limited only to departing Lufthansa First Class, and HON Circle members. Approximately 200 staff care for approximately 300 passengers per day in the terminal, which features a full-service restaurant, full bar, cigar lounge, relaxation rooms and offices, as well as bath facilities. Guests are driven directly to their departing flight by Mercedes-Benz S-Class, or Porsche Cayenne.

Miles & More

Lufthansa's frequent flier program is called Miles & More, and is shared among several European airlines, including Austrian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines, Luxair, Croatia Airlines, Adria Airways, and Brussels Airlines. Miles & More members may earn miles on Lufthansa flights and Star Alliance partner flights, as well as through Lufthansa credit cards, and purchases made through the Lufthansa shops. Status within Miles & More is determined by miles flown during one calendar year with specific partners. Membership levels include: Basic (no minimal threshold), Frequent Traveller (Silver, 35,000 mile threshold), Senator (Gold, 100,000 mile threshold, 130,000 for German residents), and HON Circle (Black, 600,000 mile threshold over two calendar years). All non-basic Miles & More status levels offer lounge access and executive bonus miles, with the higher levels offering more exclusive benefits.

Codeshare agreements

Lufthansa has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:
*Star Alliance member

Accidents and incidents

See also


External links

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