|Ceased operations||2012 (acquired by OLT Express Germany)|
|Operating bases||Stuttgart Airport|
|Frequent-flyer program||Miles & More|
|Key people||Gunter Eheim (owner)|
The airline was founded in 1974 by Gunter Eheim, initially operating chartered passenger services using a small fleet of Dassault Falcon 20 and Learjet[specify] aircraft. In 1981, Contact Air became one of the launch customers for the British Aerospace Jetstream, along with US carrier Mall Airways. Its first aircraft of that type was delivered in the following year.
In 1984, Contact Air was subcontracted by DLT to operate one of its Jetstreams on scheduled regional flights on behalf of Lufthansa. Subsequently, DLT acquired 24.8 percent of the Contact Air shares.
Having waged the alternative of ordering the ATR 42, Contact Air announced in 1986 that it had chosen the de Havilland Canada Dash 8-100 for a fleet enlargement, thus becoming the second European airline to operate that type, after Tyrolean Airways. Two years later, Contact Air became the first non-Canadian buyer of the stretched Dash 8-300 version, ordering three aircraft worth $35 million.
In April 1996, Contact Air became a founding member of Team Lufthansa. In 2004, this airline association was reorganized as Lufthansa Regional, a Star Alliance affiliate. Henceforth, all Contact Air flights were operated using the Lufthansas branding and flight numbers.
On 29 November 2011, it was reported that Lufthansa would terminate its contract with Contact Air effective 1 October 2012. At that time, the Contact Air fleet consisted of eight Fokker 100, six of which were operated on behalf of Lufthansa out of Stuttgart Airport, with another two being based at Zurich Airport and operated for Swiss International Airlines. In May 2012, Contact Air signed an agreement for a take-over by OLT Express Germany, a step which was finalized in September of that year following its approval by the Federal Cartel Office.
|Vienna||Austria||Vienna International Airport|
|Prague||Czech Republic||Prague Ruzyně International Airport|
|Paris||France||Charles de Gaulle Airport|
|Berlin||Germany||Berlin Tegel Airport|
|Cologne||Germany||Cologne Bonn Airport|
|Paderborn||Germany||Paderborn Lippstadt Airport|
|Stuttgart||Germany||Stuttgart Airport (base)|
|Budapest||Hungary||Budapest Ferihegy International Airport|
|Bologna||Italy||Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport|
|Geneva||Switzerland||Geneva International Airport|
|British Aerospace Jetstream||
Incidents and accidents
- On 6 January 1993, Lufthansa Flight 5634 from Bremen to Paris, which was carried out under the Lufthansa CityLine brand using a Contact Air Dash 8-300 (registered D-BEAT), crashed 1,800 metres (5,900 ft) short of the runway of Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. Four out of the 23 passengers on board died; the four crew members survived. The accident happened as a result of a failed go-around, which had become necessary because the aircraft ahead, a Boeing 747 of Korean Air, had suffered a blown tyre upon landing and the runway had subsequently been closed.
- On 14 September 2009, Lufthansa Flight 288 from Berlin to Stuttgart, which was operated by a Contact Air Fokker 100 registered D-AFKE, made an emergency landing at Stuttgart Airport at 10:47 local time due to undercarriage failure. There were no injuries amongst the five crew members and 73 passengers on board. In the media coverage following the accident, Contact Air was criticised for operating ageing aircraft, some of which previously had belonged to Merpati Nusantara Airlines, an airline that had been banned from European airspace over safety concerns.
- "World Airline Directory: Contactair Flugdienst". Flight International: 82. 27 March 1991. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "Jetstream 31 clinches first sales". Flight International: 1813. 13 June 1981. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "DHC Scores in Europe". Flight International: 2. 17 May 1986. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "Canada exports Dash 8-300". Flight International: 15. 20 August 1988. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "Directory: World Airlines—Contact Air Flugdienst". Flight International: 51. 19 March 2002. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "Contact Air verliert Lufthansa-Vertrag" (in German). airliners.de. 29 November 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "Stuttgarter Contact Air geht in OLT Express Germany auf" (in German). aero.de. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "Directory: World Airlines—Contact Air Flugdienst". Flight International: 50. 25 March 2003. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "Directory: World Airlines—Contact Air Flugdienst". Flight International: 56. 23 March 2004. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "Contactair fleet details". airfleets.net. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "Contact Air fleet details and history". planespotters.net. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "Accident description of Lufthansa Flight 5634". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 28 September 2009.
- "Accident description of Lufthansa Flight 288". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 28 September 2009.
- "Fliegende Zeitbombe". Der Spiegel (in German): 125. 21 September 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
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