Germania, officially Germania Fluggesellschaft mbH, is a privately owned German airline with its headquarters in Berlin. Germania operates scheduled and charter flights to destinations in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. It carried 2.5 million passengers in 2009 and had around 850 employees as of summer 2014.
The airline was founded in April 1978 as Special Air Transport (SAT) in Cologne and started operations on 5 September 1978. with a Fokker F-27. In November 1978, a Sud Aviation Caravelle was purchased from LTU, which was replaced by two used Boeing 727-100 from Hapag-Lloyd Flug (now TUIfly). Germania Express has adopted the IATA code "ST" which was previously used by Yanda Airlines.
In spring 1986, the company was re-organised and its name was changed to Germania on 1 June 1986. For many years, Germania's main area of doing business were charter services for TUI, Condor and Neckermann Reisen – an area in which Germania earned a reputation for offering the lowest prices. In 1992 the registered office was relocated to Tegel. In the same year Germania won the bid for flight services between the old and new capital of Germany (Bonn and Berlin) on behalf of the German government, establishing a short-lived Beamten-Shuttle (German for “shuttle for civil servants”).
In 1998, the airline pioneered the use of aircraft for advertising in Germany (advertisers included Siemens and various tour operators). In the same year, Germania began to lease more and more planes to other airlines such as Hapag-Lloyd Express, Maersk and Delta.
Development since the 2000s
In June 2003, Germania started to offer tickets directly to passengers under the brand Germania Express (gexx). Following a purchase of a 64% stake in dba (now part of Air Berlin) on 28 March 2005, Germania wet-leased 12 Fokker 100 aircraft to dba. At the same time, dba took over Germania Express's 15 established low-cost routes and thus absorbed Germania's gexx brand. Germania on the other hand, with all aircraft having been leased to other airlines, no longer offered routes directly to passengers. While the partial merger between Germania and dba was already reversed in the summer of 2005, the cooperation of Germania and dba was extended to 14 Fokker 100 aircraft. Air Berlin chief, Joachim Hunold, was tasked by Germania owner, Hinrich Bischoff, to take charge of the future of the company shortly before Bischoff's death on 11 November 2005. However, an agreement between Bischoff and Hunold was not reached in the end as Bischoff's heirs refused to accept.
The foundations were laid for the first maintenance hangar at Berlin Brandenburg Airport on 21 March 2011. Germania plans to use the hangar together with Air Berlin once the airport becomes operational.
On 3 March 2014, Germania had its traffic rights for flights to Iraq revoked after an intervention by Iraqi Airways. On 12 March 2014, Germania was allowed to resume all operations to Iraq with the first flight resuming on the 17 March 2014.
Germania Fluggesellschaft mbH is a private company that had been founded and run for many years by Hinrich Bischoff, who died on 11 November 2005. His wife Ingrid Bischoff is now the main shareholder. Germania has its headquarters at Riedemannweg 58, Berlin, Germany.
Germania Technik Brandenburg GmbH is a wholly owned aircraft maintenance subsidiary of Germania, based at Schönefeld.
In October 2011 it was reported that Bischoff had taken over Germania's charter partner Flynext (Flynext Luftverkehrs GmbH) from the Nuremberg-based regional airline entrepreneur Hans Rudolf Wöhrl, Flynext having been set up earlier that year and operating two Airbus A319s on a wet-lease basis for Germania. Now called Germania Express (Germania Express Fluggesellschaft mbH), the new company took over the two Airbus A319s. Germania Express in turn is the main shareholder of Gambia Bird, a new airline based at Banjul, The Gambia.
Because it is a private company, annual reports for Germania are not published. In the absence of these, information that is available is shown below:
|Number of employees||600||600||600||600||n/a||n/a|
|Number of passengers (m)||2.5||2.2||n/a||1.0||n/a||n/a|
|Passenger load factor (%)||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Number of aircraft (at year end)||15||17||n/a||15||n/a||n/a|
Germania offers a wide range of seasonal leisure routes from several German airports. From its bases scheduled flights to Turkey, Kosovo[a], Syria, and Lebanon are also offered, servicing ethnic minorities living in Germany.
|Airbus A321-200||5||0||208/215||TD and TE equipped with Sharklets|
Over the years, Germania has operated the following aircraft types:
- Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. Kosovo's independence has been recognised by 108 out of 193 United Nations member states.
- "Contact." Germania Airline. Retrieved on October 12, 2009.
- Germania - The Company
- "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-04-03. p. 86.
- airberlin, Germania, Harder & Partner and Berlin Airports celebrate laying of foundation stone for first maintenance hangar at BBI
- Germania express Company History
- Germania profile at economypoint
- Germania express Welcome aboard
- "Germania press release:Contract signed for Airbus order 26 July 2010". Retrieved 2012-09-30.
- "About Germania - The Company". Germania.
- "A J Walter Aviation press release". Retrieved 2012-09-30.
- "Germania Selects Eaton to Provide Hydraulic Pumps". Eaton. 29 March 2011.
- "GuestLogix press release". GuestLogix. 22 March 2013.
- "Germania Fleet". Retrieved 2014-12-25.
- 25 December 2014. "Germania Fleet in Planespotters.net". planespotters.net. Retrieved 2014-12-25.
- "Germania fleet". Retrieved 2014-12-30.
- Germania historic fleet list at airfleets.net
- This article incorporates information from the German Wikipedia.
Media related to Germania (airline) at Wikimedia Commons