LTU International

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LTU International
Ltu logo.svg
IATA
LT
ICAO
LTU
Callsign
LTU
Founded 1955
Ceased operations 2009 (merged with Air Berlin)
Hubs
Frequent-flyer program topbonus
Airport lounge LTU Lounge
Fleet size 26 (as of March 2007)
Destinations 56 (as of March 2007)
Headquarters Düsseldorf, Germany
Key people Helmut Weixler (CEO)
Website ltu.com

LTU Lufttransport-Unternehmen GmbH, usually shortened to LTU, was a German leisure airline. It operated medium and long-haul routes and maintained hubs at Düsseldorf Airport, Munich Airport and Berlin-Tegel Airport.

LTU was acquired by Air Berlin in 2007.[1] While its brand name has been left unused since 2009, LTU itself was dissolved by April 2011.[2]

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

LTU was established in May 1955 as Lufttransport Union and started operations in Frankfurt. It adopted its present name in 1956 when it operated charter flights. LTU has been headquartered in Düsseldorf since 1961.[3]

LTU ran very popular U.S. routes from its Düsseldorf hub and directly competed on some of them with Lufthansa, Germany's flag carrier. LTU also ran well-frequented services from Düsseldorf to Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai but they were dropped.[citation needed]

Last known flight under LTU-callsign (but in AirBerlin colours already) was October 13, 2009 from Montreal (YUL) to Düsseldorf (DUS).

The airline was owned at March 2007 by Intro Verwaltungsgesellschaft (55%) and Marbach Beteiligung und Consulting (45%) and had 2,892 employees before the Air Berlin merger.[4]

Ownership by Air Berlin[edit]

In March 2007, Air Berlin took over LTU International, creating the fourth largest airline group in Europe in terms of traffic. Between them, the airlines carried 22.1 million passengers in 2006. The takeover was driven by the prospect of branching into long-haul operations and the chance to establish a stronger presence at Düsseldorf Airport. For a period, LTU retained its name on its leisure routes, while routes to the U.S. and China immediately switched to Air Berlin branding.[5]

On 1 May 2007, LTU operated the first Arctic & North Pole Sightseeing Flight from continental Europe in aviation history for their charter customer Deutsche Polarflug. The flight took 12h55m and the aircraft, an A330-200 took a group of 283 passengers from Düsseldorf via Norway, Svalbard, The North Pole, Eastern Greenland and Iceland back to Düsseldorf.

LTU opened a third long-haul base besides Düsseldorf and Munich at Berlin Tegel Airport in October 2007,[4] basing a single Airbus A330-200 there to launch flights to Bangkok, Punta Cana and Varadero.[6]

Air Berlin announced in 2008 that the trademark LTU would no longer be used. All flights have been branded as Air Berlin since then.[7] As of April 2011, the AOC of LTU had been expired and the company itself was dissolved.[2]

Destinations[edit]

Before taken over by Air Berlin, LTU served 56 destinations in 22 countries on four continents during winter schedule season 2006/2007. Further destinations were reachable with codeshare partner Bangkok Airways.

Fleet[edit]

Fleet in 2007[edit]

By the time Air Berlin took over LTU in March 2007, their fleet contained the following aircraft:

LTU International Fleet, March 2007[8]
Aircraft Total Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
Airbus A320-200 10 - 24 144 168 one additional aircraft operated by subsidiary LTU Austria
Airbus A321-200 4 - 27 177 204
Airbus A330-200 8 2 18 305 323
Airbus A330-300 3 - 18 343 361
British Aerospace BAe 146-300 1 - 0 104 104 wet leased from WDL Aviation
Total 26 2

The average age of the LTU fleet was 6.7 years.

Fleet history[edit]

Refurbished de Havilland DH.104 Dove in historic livery celebrating LTU's 50th anniversary at Mönchengladbach Airport.
Lockheed L-1011-100 TriStar D-AERN wearing typical red roof livery taking off at home base Düsseldorf Airport.
Interior design of LTU's Lockheed TriStar.

All aircraft operated by LTU until March 2007:

LTU Fleet[9]
Aircraft Years operated Total Notes
Airbus A320-200 from 1999 12
Airbus A321-200 from 2001 4
Airbus A330-200 from 2001 8 plus two orders (see above)
Airbus A330-300 from 1994 7
Boeing B747-200 1991 1 wet leased from Evergreen International due to delayed delivery of first MD-11
Boeing B757-200 1984 - 2004 14 also operated by subsidiaries LTE and LTS
Boeing B767-300 1989 - 2002 5 also operated by subsidiary LTS
Bristol 170 1957 - 1961 1
de Havilland DH.104 Dove 1957 - 1958 1 another exemplar still operating sightseeing flights in historic LTU livery
Douglas DC-4 1958 - 1960 2
Fokker F27 1958 - 1974 5 including two prototypes (PH-FDO/NVF)
Fokker F28 1969 - 1974 5 including two prototypes (PH-ZAA/ZAB)
Lockheed L-1011-100/200 TriStar 1973 - 1996 10 one aircraft lost due to fire in 1991 during maintenance with no casualties
Lockheed L-1011-500 TriStar 1980 - 1996 3
McDonnell Douglas MD-11 1991 - 1998 4
Sud Aviation SE 210 Caravelle 10R 1967 - 1979 5
Sud Aviation SE 210 Caravelle III 1965 - 1968 2
Vickers VC.1 Viking 1955 - 1963 5 first aircraft in fleet

Trivia[edit]

  • The initials LTU stand for the German phrase LuftTransport-Unternehmen which translates to "air transport enterprise".

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kontakt." LTU International. Retrieved on 21 June 2009. "LTU International Airways Flughafen Düsseldorf, Halle 8 D40474 Düsseldorf"
  2. ^ a b http://www.aero.de/news-12421/Air-Berlin-vollendet-LTU-Integration.html
  3. ^ "About LTUKommunikation Wissenschaft." Air Berlin. Retrieved on 21 June 2009.
  4. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-04-03. p. 107. 
  5. ^ http://www.traveldailynews.com/new.asp?newid=39703&subcategory_id=53
  6. ^ "LTU base". Airliner World. August 2007. p. 9. 
  7. ^ aero.de: „Air Berlin stellt Nutzung der Marke LTU ein“ (German) (29. Juli 2008)[dead link]
  8. ^ "LTU's Fleet". airfleets.net. March 2007. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "LTU's Aircraft". ltu-flugzeuge.de. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Media related to LTU International at Wikimedia Commons