LTU International

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Ltu logo.svg
Founded 1955
Ceased operations 2009 (merged with Air Berlin)
Frequent-flyer program topbonus
Airport lounge LTU Lounge
Fleet size 26
Destinations 3 (crew and aircraft also used on all 123 destinations of Air Berlin)
Headquarters Düsseldorf International Airport
Düsseldorf, Germany
Key people Helmut Weixler (CEO)

LTU Lufttransport-Unternehmen GmbH was an airline with its head office in Halle 8 at Düsseldorf International Airport in Düsseldorf, Germany; it is now fully owned by Air Berlin.[1] The initials stand for the German phrase LuftTransport-Unternehmen ("air transport enterprise"). The airline operated scheduled services on medium and long-haul routes, as well as charter services. Its main bases were Düsseldorf International Airport and Munich International Airport. In November 2007 LTU opened a third base Berlin-Tegel International Airport for long haul operations only.[2]


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]

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.[2]

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 International 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. [1]

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 (to add to Düsseldorf and Munich) at Berlin-Tegel International Airport in October 2007, basing a single Airbus A330-200 there to launch flights to Bangkok, Punta Cana and Varadero.[4]

Air Berlin announced in 2008 that the trademark LTU would no longer be used. All flights are now branded Air Berlin.[5]


Since May 1, 2009, all flights had Air Berlin flight numbers, operated by LTU crew. The LTU planes were used throughout Air Berlin's network and conducting originally-LTU flights. See here for the full list of Air Berlin destinations.

Additionally, LTU offered some dedicated seasonal sightseeing flights (without landing) around the North Pole (see Deutsche Polarflug).


LTU Airbus A330-200
LTU International Airways Fleet now merged with Air Berlin
Aircraft type Aircraft in fleet
Airbus A320 13
Airbus A330-200 10
Airbus A330-300 3

The average age of the LTU International fleet was 7.6 years.

Historical Fleet[edit]

In addition to the above Airbus jetliners, LTU operated the following jet aircraft types at various times during its existence:[6]


  1. ^ "Kontakt." LTU International. Retrieved on 21 June 2009. "LTU International Airways Flughafen Düsseldorf, Halle 8 D40474 Düsseldorf"
  2. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-04-03. p. 107. 
  3. ^ "About LTUKommunikation Wissenschaft." Air Berlin. Retrieved on 21 June 2009.
  4. ^ "LTU base". Airliner World. August 2007. p. 9. 
  5. ^ „Air Berlin stellt Nutzung der Marke LTU ein“ (german) (29. Juli 2008)[dead link]
  6. ^ http://www., photos of LTU aircraft

External links[edit]

  • LTU (Archive)
  • LTU (German) (Archive)