|Fleet size||7 (2008)|
|Parent company||British Airways (earlier)|
Air Berlin (later)
DBA Luftfahrtgesellschaft mbH, founded as Delta Air and formerly branded as Deutsche BA, was a low-cost airline headquartered on the grounds of Munich Airport in a building within the municipality of Hallbergmoos, Germany. It operated scheduled domestic and international services and also operated charter flights for tour operators in Europe and North Africa.
It was acquired by Air Berlin in August 2006 when operating as dba, but continued to operate independently, marketed as Air Berlin (powered by dba) until being dissolved by its parent company Air Berlin on 30 November 2008.
Foundation by British Airways
The airline was established in March 1992 and started operations in June 1992. It was founded when British Airways (BA) acquired a 49% stake in Delta Air, a regional airline based at Friedrichshafen, and renamed it Deutsche BA. In April 1997, after liberalisation of the European air traffic market, BA acquired the remaining shares. Carl Michel was made CEO and he streamlined the fleet to consist entirely of 18 Boeing 737-300 aircraft, dropping secondary routes including those services operated with Saab 2000 as well as other turboprop aircraft types and focusing on internal German routes, feeder services to Gatwick and links to other oneworld partners, notably Iberia Airlines and Finnair.
Rod Eddington replaced Bob Ayling as British Airways Chief Executive in May 2000, starting major reviews of the airline's operations. First indications of a BA review of its German arm came in 2001 at which time Deutsche BA had amassed losses of over £15m. On 3 May 2002 EasyJet announced that it intended to pursue a purchase of former BA subsidiary Go. EasyJet followed with an announcement on 8 May 2002 that it had signed an exclusive agreement with British Airways giving it the option to purchase Deutsche BA. EasyJet had until 31 March 2003, or with an extension until 3 July 2003, to purchase the airline. During this time Deutsche BA would remain fully under BA control. However, EasyJet had several commitments: send three managers to the German operation, contribute £3m for capital expenditure and pay BA £366,000 per month until it exercised its option. In March 2003 EasyJet announced it had abandoned its plans to acquire Deutsche BA, citing the economic climate and employment laws in Germany.
First sale and planned mergers
In June 2003, BA announced plans to sell Deutsche BA to Intro Verwaltungsgesellschaft for a token sum of 1 Euro. In addition BA would invest £25m into the airline and guarantee its fleet of 16 Boeing 737s for a year. In return BA would receive 25% of any profits or proceeds from a sale until June 2006. It was rebranded as dba.
In March 2005 dba announced its intention to acquire rival airline Germania Express (gexx) which would create Germany's third largest airline after Lufthansa and Air Berlin. The gexx brand was phased out on the former airline's services, along with its Fokker 100 aircraft which dba has assumed the lease of. dba submitted a binding bid for ailing Greek national airline Olympic Airlines in April 2005, but later withdrew that bid.
In the fiscal year ending 31 March 2005, dba announced its first profit since creation in 1992, of 'between €1m and €2m  on sales of around €265m. 3 million passengers flew on dba aircraft in the year ending March 2005. The airline was owned by Intro Verwaltungsgesellschaft (80%) and Martin Gauss and Peter Wojahn (20%), and had 660 employees (at January 2005).
On 17 February 2006, dba announced the purchase of 60% of LTU. Hans-Rudolf Wöhrl, the majority owner of dba, planned to link the operations of LTU and dba, with dba flying inside Germany and LTU serving international destinations. It would allow LTU to increase its longhaul services by providing feeder services to Munich and Düsseldorf. LTU managing director Jürgen Marbach took a 24% stake in the carrier.
Sale to Air Berlin
In February 2006 Lutz Helmig acquired a 25.1% stake in the airline through the Aton company. On August 17, 2006 it was announced that Air Berlin had acquired 100% of the shares in dba. The two airlines would operate under their current identities, with dba continuing to operate as an independent company under the Air Berlin umbrella, but in future would be marketed as Air Berlin ("powered by dba"). It had 700 employees (at March 2007). The winter 2006 flight schedules were harmonised and a joint schedule will be in place for the summer 2007 season.
On 6 September 2006, the German Federal Cartel Office cleared the acquisition of 100% of the shares of dba by Air Berlin without restrictions to allow finalisation of the takeover.
On 30 November 2008 the parent company Air Berlin dissolved the company dba and fully integrated its planes into the Air Berlin fleet.
- "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 29 March-4 April 1995. 68. "Wartungsallee 13, Munchen-Flughafen, Munchen D-85 356, Germany"
- "Contact Us." DBA. 4 February 2004. Retrieved on 21 January 2010. "dba Luftfahrtgesellschaft mbH Wartungsallee 13 85356 München,. Munich Airport Germany" The address on Google Maps goes to "Wartungsallee 13 85356 Hallbergmoos, Germany."
- "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-04-03. p. 72.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20090227140341/http://www.aero.de/news.php?varnewsid=7469. Archived from the original on February 27, 2009. Retrieved December 3, 2008. Missing or empty
- DW World
- Air Berlin Press Release Archived November 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- http://www.airliners.net, photos of Deutsche BA aircraft
Media related to dba at Wikimedia Commons