Deutsche Lufthansa AG (FWB: LHA) (German pronunciation: [ˈdɔʏtʃə ˈlʊfthanzaː]), commonly known as Lufthansa (sometimes also as Lufthansa German Airlines), is a German airline[note 3] and also the largest airline in Europe, both in terms of overall passengers carried and fleet size when combined with its subsidiaries. It operates services to 18 domestic destinations and 197 international destinations in 78 countries across Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe, using a fleet of more than 280 aircraft.
Besides its own passenger airline service (also known as Lufthansa Passage), Deutsche Lufthansa AG is a holding for several other airlines and further aviation-related companies, including, Austrian Airlines, Germanwings, Lufthansa Technik, and Swiss International Air Lines. With over 615 aircraft, it has one of the largest passenger airline fleets in the world when combined with its subsidiaries. In 2014, the group carried over 106 million passengers.
Lufthansa's registered office and corporate headquarters are in Cologne. The main operations base, called Lufthansa Aviation Center (LAC), is located at Lufthansa's primary traffic hub at Frankfurt Airport. The majority of Lufthansa's pilots, ground staff, and flight attendants are based there. Lufthansa's secondary hub is Munich Airport with a third, considerably smaller one maintained at Düsseldorf Airport which transfers to Germanwings, so Lufthansa only operates just around 10 destinations (excluding seasonal) which all have been transferred to Germanwings.
Having been a state-owned enterprise until 1994, the majority of Lufthansa's shares are nowadays held by private investors (88.52%), as well as MGL Gesellschaft für Luftverkehrswerte (10.05%), Deutsche Postbank (1.03%), and Deutsche Bank (0.4%). Since 1970, Lufthansa has involved its employees in profit sharing, giving them the opportunity to choose between cash and preference shares. When Lufthansa was privatised, employees received more than 3% of its shares.
The name of the company is derived from Luft (the German word for "air"), and Hansa (a Latin term meaning "guild" most commonly used historically in reference to the Hanseatic League).
- 1 History
- 2 Corporate affairs and identity
- 3 Destinations
- 4 Fleet
- 5 Cabin
- 6 Miles & More
- 7 Lounges
- 8 Accidents and incidents
- 9 Criticism
- 10 See also
- 11 Citations
- 12 External links
1950s: Post-war (re-)formation
Lufthansa traces its history to 1926 when Deutsche Luft Hansa A.G. (from 1933 styled as Deutsche Lufthansa) was formed in Berlin. DLH, as it was known for short, was Germany's flag carrier until 1945 when all services were suspended following the defeat of Germany. In an effort to create a new national airline, a company called Aktiengesellschaft für Luftverkehrsbedarf (Luftag), was founded in Cologne on 6 January 1953, with many of its staff having worked for the pre-war Lufthansa. West Germany had not yet been granted sovereignty over its airspace, so it was unknown when the new airline could become operational. Nevertheless, in 1953 Luftag placed orders for four Convair CV-340s and four Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellations and set up a maintenance base at Hamburg Airport. On 6 August 1954, Luftag acquired the name and logo from the liquidated Deutsche Lufthansa for DM 30,000 (equivalent to € 68000 today), thus continuing the tradition of a German flag carrier of that name.
On 1 April 1955 Lufthansa got approval to start scheduled domestic flights, linking Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Cologne, and Munich. International flights started on 15 May 1955, to London, Paris, and Madrid, followed by Super Constellation flights to New York City from 1 June of that year, and across the South Atlantic from August 1956. In August 1958 fifteen Lufthansa 1049Gs and 1649s left Germany each week to Canada and the United States, three 1049Gs a week flew to South America, three flew to Tehran and one to Baghdad.
Due to the special status of that city, Lufthansa was not allowed to fly to either part of Berlin until 1989. Originally thought to be only a temporary matter (and with intentions to move the airline's headquarters and main base there once the political situation would change), the Division of Germany turned out to be long-lasting, which gradually led to Frankfurt Airport evolving into the major hub for Lufthansa.
East Germany tried to establish its own airline in 1955 using the Lufthansa name, but this resulted in a legal dispute with West Germany, where Lufthansa was operating. East Germany instead established Interflug as its national airline in 1963, which coincided with the East German Lufthansa being shut down.
1960s: Jetliner introduction
In 1958 Lufthansa ordered four Boeing 707s and started jet flights from Frankfurt to New York City in March 1960. Boeing 720Bs were later bought to back up the 707 fleet. In February 1961 Far East routes were extended beyond Bangkok, Thailand, to Hong Kong and Tokyo. Lagos, Nigeria and Johannesburg, South Africa were added in 1962.
Lufthansa introduced the Boeing 727 in 1964 and that May began the Polar route from Frankfurt to Tokyo via Anchorage. In February 1965 the company ordered twenty-one Boeing 737s that went into service in 1968. Lufthansa was the first customer for the Boeing 737 and was one of four buyers of the 737-100s (the others were NASA, Malaysia-Singapore Airlines, and Avianca – while the NASA airframe was the first built, it was the last delivered and originally intended for delivery to Lufthansa). Lufthansa was the first foreign launch customer for a Boeing airliner.
1970s–1980s: The wide-body era
The wide-body era for Lufthansa started with a Boeing 747 flight on April 26, 1970. It was followed by the introduction of the DC-10-30 on November 12, 1973, and the first Airbus A300 in 1976. In 1979 Lufthansa and Swiss International Air Lines were launch customers for the Airbus A310 with an order for twenty-five aircraft.
The company's fleet modernisation programme for the 1990s began on June 29, 1985 with an order for fifteen Airbus A320s and seven Airbus A300-600s. Ten Boeing 737-300s were ordered a few days later. All were delivered between 1987 and 1992. Lufthansa also bought Airbus A321, Airbus A340, and the Boeing 747-400.
In 1987 Lufthansa, together with Air France, Iberia, and Scandinavian Airlines, founded Amadeus, an IT company (also known as a GDS) that would enable travel agencies to sell the founders and other airlines' products from a single system.
Lufthansa adopted a new corporate identity in 1988. The fleet was given a new livery, while cabins, city offices, and airport lounges were redesigned.
1990s–2000s: Further expansion
On October 28, 1990, 25 days after reunification, Berlin became a Lufthansa destination again. On May 18, 1997, Lufthansa, Air Canada, Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways International, and United Airlines formed the Star Alliance, the world's first multilateral airline alliance.
In 2000, Air One became a Lufthansa partner airline and nearly all Air One flights were code-shared with Lufthansa until Alitalia purchased Air One. Lufthansa has a good track record for posting profits, even in 2001, after 9/11, the airline suffered a significant loss in profits but still managed to stay 'in the black'. While many other airlines announced layoffs (typically 20% of their workforce), Lufthansa retained its current workforce.
On December 6, 2001, Lufthansa announced an order for 15 Airbus A380 superjumbos with 10 more options, which was confirmed on December 20. The A380 fleet will be used for long-haul flights from Frankfurt exclusively.
In June 2003, Lufthansa opened Terminal 2 at Munich's Franz Josef Strauß Airport to relieve its main hub, Frankfurt, which was suffering from capacity constraints. It is one of the first terminals in Europe partially owned by an airline.
In autumn 2003, the implementation of a new sales strategy initiated by then-incumbent Executive Vice President Thierry Antinori to make the company fit for the digital era led to the abolition of commission payments for travel agencies and led to a revolution in the German travel business with many travel agencies disappearing from the market on the one hand, and the rise of new digital distribution platforms on the other hand.
On May 17, 2004, Lufthansa became the launch customer for the Connexion by Boeing in-flight online connectivity service.
On March 22, 2005, Swiss International Air Lines was purchased by Lufthansa's holding company. The acquisition included the provision that the majority shareholders (the Swiss government and large Swiss companies) be offered payment if Lufthansa's share price outperforms an airline index during the years following the merger. The two companies will continue to be run separately.
On December 6, 2006, Lufthansa placed an order for 20 Boeing 747-8s, becoming the launch customer of the passenger model. The airline is also the second European airline to operate the Airbus A380 (after Air France). The first A380 was delivered on May 19, 2010, while the first 747-8 entered service in 2012.
On September 15, 2008, Lufthansa Group announced its purchase of a stake in Brussels Airlines. In June 2009 the EU Commission granted regulatory approval for this strategic partnership between Brussels Airlines and Lufthansa. The decision paved the way for Lufthansa to acquire an initial 45% stake in SN Airholding SA/NV, the parent company of Brussels Airlines. Lufthansa has an option to purchase the remaining 55% of Brussels Airlines until 2017.
In September 2009, Lufthansa purchased Austrian Airlines with the approval of the European Commission.
On June 11, 2010, the Airbus A380 service was operated between Frankfurt and Tokyo.
After a loss of 381 million euros in the first quarter of 2010 and another 13 million loss in the year 2011 due to the economic recession and the cost of restructuring, Deutsche Lufthansa AG cut 3,500 administrative positions or around 20 percent of the clerical total of 16,800. In 2012 Lufthansa announced a restructuring program called SCORE to improve its operating profit. As a part of the restructuring plan the company started to transfer all short-haul flights outside its hubs in Frankfurt, Munich and Düsseldorf to the company’s re-branded low-cost carrier Germanwings.
In September 2013 Lufthansa Group announced its biggest order, for 59 wide-body aircraft valued more than 14 billion euros at list prices. Earlier in the same year Lufthansa placed an order for 100 next-generation narrow-body aircraft.
The group has had a long-standing dispute with the Vereinigung Cockpit union which has demanded a scheme in which pilots can retire at the age of 55 and 60% of their pay be retained, which Lufthansa insists is no longer affordable. Lufthansa pilots were joined by pilots from the group's budget carrier Germanwings to stage a nationwide strike in support of their demands in April 2014 which lasted 3 days. The pilots staged another 6 hours strike at the end of the Summer holidays in September 2014, which caused the cancellation of 200 Lufthansa flights and 100 Germanwings flights.
In June 2015, Lufthansa announced to close its small long-haul base at Düsseldorf Airport due to economic reasons by October 2015. The base currently consists of two Airbus A340-300s which serve Newark and Chicago. Newark remains as a year-round service which will be operated in a W-pattern from Munich Airport (Munich - Newark - Düsseldorf - Newark - Munich), the future of the Chicago service remains unclear as Lufthansa suspends the route for the winter 2015/2016 season.
Corporate affairs and identity
Lufthansa's corporate headquarters are located in Cologne. In 1971, Lawrence Fellows of The New York Times described the then-new headquarters building that Lufthansa occupied in Cologne as "gleaming". In 1986, terrorists bombed the Lufthansa headquarters. No people were injured as a result of the bombing.
In 2006, the builders laid the first stone to the new Lufthansa headquarters in Deutz, Cologne. By the end of 2007 Lufthansa planned to move 800 employees, including the company's finance department, to the new building. However, in early 2013 Lufthansa revealed plans to relocate its head office from Cologne to Frankfurt by 2017.
Several Lufthansa departments are not located in the headquarters; instead they are located in the Lufthansa Aviation Center at Frankfurt Airport. The departments include Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, and Media Relations.
In addition to its main operation, Lufthansa has several subsidiaries, including:
Wholly owned by Lufthansa
- Austrian Airlines, the flag carrier airline of Austria, headquartered at Vienna International Airport, Austria.
- Swiss International Air Lines, the flag carrier airline of Switzerland, headquartered at EuroAirport Basel, Switzerland.
- Germanwings, low-cost subsidiary operating all flights from German airports besides Lufthansa's hubs in Frankfurt and Munich.
- Eurowings, currently operating for Germanwings, to be redeveloped into a new European low-cost airline from October 2015 (formerly part of Lufthansa Regional).
- Lufthansa Cargo, an air cargo company.
- Lufthansa Regional carriers:
Partly owned by Lufthansa
- AeroLogic, German cargo airline owned 50% by Lufthansa in joint venture with DHL.
- SN Airholding, the mother company of Brussels Airlines: 45% owned by Lufthansa with an option to acquire the remaining shares in the future.
- Luxair, 14.44% owned by Lufthansa.
- SunExpress, an airline based in Antalya, Turkey; 50% owned by Lufthansa and the remaining owned by Star Alliance partner Turkish Airlines.
- TUI AG, TUI Travel PLC (Lufthansa Holding Company) 19% owned by Lufthansa.
- Global Load Control, a world leader in remote weight and balance services.
- LSG Sky Chefs, the world's largest airline caterer, which accounts for one third of the world's airline meals.
- Lufthansa Consulting, an international aviation consultant for airlines, airports and related industries.
- Lufthansa Flight Training, a provider of flight crew training services to various airlines and the main training arm for the airline's own pilots.
- Lufthansa Regional, a brand operated by an alliance of several small regional airlines, including Lufthansa CityLine.
- Lufthansa Systems, the largest European aviation IT provider.
- Lufthansa Technik, aircraft maintenance providers.
The Lufthansa logo, an encircled stylized crane in flight, was created in 1918 by Otto Firle. It was part of the livery of the first German airline, Deutsche Luft-Reederei (abbreviated DLR), which began air service on February 5, 1919. In 1926, Deutsche Luft Hansa adopted this symbol, and in 1954, Lufthansa expressed continuity by adopting it, too.
The original creator of the name Lufthansa is believed to be F.A. Fischer von Puturzyn. In 1925, he published a book entitled "Luft-Hansa" which examined the options open to aviation policymakers at the time. Luft Hansa was the name given to the new airline which resulted from the merger of Junkers' airline (Luftverkehr AG) and Deutscher Aero Lloyd.
Alliances and partnerships
On December 13, 2007, Lufthansa and JetBlue Airways announced the beginning of a partnership initiated through the 19% stake purchase in Jetblue shares by Lufthansa. This is the first major ownership investment by a European carrier in an American carrier since the EU–U.S. Open Skies Agreement became effective in 2008. In late 2007, the Lufthansa cargo hub dispute was started by Russia. Lufthansa was forced to relocate its cargo hub from Kazakhstan to Russia.
On September 15, 2008, it was jointly announced by both airlines that Lufthansa will acquire a 45% stake in Brussels Airlines with an option to acquire the remaining 55% from 2011. As a part of this deal Brussels Airlines will join Star Alliance. Brussels entered into the Star Alliance in December 2009.
On October 28, 2008, Lufthansa exercised its option to purchase a further 60% share in BMI (additionally to the 20% Lufthansa already owned), this resulted in a dispute with former owner Sir Michael Bishop, though. Both parties reached an agreement at the end of June 2009, so the acquisition could take place with effect from July 1, 2009. By acquiring the remaining 20% from Scandinavian Airlines Lufthansa has full control over BMI since November 1, 2009.
In November 2008, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines announced a deal in which Lufthansa will buy the majority stock from the Austrian government. The deal was completed in January 2009. At the same time, Lufthansa announced that they are in serious talks with Scandinavian Airlines System about a merger between the two airlines but Lufthansa would have to make great changes to SAS before this is viable because of the financial state of Scandinavian Airlines System over the last few years. In May 2009, it announced that talks are occurring between about a "closer commercial co-operation" between the two companies, but that a takeover is not in Lufthansa's plans. Additionally, it announced that if British Airways was unable to complete its merger with Iberia, it would attempt to begin talks with the Spanish airline itself.
In November 2011, Lufthansa agreed to sell BMI to International Airlines Group (IAG), owner of British Airways and Iberia, pending approvals, for £172.5 million.
In July 2012, a Qantas–Lufthansa Technik maintenance deal for Tullamarine airport fell through due to having insufficient engine maintenance work to support the partnership. This resulted in 164 engineers becoming redundant. This follows just months after the closing of heavy maintenance operations, which resulted in 400 additional job losses. It was announced that the Lufthansa Technik–Qantas partnership would end in September.
Until April 2009 Lufthansa inventory and departure control systems, based on Unisys were managed by LH Systems. Lufthansa reservations systems were outsourced to Amadeus in the early 1990s. Following a decision to outsource all components of the Passenger Service System, the functions were outsourced to the Altéa platform managed by Amadeus.
Lufthansa built up a worldwide partner network, offering coordinated connections, common frequent-flyer programmes and code sharing. After the liquidation of Team Lufthansa, some of the former Team Lufthansa members were integrated into the partner programme. All airlines remain independent and keep their own corporate identity. Some of Lufthansa's partners outside of the Star Alliance are Air Malta and Luxair.
|Airbus A319-100||30||—||—||0||var||0||var||138||D-AILF painted in Star Alliance livery, D-AILU painted in Lufthansa Kids Club LU livery|
|Airbus A320-200||52||28||50[A]||168||D-AIPC and D-AIPD painted in Star Alliance livery|
|Airbus A321-100||20||—||—||0||var||0||var||200||D-AIRW painted in Star Alliance livery, D-AIRY painted in Die Maus livery|
|Airbus A321-200||44||—||—||D-AIDV painted in special 1960s retro livery|
|Airbus A340-300||18||—||—||8||48||0||165||221||D-AIGN, D-AIGP and D-AIGV painted in Star Alliance livery
8 aircraft to be transferred to and leased-back from Lufthansa CityLine to be operated in a high-density configuration on leisure routes.
|Airbus A350-900||—||25||15||TBA||Deliveries 2016-2023|
|8||92||32||208||340||D-ABYP is the 1500th Boeing 747 built, D-ABYO is the 75th Boeing 747 operated by Lufthansa
D-ABYI painted in special Fanhansa Siegerflieger livery, D-ABYT painted in special 1970s retro livery
|Boeing 777-9X||—||34||30||TBA||Deliveries 2020-2025|
|Boeing 707||1960||1984||Also used in cargo configuration|
|Boeing 727-100||1964||1979||Also used in Quick Change version|
|Boeing 737-100||1967||1982||Launch customer, dubbed City Jet|
|Boeing 737-200||1969||1997||Also used in Quick Change version|
|Boeing 737-300||1986||—||Also used in Quick Change version|
|Boeing 747-200||1971||2004||Also used in cargo configuration|
|Boeing 747-8||2012||—||Launch customer|
|Leased from Condor|
|Curtiss C-46||1964||1969||Leased cargo aircraft|
|Douglas DC-3||1955||1960||Also used in cargo configuration|
|Douglas DC-4||1958||1959||One single leased cargo aircraft|
|Douglas DC-8||1965||1966||One single leased cargo aircraft|
|McDonnell Douglas DC-10||1974||1994|
|Fokker F27 Friendship||~1965||~1966||Leased from Condor|
|Lockheed Super Constellation/Starliner||1955||1967||Also used in cargo configuration|
|Vickers Viking||1956||1961||Two leased cargo aircraft|
Aircraft naming conventions
In September 1960, the Lufthansa Boeing 707 (D-ABOC), which would serve the Frankfurt-New York intercontinental route, was christened Berlin after the divided city of Berlin by then-mayor Willy Brandt. Following the Berlin, other Lufthansa 707 planes were named "Hamburg", "Frankfurt", "München", and "Bonn." With these names, the company established a tradition of naming the planes in its fleet after German cities and towns or federal states, with a rule of thumb that the airplane make, size, or route would correspond roughly to the relative size or importance of the city or town it was named after.
This tradition has continued to this day, with two notable exceptions until 2010. The first was an Airbus A340-300 registered D-AIFC, name "Gander/Halifax", named after Gander and Halifax, two Canadian cities along the standard flight path from Europe to North America. It became the first Lufthansa airplane named after a non-German city. The name is meant to commemorate the hospitality of the communities of Gander and Halifax, which served as improvised safe havens for the passengers and crew of the multitude of international aircraft unable to return to their originating airports during Operation Yellow Ribbon after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
The other aircraft not named after a German city was an Airbus A321-100 registered as D-AIRA, which was designated Finkenwerder in honour of the collaborative Airbus facility in the borough of Hamburg-Finkenwerder, where about 40% of Airbus narrowbody models are manufactured.
In February 2010, Lufthansa announced that the first two Airbus A380s delivered would be named Frankfurt am Main and München, following its naming tradition. However, the subsequent A380 aircraft are named after Star Alliance hub cities like Tokyo, Beijing, Brussels, and New York.
Vintage aircraft restoration
Lufthansa Technik, the airline's maintenance arm, restored a Junkers Ju 52/3m built in 1936 to airworthiness; this aircraft was in use on the 10-hour Berlin to Rome route, across the Alps, in the 1930s. Lufthansa is now restoring a Lockheed Super Constellation, using parts from three such aircraft bought at auction. Lufthansa's Super Constellations and L1649 "Starliners" served routes such as Hamburg-Madrid-Dakar-Caracas-Santiago. Lufthansa Technik recruits retired employees and volunteers for skilled labour.
First Class is offered on most long-haul aircraft (Airbus A330-300, A340-300, A340-600, the front part of the upper deck of all Airbus A380s, and the main deck nose section of all Boeing 747–8s). Each seat converts to a 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) bed, includes laptop power outlets, as well as entertainment facilities. Meals are available on demand. Lufthansa offers dedicated First Class check-in counters at most airports, and offers dedicated First Class lounges in Frankfurt and Munich, as well as a dedicated first class terminal in Frankfurt. Arriving passengers have the option of using Lufthansa's First Class arrival facilities, as well as the new Welcome Lounge. Lufthansa has introduced a new First Class product aboard the Airbus A380 and plans to gradually introduce it on all of its long-haul aircraft. With the new programme SCORE, introduced to boost profits by 1.5 billion euros over the following years, LH will stop route expansion and extensively decrease its First Class offerings on most routes.
Business Class is offered on all long-haul aircraft. Newer seats convert to 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) lie-flat beds and include laptop power outlets and entertainment facilities. Lufthansa offers dedicated Business Class check-in counters at all airports, as well as dedicated Business Class lounges at most airports, or contract lounges at other airports, as well as the Lufthansa Welcome Lounge upon arrival in Frankfurt. The original, Business Class features angle-lie flat seats with 150 degrees of recline. Business Class on all Boeing 747-8s features fully flat bed seats, and a larger seat-back entertainment screen. The new seats are gradually being rolled out across the rest of the Airbus A330, A340, A380 and Boeing 747-400 fleet.
Introduced in 2014, Lufthansa's long-haul Premium Economy is being rolled out on all long-haul aircraft, starting with a select number of Boeing 747-8s. Similar in design to Air Canada's Premium Economy or British Airways' World Traveler Plus cabins, Premium Economy features 38-inch (970 mm) pitch along with up to 3 inches (76 mm) more width than economy class, depending on the aircraft. The seats also feature a 11 or 12 inches (280 or 300 mm) personal seat-back entertainment screens and a larger armrest separating seats.
Lufthansa's long-haul Economy Class is offered on all long-haul aircraft. All have a 31-inch (790 mm) seat pitch except the Airbus A340s, which have a 32-inch (810 mm) seat pitch. Passengers receive meals, as well as free drinks. Moreover, the whole fleet offers Audio-Video-On-Demand (AVOD) screens in Economy Class.
Miles & More
Lufthansa's frequent-flyer programme is called Miles & More, and is shared among several European airlines, including Austrian Airlines, Adria Airways, Croatia Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Luxair, Swiss International Air Lines, and Brussels Airlines. Miles & More members may earn miles on Lufthansa flights and Star Alliance partner flights, as well as through Lufthansa credit cards, and purchases made through the Lufthansa shops. Status within Miles & More is determined by miles flown during one calendar year with specific partners. Membership levels include: Miles & More member (no minimal threshold), Frequent Traveller (Silver, 35,000-mile (56,000 km) threshold or 30 individual flights), Senator (Gold, 100,000-mile (160,000 km) threshold), and HON Circle (Black, 600,000-mile (970,000 km) threshold over two calendar years). All Miles & More status levels higher than Miles & More member offer lounge access and executive bonus miles, with the higher levels offering more exclusive benefits.
Overview and access
|Lounge||Access by class||Access by status
(Miles&More / Star Alliance)
|First Class Terminal||First Class only
(Lufthansa & SWISS only)
|HON Circle only
No Star Alliance Gold
|Only available at Frankfurt Airport||1|
|First Class Lounge||First Class only
(Lufthansa & SWISS only)
|HON Circle only
No Star Alliance Gold
|Available at Frankfurt Airport (Terminals 1A and 1B) and Munich Airport||3|
|Senator Lounge||First Class only
(Lufthansa, SWISS & Star Alliance)
|Senator or higher
Star Alliance Gold
|Business Lounge||First and Business Class
(Lufthansa & Star Alliance)
|Frequent Traveller or higher
Star Alliance Gold
|Welcome Lounge||First and Business Class
(Lufthansa, SWISS & United only)
|Frequent Traveller or higher
No Star Alliance Gold
|Only available at Frankfurt Airport||1|
Lufthansa operates four types of lounges: First Class, Senator, Business, and Welcome Lounges. Each departure lounge is accessible both through travel class, or Miles and More/Star Alliance status; the Welcome Lounge is limited to arriving premium passengers of the Lufthansa Group and United Airlines only.
First class terminal
Lufthansa operates a first class terminal at Frankfurt Airport. The first terminal of its kind, access is limited only to departing Lufthansa First Class, same day Lufthansa Group first class and HON Circle members. Approximately 200 staff care for approximately 300 passengers per day in the terminal, which features a full-service restaurant, full bar, cigar lounge, relaxation rooms, and offices, as well as bath facilities. Guests are driven directly to their departing flight by Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Porsche Cayenne, Porsche Panamera, or Mercedes-Benz Viano.
Accidents and incidents
This is a list of accidents and incidents involving Lufthansa mainline aircraft since 1954. For earlier occurrences, refer to Deutsche Luft Hansa. For accidents and incidents on Lufthansa-branded flights which were operated by other airlines, see the respective articles (Lufthansa CityLine, Lufthansa Cargo, Contact Air, Germanwings, and Air Dolomiti).
- On January 11, 1959, Lufthansa Flight 502, a Lufthansa Lockheed Super Constellation (registered D-ALAK) crashed onto a beach shortly off Galeão Airport in Rio de Janeiro following a scheduled passenger flight from Hamburg, Germany. Of the 29 passengers and 10 crew members on board, only the co-pilot and 2 flight attendants survived. Investigation into the accident resulted in blaming the pilots for having executed a too low approach, which may have been caused by fatigue.
- On December 4, 1961, a Lufthansa Boeing 720 (registered D-ABOK) crashed of unknown causes near Mainz during a training flight from Frankfurt to Cologne, killing the three occupants. It was the first crash involving an aircraft of that type.
- On July 15, 1964, another Boeing 720 (registered D-ABOP) crashed during a training flight, with the three people on board losing their lives (in what was only the second crash for this aircraft type). The accident occurred near Ansbach after the pilots had lost control of the aircraft when executing an aileron roll.
- On January 28, 1966 at 17:50 local time, Lufthansa Flight 5 from Frankfurt to Bremen, which was operated using a Convair CV-440 Metropolitan registered D-ACAT, crashed 0.5 kilometres (0.31 mi) short of Bremen Airport, killing all 42 passengers and 4 crew members on board. The pilots had tried to execute a go-around when approaching the airport, during which the aircraft stalled and went out of control, possibly due to pilot error.
- On November 20, 1974 at 07:54 local time, Lufthansa Flight 540, a Boeing 747–100 (registered D-ABYB), crashed shortly after take-off at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in what was the first air accident involving a Boeing 747. 55 out of the 140 passengers and 4 out of the 17 crew lost their lives, making it the worst accident in the history of the airline.
- On July 26, 1979 at 21:32 UTC, a cargo-configured Boeing 707 (registered D-ABUY) that was en route Lufthansa Flight 527 from Rio de Janeiro to Dakar and onwards to Germany (at that time cargo flights were operated in-house, the German Cargo subsidiary had not been founded yet) crashed into a mountain 25 kilometres (16 mi) from Galeão Airport during initial climb, killing the three crew members on board. A flawed communication between the pilots and the air traffic controller had resulted in the aircraft flying on a wrong path.
- On September 14, 1993, Lufthansa Flight 2904, an Airbus A320-200 (registered D-AIPN) flying from Frankfurt to Warsaw with 64 passengers and 4 crew members on board, overran the runway upon landing at Warsaw-Okecie Airport, and crashed into an earth embankment, resulting in the death of the co-pilot and one passenger.
- On December 20, 1973 at 00:33 local time, a Lufthansa Boeing 707 (registered D-ABOT) with 98 passengers and 11 crew members on board collided with a middle marker shack upon approaching Palam Airport in Delhi following a scheduled passenger flight from Bangkok (as part of a multi-leg flight back to Germany). There were no injuries, but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair. At the time of the incident, there had been poor visibility conditions.
- In 1972, the year of the Munich Summer Olympics, there were four reported hijackings involving Lufthansa aircraft:
- On February 22, Flight 649, a Boeing 747-200 (registered D-ABYD) with 172 passengers and 15 crew members on board was hijacked en route from Delhi to Athens (as part of a multi-leg flight from Tokyo to Frankfurt) by five Palestinian terrorists who thus wanted to press a $5 million ransom from the German government. The aircraft landed at Aden International Airport, and the hostages were released on the following day once the demands of the perpetrators were accepted.
- On July 10, a similar hijacking attempt occurred on board a Lufthansa Boeing 737-100 during a flight from Cologne to Munich.[better source needed]
- October 11 saw a Boeing 727 being hijacked on a flight from Lisbon to Frankfurt. Upon landing at Frankfurt Airport, the perpetrator tried to flee but was captured by police forces.[better source needed]
- On October 29, two men hijacked Flight 615 with 11 other passengers and 7 crew members on board during a flight from Beirut to Ankara (and onwards to Germany), in order to liberate the three surviving members of the Black September group responsible for the Munich massacre. Whilst the hijacked Boeing 727 (registered D-ABIG) was forced to circle over Zagreb Airport in danger of eventual fuel starvation, the West German authorities decided to comply with the demands. The prisoners were handed over and the aircraft was allowed to be flown to Tripoli, where the hostages were released.
- On December 17, 1973, in the wake of the events surrounding Pan Am Flight 110, a parked Lufthansa Boeing 737–100 (registered D-ABEY) was hijacked at Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in Rome. 10 Italian hostages that had been taken by Palestinian terrorists at the airport were forced into the aircraft by 5 perpetrators, and the German crew (2 pilots and 2 flight attendants) that was on board preparing the departure to Munich had to fly the aircraft instead first to Athens and then to several other airports, until the ordeal ended at Kuwait International Airport the next day, where the hijackers surrendered.
- On June 28, 1977, a Lufthansa Boeing 727 was hijacked during a flight from Frankfurt to Istanbul and forced to divert to Munich.[better source needed]
- The Hijacking of the Landshut occurred on October 13, 1977, at a time when West Germany had come under intense terroristic pressure known as German Autumn. The Boeing 737–200 (registered D-ABCE) was hijacked en route Flight 181 from Palma de Mallorca to Frankfurt by 4 terrorists of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who thus wanted to force the German government to release several RAF terrorists. The crew had to divert the aircraft with 87 other passengers first to Rome, and then onwards to Larnaca, Bahrain, Dubai, Aden (where the captain was killed when he returned to the aircraft after negotiations with the local authorities), and finally to Mogadishu in an ordeal that took several days. At Mogadishu Airport, the German GSG 9 special forces stormed the aircraft in the early hours of October 18 local time, killing 3 terrorists and freeing all hostages.
- On September 12, 1979, a hijacking attempt occurred on board a Lufthansa Boeing 727 on a flight from Frankfurt to Cologne, but the perpetrator quickly surrendered.[better source needed]
- Three hijackings occurred in due course in early 1985:
- On February 27, a Boeing 727 was hijacked en route a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Damascus. Two perpetrators forced the pilots to divert the aircraft (with 35 other passengers on board) to Vienna International Airport, where they surrendered.[better source needed]
- On March 27, another 727 was hijacked, this time on a flight from Munich to Athens. A man demanded the pilots to divert to Libya. During a fuel stop at Istanbul, the aircraft was stormed and the perpetrator arrested.[better source needed]
- Only two days later, a mentally ill person on board a Lufthansa Boeing 737–200 on a flight from Hamburg to London demanded to be taken to Hawaii instead.[better source needed]
- On February 11, 1993, Lufthansa Flight 592 from Frankfurt to Addis Ababa via Cairo with 94 passengers and 10 crew members was hijacked during the first leg by 20-year-old Nebiu Zewolde Demeke, who forced the pilots to divert the Airbus A310 (registered D-AIDM) to the United States, with the intent of securing the right of asylum there. Demeke, who had been on the flight in order to be deported back to his native Ethiopia, surrendered to authorities upon arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. No passengers or crew members were harmed during the 12-hour ordeal.
Relations between Lufthansa and their pilots have been very tense in the past years, with many strikes occurring, causing hundreds of flights to be cancelled, as well as major losses to the company. Since 2007 there have been poor industrial relations, with a number of strike actions, due to the push to expand Lufthansa's low-cost airline Germanwings.
Germanwings accident crisis management
Nonetheless, damage control by Spohr and his team was poor according to several sources, as compared to other CEO’s in the face of a major accident, with contradictory informations regarding the mental health and if the copilot was airworthy, after it was discovered that Andreas Lubitz, who intentionally crashed the Germanwings Flight 9525 plane into the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard, suffered from a severe case of depression and mental disorders. Spohr misleadingly said the copilot “was 100% airworthy without any restrictions, without any conditions”.
- The company that today is known as Deutsche Lufthansa AG was founded as Aktiengesellschaft für Luftverkehrsbedarf (Luftag) on 6 January 1953. It sees itself in the tradition of Deutsche Lufthansa, the former German national airline that was founded in 1926 and liquidated in 1951, whose name and logo it acquired in 1954. Therefore, Lufthansa frequently gives "1926" as its founding date, though from the legal point of view, it is not the assignee of the earlier airline.
- Lufthansa also counts Düsseldorf Airport, Vienna International Airport and Zurich Airport as its hubs. They are not listed here because they are home for Lufthansa's subsidiaries Germanwings, Austrian Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines, respectively. For the same reason, all other Germanwings bases are omitted.
- Until 1994, Lufthansa was the state-owned national airline of (West) Germany. Even though having been privatized since then, it has de facto retained the "German flag carrier" designation, due to its history and international route network, which is by far the most extensive of any airline of the country. De jure, Lufthansa does not have any special rights compared to other German airlines, though.
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German flag carrier Deutsche Lufthansa AG
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Media related to Lufthansa at Wikimedia Commons