The history of German Wings can be traced to 1983 and began as a small air taxi firm called Airflight. In 1986 the name was changed to German Wings and in April 1989 it commenced scheduled flights using MD-83 aircraft. This airline offered fewer seats per plane (114 instead of the normal 172). The main operating hub was in Munich and from there it flew to Frankfurt, Cologne, Hamburg and Paris.
Although the public supported German Wings from the beginning, the new airline was not granted enough slots at airports to operate profitably and by 1990 it was in serious financial problems. In April 1990 the airline went bankrupt.