Germania (airline)

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Germania logo.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1978
Operating bases Berlin Schönefeld Airport
Focus cities
Fleet size 22
Destinations 42
Headquarters Berlin, Germany
Key people Karsten Balke, CEO

Germania, legally Germania Fluggesellschaft mbH, is a privately owned German airline with its headquarters in Berlin.[1] Germania operates scheduled and charter flights to destinations in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East from several German bases. It carried 2.5 million passengers in 2009 and had around 850 employees as of summer 2014.[2]


Early years[edit]

Germania Boeing 737-300 in 1996

The airline was founded in April 1978 as Special Air Transport or SAT for short in Cologne and started operations on 5 September 1978 with a Fokker F-27. In November 1978, a Sud Aviation Caravelle was purchased from LTU, which was replaced by two used Boeing 727-100 from Hapag-Lloyd Flug (now TUIfly). Germania Express has adopted the IATA code "ST" which was previously used by Yanda Airlines.

In spring 1986, the company was re-organised and its name was changed to Germania on 1 June 1986.[3] For many years, Germania's main area of doing business were charter services for TUI, Condor and Neckermann Reisen – an area in which Germania earned a reputation for offering the lowest prices. In 1992 the registered office was relocated to Tegel. In the same year Germania won the bid for flight services between the old and new capital of Germany (Bonn and Berlin) on behalf of the German government, establishing a short-lived Beamten-Shuttle (German for “shuttle for civil servants”).

In 1998, the airline pioneered the use of aircraft for advertising in Germany (advertisers included Siemens and various tour operators). In the same year, Germania began to lease more and more planes to other airlines such as Hapag-Lloyd Express, Maersk and Delta.

Development since the 2000s[edit]

The former logo used until 2009

In June 2003, Germania started to offer tickets directly to passengers under the brand Germania Express (often shortened to gexx). Following a purchase of a 64% stake in dba (now part of Air Berlin) on 28 March 2005, Germania wet-leased 12 Fokker 100 aircraft to dba. At the same time, dba took over Germania Express's 15 established low-cost routes and thus absorbed Germania's gexx brand. Germania on the other hand, with all aircraft having been leased to other airlines, no longer offered routes directly to passengers. While the partial merger between Germania and dba was already reversed in the summer of 2005, the cooperation of Germania and dba was extended to 14 Fokker 100 aircraft. Air Berlin chief, Joachim Hunold, was tasked by Germania owner, Hinrich Bischoff, to take charge of the future of the company shortly before Bischoff's death on 11 November 2005. However, an agreement between Bischoff and Hunold was not reached in the end as Bischoff's heirs refused to accept.

Germania relaunched scheduled flights under its own brand name out of Berlin and Düsseldorf beginning with the 2008 summer schedule.

The foundations were laid for the first maintenance hangar at Berlin Brandenburg Airport on 21 March 2011. Germania plans to use the hangar together once the airport becomes operational.[4]

On 3 March 2014, Germania had its traffic rights for flights to Iraq revoked after an intervention by Iraqi Airways.[5] On 12 March 2014, Germania was allowed to resume all operations to Iraq with the first flight resuming on the 17 March 2014.

In spring 2015, Germania announced to phase out all of their recently refurbished Boeing 737-700s by 2020 to become an all-Airbus operator.[6]

In September 2016, Germania announced to cease all operations at Kassel Airport where it was the only scheduled carrier.[7]

In August 2017, the airline got a Bulgarian AOC for it's Bulgarian subsidiary Bulgarian Eagle,[8] They have registered an Airbus A319 in Bulgaria. The aircraft will, according to the airline, be wet-leased to partner companies.[9]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Germania's head office in Berlin


Germania Fluggesellschaft mbH is a private company that had been founded and run for many years by Hinrich Bischoff, who died on 11 November 2005. His wife Ingrid Bischoff was the main shareholder, but she sold it. Germania has its headquarters at Riedemannweg 58, Berlin, Germany.[10][11]

Related companies[edit]

  • Germania Technik Brandenburg GmbH is a wholly owned aircraft maintenance subsidiary of Germania, based at Schönefeld.
  • In October 2011 it was reported that Bischoff had taken over Germania's charter partner Flynext (Flynext Luftverkehrs GmbH) from the Nuremberg-based regional airline entrepreneur Hans Rudolf Wöhrl, Flynext having been set up earlier that year and operating two Airbus A319s on a wet-lease basis for Germania. Now called Germania Express (Germania Express Fluggesellschaft mbH), the new company took over the two Airbus A319s.
  • Germania Express in turn is the main shareholder of Gambia Bird, a airline based at Banjul, The Gambia.[12] Gambia Bird however ceased operations on 30 December 2014.[13]
  • In 2014, Germania founded Germania Flug as a new sub-company in Switzerland to operate leisure flights under the newly established HolidayJet brand in cooperation with Swiss tour operator Hotelplan.[14]

Business trends[edit]

Because it is a private company, annual reports for Germania are not published. In the absence of these, information that is available is shown below:

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Turnover (€m) n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Profit (€m) n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Number of employees 600 600 600 600 n/a n/a
Number of passengers (m) 2.5 2.2 n/a 1.0 n/a n/a
Passenger load factor (%) n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Number of aircraft (at year end) 15 17 n/a 15 n/a n/a
Notes/sources [15][16] [17][18] [19]


Germania offers a wide range of some year-round and mainly seasonal leisure and some metropolitan routes from several German airports. From its bases, scheduled flights to Turkey, Kosovo[a], Israel and Lebanon are also offered, servicing minorities living in Germany and Austria.

Codeshare agreements[edit]


Current fleet[edit]

Germania Airbus A319-100

As of August 2017, the Germania fleet (excluding the Swiss subsidiary Germania Flug) consists of the following aircraft:[21]

Germania fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
Y Total
Airbus A319-100 11 144 144
150 150
Airbus A320neo 25 180 180 to be delivered from 2020[22]
Airbus A321-200 4 215 215
Boeing 737-700 10 148 148 D-AGER painted in 30th anniversary special livery; all to be retired by 2020[6]
Total 25 25

Historical fleet[edit]

A now retired Germania Fokker 100

Over the years, Germania has operated the following aircraft types:[23]

Aircraft Introduced Retired
Boeing 727-100 198? 20??
Boeing 737-300 1987 2011
Fokker 100 2003 2008


  1. ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has received formal recognition as an independent state from 111 out of 193 United Nations member states.


  1. ^ "Contact." Germania Airline. Retrieved on October 12, 2009.
  2. ^ Germania (7 July 2015). "Germania Airline". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  3. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-04-03. p. 86. 
  4. ^ "airberlin press – Press releases". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "Germania stripped of Iraqi traffic rights on Iraqi Airways' request". ch-aviation. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Einheitsflotte: Germania wechselt ganz zu Airbus - aeroTELEGRAPH". aeroTELEGRAPH. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  7. ^ - "Kassel Airport loses Germania" (German) 22 September 2016
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Germania express Company History Archived 2012-10-10 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ "Germania (airline)". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "INTRO Aviation - Home". Archived from the original on 29 October 2014. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ "HolidayJet". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  15. ^ "Germania press release:Contract signed for Airbus order 26 July 2010". Archived from the original on 2012-09-24. Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  16. ^ "About Germania - The Company". Germania. Archived from the original on 2013-01-07. 
  17. ^ "A J Walter Aviation press release". Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  18. ^ "Germania Selects Eaton to Provide Hydraulic Pumps". Eaton. 29 March 2011. 
  19. ^ "GuestLogix press release". GuestLogix. 22 March 2013. [permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "Germania / Sky Express to launch codeshare service in S17". Airlineroute. 6 February 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2017. 
  21. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2017 (Part One)". Airliner World (October 2017): 15. 
  22. ^ "Germania Group invests in the future with order of Airbus A320neo. Extensive fleet renewal starts 2020.". Germania Fluggesellschaft mbH. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  23. ^ "Germania Fleet - Airfleets aviation". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Germania at Wikimedia Commons