|Founded||6 January 1953|
|Frequent-flyer program||Miles & More|
|Fleet size||268 (excluding all subsidiaries)|
|Company slogan||Nonstop you.|
|Parent company||Publicly traded (FWB: LHA)|
|Key people||Carsten Spohr, Chairman & CEO|
|Revenue||€32.056 billion (2015)|
|Operating income||€1.676 billion (2015)|
|Net income||€1.698 billion (2015)|
|Total assets||€32.462 billion (2015)|
|Total equity||€5.845 billion (2015)|
Deutsche Lufthansa AG (FWB: LHA) (German pronunciation: [ˈdɔʏtʃə ˈlʊfthanzaː]), commonly known as Lufthansa (sometimes also as Lufthansa German Airlines), is the largest German airline and, when combined with its subsidiaries, also the largest airline in Europe, both in terms of passengers carried and fleet size. 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 270 aircraft. Lufthansa is one of the five founding members of Star Alliance, the world's largest airline alliance, formed in 1997. 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).
Besides its own passenger airlines Austrian Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines, and Eurowings including Germanwings (referred to in English by Lufthansa as its Passenger Airline Group), Deutsche Lufthansa AG owns several aviation-related companies such as Lufthansa Technik as part of the Lufthansa Group. Combined with its subsidiaries, the group has over 615 aircraft, making it one of the largest passenger airline fleets in the world. 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 at Lufthansa's primary 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.
Lufthansa was a state-owned enterprise (and flag carrier) until 1994. In 2014, 60% of Lufthansa's shares were held by institutional investors. The remaining 40% were held by individual stock owners. 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.
1950s: Post-war (re-)formation
Lufthansa traces its history to 1926 when Deutsche Luft Hansa A.G. (styled as Deutsche Lufthansa from 1933 onwards) 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 Nazi 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 not known 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 of 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 won 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.
The special status of Berlin meant that 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 changed), the Division of Germany turned out to be long, which gradually led to Frankfurt Airport becoming Lufthansa's primary hub.
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: Introduction of jetliners
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 Swissair 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 Boeing 747-400 aircraft.
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 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.
On May 17, 2004, Lufthansa became the launch customer for the Connexion by Boeing in-flight online connectivity service.
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 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.
It has been confirmed that Lufthansa bought 45% of Brussels Airlines for 65 million euros and would plan to fully takeover the company for 250 million euros. The decision was partially taken after the Brussels airport bombings on 22 March 2016, where Brussels Airlines the major airline in this airport lost about 5 million euros per day until the 3rd of April.
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 restructuring costs, 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 November 2014, Lufthansa signed an outsourcing deal worth $1.25 billion with IBM that will see the US company take over the airline’s IT infrastructure services division and staff.
In June 2015, Lufthansa announced it would like to close its small long-haul base at Düsseldorf Airport for economic reasons by October 2015. The base currently consists of two Airbus A340-300s which serve Newark and Chicago. Newark remains 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 suspended the route for the winter 2015/2016 season.
On 22 March 2016, Lufthansa ended operations of their Boeing 737-500 fleet as the last aircraft was transferred to its new owner. On 29 October 2016, Lufthansa retired their last Boeing 737 overall, a 737-300, after a flight from Milan to Frankfurt. Lufthansa operated the 737 in several subtypes for nearly 50 years, the first aircraft was delivered on 27 December 1967.
Deutsche Lufthansa AG shares have been publicly traded on all German stock exchanges since 1966. In addition to floor trading, it is also traded electronically using the Xetra system. It is a DAX index share and is listed in the German Stock Exchange’s Prime Standard. In its annual report for 2014, Lufthansa reported around 60% of its shares were owned by institutional investors and around 40% by private individuals, and reported having 118,781 employees on 31 December 2014.
Lufthansa's corporate headquarters are 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 building. No one was injured. In 2006, builders laid the first stone of 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 at the headquarters; instead they are in the Lufthansa Aviation Center at Frankfurt Airport. These departments include Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, and Media Relations.
- Wholly owned by Lufthansa
- Air Dolomiti - Italian regional airline headquartered in Villafranca di Verona and part of Lufthansa Regional
- Austrian Airlines - the flag carrier airline of Austria based at Vienna International Airport
- Swiss International Air Lines - the flag carrier airline of Switzerland based at Zürich Airport
- Eurowings - German low-cost airline headquartered in Düsseldorf
- Lufthansa Cargo - German cargo airline headquartered in Frankfurt, formerly German Cargo
- Lufthansa CityLine - German regional airline headquartered in Munich and part of Lufthansa Regional
- Partly owned by Lufthansa
- AeroLogic - German cargo airline owned by a joint-venture of Lufthansa (50%) and DHL (50%)
- Brussels Airlines - flag carrier airline of Belgium based at Brussels Airport; Lufthansa has owned 45% of the airline since 2008 and has an option to buy the remainder by 2017.
- SunExpress - Turkish leisure airline jointly owned by Lufthansa (50%) and Turkish Airlines (50%)
- SunExpress Deutschland - German subsidiary of SunExpress
- Former subsidiaries (years owned)
- British Midland International (2009-2011, stake owned since 1999) - British airline subsidiary sold to International Airlines Group and merged into British Airways in 2012
- Condor Flugdienst (1959-2004, stakes owned from 1955 until 2006) - former leisure subsidiary, shares gradually acquired by Thomas Cook AG, now owned by Thomas Cook Group
- German Cargo (1977-1993) - cargo subsidiary, reorganized into the current Lufthansa Cargo
- Lufthansa Italia (2009-2011) - Italian airline subsidiary established, sharing IATA, ICAO, and callsigns with the main 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 consultantancy 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 Systems, the largest European aviation IT provider.
- Lufthansa Technik, aircraft maintenance providers.
- Lufthansa City Center International, a network of independent travel agents who are Lufthansa franchisees
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
Lufthansa bought a 19% stake in JetBlue Airways in December 2007 and entered a code-sharing agreement with the airline. It was the first major investment by a European carrier in an American carrier since the EU–U.S. Open Skies Agreement came into effect in 2008. Lufthansa sold its stake in JetBlue in March 2015. In late 2007, Lufthansa Cargo was forced to relocate a hub from Kazakhstan to Russia.
On August 28, 2008, Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines announced that they were negotiating joining together.
Lufthansa acquired a 45% stake in Brussels Airlines in 2009. It has an option to acquire the remaining 55% by 2017. As a part of the deal Brussels Airlines joined Star Alliance in December 2009.
On October 28, 2008, Lufthansa exercised its option to purchase a further 60% share in BMI (in addition to the 20% Lufthansa already owned), this resulted in a dispute with former owner Sir Michael Bishop. Both parties reached an agreement at the end of June 2009, and the acquisition took place with effect from July 1, 2009. Lufthansa acquired the remaining 20% from Scandinavian Airlines on November 1, 2009, taking complete control of BMI.
Lufthansa completed the purchase of Austrian Airlines from the Austrian government in January 2009.
In 2010, Lufthansa was named in a European Commission investigation into price-fixing, but was not fined because it acted as a whistleblower.
In April 2012, Lufthansa completed the sale of BMI to International Airlines Group (IAG), owner of British Airways and Iberia 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 being made redundant. This followed 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.
Lufthansa also coordinates scheduling and ticket sales on transatlantic flights with Air Canada and United Airlines (as do Brussels Airlines, Swiss and Austrian Airlines). Lufthansa (with Swiss and Austrian Airlines) cooperates similarly with ANA on flights to Japan. Both ventures required approval of competition authorities.
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 describes Air Malta, Air India, Luxair, LATAM and bmi regional as partner airlines. The partnerships mainly involve code-sharing and recognition of each other's frequent flier programmes.
Lufthansa sponsors Bundesliga clubs Bayern Munich and Eintracht Frankfurt. The Lufthansa Group also sponsors the German Sports Aid Foundation - promoting its sociopolitical goals and the athletes it sponsors.
Lufthansa codeshares with the following airlines:
- Adria Airways
- Aegean Airlines
- Air Canada
- Air China
- Air Dolomiti
- Air India
- Air Malta
- Air New Zealand
- All Nippon Airways
- Austrian Airlines
- Azerbaijan Airlines
- BMI Regional
- Brussels Airlines
- Copa Airlines
- Croatia Airlines
- Ethiopian Airlines
- Japan Airlines
- LATAM Brasil
- LOT Polish Airlines
- Scandinavian Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- South African Airways
- Swiss International Air Lines
- TAAG Angola Airlines
- TACA Airlines
- TAP Portugal
- Thai Airways
- United Airlines
|Airbus A319-100||30||—||0||var||0||var||138||One painted in Star Alliance livery|
|Airbus A320-200||63||20||168||Two painted in Star Alliance livery|
|Airbus A320neo||4||57||0||var||0||var||180||Worldwide launch customer. First aircraft delivered on 20 January 2016|
|Airbus A321-100||20||—||0||var||0||var||200||One painted in Star Alliance livery|
|Airbus A321-200||44||—||One painted in 1960s retro livery|
|Airbus A340-300||11||—||0||42||28||181||251||One painted in Star Alliance livery|
|7||—||0||18||19||261||298||Transferred to and leased-back from Lufthansa CityLine; All aircraft in Star Alliance livery without Lufthansa titles|
|Airbus A350-900||—||25||0||48||21||224||293||Deliveries from December 2016 until 2023|
|8||92||32||208||340||Includes the 1500th Boeing 747 built and the 75th Boeing 747 operated by Lufthansa.|
One painted in Fanhansa Siegerflieger livery and one wearing Lufthansa Siegerflieger titles, one painted in 1970s retro livery
|Boeing 777-9||—||34||TBA||Deliveries 2020-2025|
|Airbus A310-200||1983||1995||Launch customer along with Swissair|
|Airbus A320neo||2016||—||Launch customer|
|Airbus A321-100||1994||—||Launch customer|
|Airbus A340-200||1993||2006||Launch customer|
|Airbus A340-300||1993||—||Launch customer along with Air France|
|Boeing 707-300B/C||1963||1984||Also used in cargo configuration|
|Boeing 707-400||1960||1977||Launch customer|
|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||2016||Also used in Quick Change version|
|Boeing 747-200B/F||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 L1049G Super Constellation||1955||1968||Also used in cargo configuration|
|Lockheed L1649A Starliner||1957||1966|
|Vickers Viking||1956||1961||Two leased cargo aircraft|
Aircraft naming conventions
In September 1960, a 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 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 continued, with two notable exceptions, until 2010: The first was an Airbus A340-300 registered D-AIFC, named "Gander/Halifax", 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 commemorates 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 Airbus facility in the district of Hamburg-Finkenwerder, where about 40% of Airbus narrowbody models are manufactured.
In February 2010, Lufthansa announced that its first two Airbus A380s would be named Frankfurt am Main (D-AIMA) and München (D-AIMB) after Lufthansa's two hub airports. Subsequent A380 aircraft were named after other Lufthansa Group hub airports Zürich, Wien (Vienna) and Brüssel (Brussels) and the major German cities of Düsseldorf and Berlin. The remaining A380s were named after Star Alliance hub cities Tokyo, Beijing, Johannesburg, New York, San Francisco and Delhi. However, D-AIMN San Francisco was renamed Deutschland (Germany) in 2016.
As of 2016 there are several short and long haul aircraft in Lufthansa's fleet that don't bear a name at all. Either they never got one or their former one has been given to a newer aircraft, which was the case for several Boeing 747-400s. For example, the former Bayern (Bavaria), a Boeing 747-400 still in active service lost that name to a new Boeing 747-8.
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 auctions. 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.
Premium Economy Class
Introduced in 2014, Lufthansa's long-haul Premium Economy is being rolled out on all long-haul aircraft, starting with some Boeing 747-8s. Similar in design to Air Canada's Premium Economy or British Airways' World Traveller 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 A380s, which have a 33-inch (840 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 all of Lufthansa's subsidiary airlines (excluding the SunExpress joint ventures), plus Adria Airways, Brussels Airlines (45 percent stake held by Lufthansa), Condor Flugdienst (formerly owned by Lufthansa), Croatia Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, and Luxair (stake formerly held by Lufthansa). 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.
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 V-Class.
Overview and access
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.
|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|
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), lost power and 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. Visibility was poor at the time of the incident.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Germanwings is a subsidiary of Lufthansa. Carsten Spohr, Lufthansa’s CEO, oversaw the Germanwings Flight 9525 disaster, "the darkest day for Lufthansa in its 60-year history".
Nonetheless, damage control by Spohr and his team was poor according to several sources, as compared to other CEOs in the face of a major accident, with contradictory information given about the mental health and the airworthiness of the co-pilot Andreas Lubitz. It was revealed that Lubitz suffered from a severe case of depression and mental disorders and had intentionally crashed Germanwings Flight 9525 into the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard. Spohr had misleadingly said the co-pilot “was 100% airworthy without any restrictions, without any conditions”.
On September 1, 2015, Lufthansa implemented its controversial 16 euro surcharge on Global Distribution System bookings. The surcharge is payable unless tickets are purchased directly from the airline's website, or at its service centers and ticket counters at the airport. In a statement responding to Lufthansa’s strategy, Amadeus said the new model would make “comparison and transparency more difficult because travelers will now be forced to go to multiple channels to search for the best fares. For the period between September 1–14, the airline experienced a 16.1% drop in revenue, indicating to some that the new fee backfired, although the airline maintains the statement that the decrease was due to the pilot strike, and "other seasonal effects".
- Condor Flugdienst, previously a Lufthansa subsidiary
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- 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. Lufthansa frequently names "1926" as its founding date, but it is not the legal successor of the earlier airline.
- Lufthansa also counts Düsseldorf Airport, Vienna International Airport and Zürich Airport as its hubs. They are not listed here because they are home to Lufthansa's subsidiaries Eurowings, Germanwings, Austrian Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines, respectively. For the same reason, all other Eurowings and Germanwings bases are omitted.
- Official purchase to be completed by early 2017
Media related to Lufthansa at Wikimedia Commons