A company is founded
A company wants to be a high-flyer
The history of Lufthansa begins in the year 1926 and is full of highs and lows. The demands of the still growing passenger aviation market and the Second World War pose the company ever more challenges. Join us on a journey through time and discover the history of Lufthansa!
Planes are not quite as modern in the 1920s as we know them today. There is still a lot that has to be developed and improved! There are no radio communications to the ground and planes can only fly during the day, normally above railway lines.
The development of the planes is expensive, so the Reichsregierung (the German government at the time) subsidises the airlines and offers them financial support. To save money “Deutsche Luft Hansa AG” is founded on 6th January 1926, a merger of the two largest airlines, Deutsche Aero Lloyd and Junkers Luftverkehr AG. The company logo of Luft Hansa is already the crane, the company colours yellow and blue.
1929 – the training of the pilots is improved
As of 1929 Luft Hansa pilots are trained in instrument flying. That means that they fly without vision, as if blind. That is particularly important in bad weather so that the flight schedules can be better followed in the event of heavy rain or snow.
Hard times for Lufthansa
Planes are getting bigger and bigger and can fly longer distances. Distant destinations such as South Africa and the Far East are becoming ever closer for Luft Hansa and their passengers. In 1933, the company is renamed Deutsche Lufthansa AG. In September 1934, eight years after being founded, Lufthansa welcomes their one millionth passenger on board!
The Second World War rages from 1939-1945 and the Reichsregierung commands Lufthansa to carry out services, transport flights and technical work. There are however still a few passenger flights. After the end of the war in 1945 all Germans are prohibited from operating an airline. That spells the end of Lufthansa for the time being. There are nevertheless still flights operated by foreign airlines.
After long negotiations Lufthansa is re-founded in January 1953, initially under the company name Luftag (Aktiengesellschaft für Luftverkehrsbedarf), and since 1954 has borne the name Deutsche Lufthansa AG again. With a good dose of courage and enthusiasm all efforts are made to get the company back off the ground and in April 1955 scheduled passenger flights finally commence, first within Germany, and then also abroad. By the way: the newly founded Lufthansa is to a large extent owned by the German state – until 1995!
A new era for Lufthansa
The jetplane is born and revolutionises the world of aviation. Bigger, faster, further: Lufthansa begins the jetplane era with the first Boeing 707, which arrives in Hamburg on 2nd March 1960. On 17th March the first passengers fly with the plane from Hamburg via Frankfurt am Main to New York.
Right on time to usher in the new decade the jumbo jet takes to the skies for Lufthansa – at the time the world’s largest plane! They had two aisles instead of just one in the middle. The wider fuselage, the main body of the plane, accommodates these two aisles. They improve service and communication on long haul flights, provide more space on board and give a completely new feeling of freedom in the air. But the larger aircraft also use more fuel than the smaller planes. The high crude oil prices during the oil crisis call for new strategies. Technicians and aircraft engineers give their all to reduce fuel consumption – and they are successful!
More and more people are using planes as a form of transport. Even faraway countries can now often be reached quickly and easily by air. In 1988, Lufthansa unveils a new design, and at the end of the decade a dream is about to come true: a reunified Germany and the return of Lufthansa to its home in Berlin.
The reunification of Germany on 3rd October 1990 allows Lufthansa to fly to Berlin again, 45 years after the end of the Second World War. In 1997, Lufthansa, Air Canada, SAS, Thai Airways and United Airlines found “Star Alliance”, the first multinational business partnership in aviation. Amongst other things, the members coordinate their flight schedules so that waiting times between connecting flights are kept as short as possible.
Lufthansa embraces the new millennium
Happy Birthday! Lufthansa celebrates its 50th birthday in 2005. Progress and quality are still the priority: Star Alliance gains new partners and business class on board is redesigned. The “football nose” on many of the planes in the fleet is well-received in celebration of the football World Cup 2006. Lufthansa is keeping with the times and passengers can now not only check in with a normal paper ticket, but also with a boarding card on their mobile phones.
Lufthansa takes receipt of its first Airbus A380 in 2010 and presents the new First Class. Lufthansa sends it on its official maiden flight to the football World Cup 2010 in South Africa. Even the German national football team is amongst the passengers! Billions of euros are invested in a modern and low emission, that is to say less polluting, fleet. The new and exclusive A-Plus air bridge is put into operation in Frankfurt. Around 15,000 passengers per day benefit from the new gates and five lounges with the latest technology. Thanks to FlyNet, internet is now available to passengers on most long haul flights.
Lufthansa is the first airline in the world to take on the Boeing 747-8 in the passenger version, a much quieter and fuel efficient development of the jumbo jet. It is equipped with the new generation of Business Class, where the seats can be folded out into comfortable beds. And in 2013 the new Lufthansa Family Check-in opens at the airports in Frankfurt am Main and Munich, meaning that whole families can check in easily and conveniently.