Deutsche Lufthansa with headquarters in Cologne is a German airline considered since 2009 the largest airline in Europe. Its hub airport is Frankfurt am Main and the Munich International Airport is becoming a second base for the company. Its repair hangars are in Hamburg.
This airline was close to 100 per cent property of the German state, by the year 1953. In the year 1966 its shares traded for the first time on the Stock Exchange and in 1994, the Federal Government of Germany still owned 34 % of the shares. Since 1997 the whole company was left in private hands.
The airline’s flights is the IATA code LH and its ICAO code is DLH. International flights going to Germany receive an odd number and those from Germany receive an even number.
The airline along with airlines Air Canada, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways International and United Airlines, is one of the founding members of the Star Alliance Airlines, and has a loyalty program to clients which name is “Miles and more”.
The company was awarded in 2010 with the award for being the Best Airline in Europe in the ‘World Airline Award’.
The history of this airline was divided into two parts, because in this case it can speak for two different companies. On the one hand there was the “old” airline until the year 1945. The “new” airline was born in 1950, when the allies of the Second World War lifted the restrictions.
In 1926, the airline was founded as a joint-stock company, in Berlin. Then, 162 aircraft of different sizes began to fly routes between Berlin and Zurich (Switzerland), passing through Erfurt and Halle. The airline was the first in displaying movies during the flight for their passengers.
In 1935 the airline made its trip number one hundred to the South Atlantic, and had already carried more than four million postal items on that route.
After the Chinese Government intervened, the Eurasia service was suspended at the end of November, 1940. The company’s South American operations were stopped after 1941. In 1942 the subsidiary of the airline in Brazil was nationalized. More routes were gradually abandoned. Pilots and repair and maintenance workshops worked for the Luftwaffe. The aircrafts were used for military transport. On March 23, 1945 it made the last flight plan. At the end of the conflagration, the airline was liquidated by the allies.
The new Lufthansa was founded in 1953 while retaining the same name, logo and much of the former employees. The federal Government and the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia provided the capital of 6 million German marks. At the end of 1954 the airline employed nearly 600 people.
German reunification in 1990, allowed it to return to the also reunified German capital, Berlin, after 45 years without flying to the airline’s birthplace.
In 2009, the airline made public the acquisition of 90% of the shares of Austrian Airlines, after having passed the scrutiny of the European competition Commission.