Lufthansa celebrates its 50th birthday and with it, one of Germany’s most formidable brands.
A high level of innovation, quality, safety and internationally recognised technical expertise are the values for which Lufthansa is today known around the world. In 1955, it heralded the resumption of civilian scheduled air travel in Germany. The crane on the tail fin symbolises one of the greatest success stories in international aviation and is repeatedly seen as Germany’s ambassador around the world.
Today, Lufthansa is an international corporation with its roots firmly fixed in Germany. Around 60,000 of the 90,000 people employed by Lufthansa work in Germany, and the company celebrated its anniversary on April 1 in four states simultaneously: Hamburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse and Bavaria. The federal minister of economic affairs, Wolfgang Clement, was present with the Lufthansa representatives and their guests, as was Hamburg’s mayor, Ole von Beust, and the minister presidents, Peer Steinbrück and Dr Edmund Stoiber.
The beginning of the anniversary festivities was marked by a celebration with clients and business partners at the premises of Lufthansa Technik AG in Hamburg. The location was carefully selected because on March 31, 1955, on the evening before the first scheduled flight, the final preparations for the flight to Munich were made in Hamburg. In 2005, to set the tone for the anniversary celebrations on the following day, an evening’s entertainment with a programme full of surprises awaited the guests.
Of course, the fascination of flight was also given sufficient prominence on the actual day of the anniversary, April 1. There were celebrations both on the ground and in the air. From Hamburg via Düsseldorf and Frankfurt on to Munich and back again; that was the first service with which the newly-founded Lufthansa resumed flights after the Second World War on April 1, 1955, using propeller aircraft.
On Friday, April 1, the special anniversary flight LH 1955 symbolically linked the past with the present and the future on this historical route with a modern Airbus A321. At the airport gates in Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt, the Lufthansa chief executive, Wolfgang Mayrhuber, welcomed guests of honour to the anniversary gate party from the world of politics, economics and other celebrities, as well as clients and employees.
In the afternoon of April 1, the celebrations culminated in a festive programme with around 700 guests in Terminal 2 of Munich Airport. The Bavarian minister president, Dr Edmund Stoiber, and federal minister of economic affairs, Wolfgang Clement, addressed the guests before an entertaining live show with many highlights and surprises. Film footage and photographic documents formed the visual highlight of the show. This included historical uniforms and also the classical rose from the First Class service, which has been a symbol of Lufthansa’s great appeal around the globe from 1958 right up to the present day.
On March 4, the post office presented a special edition stamp to mark the occasion of Lufthansa’s new beginnings in 1955. It depicts the “Super Constellation” from Lockheed in the Lufthansa design of that time, as it was deployed from June 1955 on the route between Frankfurt and New York.
“50 Years of Lufthansa” is just as much a topic for stories connected with the company, its customers and employees. On the internet, people relate their own personal experiences at “www.lufthansa.com/50”.