Lufthansa Timeline


- 1926 Lufthansa owes its origins to Deutsche Luft Hansa Aktiengesellschaft (renamed Lufthansa in 1933), which is formed from a merger between Deutsche Aero Lloyd (DAL) and Junkers Luftverkehr on January 6.

The new airline inherits its crane logo, designed by Deutsche Luft-Reederei in 1919, from DAL, the blue-and-yellow house colours from Junkers.  It commences scheduled flights on April 6 with a fleet of 162 aircraft, of 18 different types.

- 1927-30 Following its acquisition of shares in 1926 in the German-Russian Dereluft airline, which was founded in 1921, Lufthansa is influential in the founding of the Spanish Iberia, the Brazilian Syndicato Condor and the Chinese Eurasia airlines.

- 1934 Lufthansa opens the first trans-oceanic, scheduled airmail service across the South Atlantic.

- 1939 After substantial expansion of the route network in 1939-including flights to Bangkok and Santiago de Chile-wartime air services, except for a few European countries, are suspended. All flights are discontinued in 1945 and Lufthansa goes into receivership and is finally wound up and struck from the Berlin commercial register in 1965.

- 1951 The Federal Transport Minister sets up a working committee in 1951 to prepare for the resumption of air traffic in postwar Germany and entrusts the job of implementation to “Büro Bongers”, the office headed by Hans M. Bongers, the traffic chief of the old Lufthansa in Cologne. A new company to run air services and named “Aktiengesellschaft für Luftverkehrsbedarf” (Luftag) is founded in Cologne on January 6, 1953. The company changes its name to the more traditional “Deutsche Lufthansa Aktiengesellschaft” in 1954, and resumes scheduled flights on April 1, 1955.

- 1960 Lufthansa enters the jet age, initially on long-haul routes, with the arrival in the fleet of the Boeing 707. The last of the propeller-driven aircraft, a Vickers Viscount, is retired in 1971.

- 1964 Conversion to jet aircraft continues with the start of flights on medium-haul routes with the Boeing 727 and, on short-haul, with the Boeing 737, the city jet largely fathered by Lufthansa. The wide-body era begins at Lufthansa with the delivery of its first Boeing 747 jumbo jet in 1970, later to be joined by the McDonnell-Douglas DC10 and the A300, the first of the jets from the newly founded European aircraftmaker.

- 1990 Lufthansa resumes flights to Berlin 45 years after the end of World War Two following Germany’s reunification.

- 1992-97 Lufthansa masters its worst-ever economic crisis with a sweeping rehabilitation programme. The airline, largely owned by the state, is privatised step by step. Its MRO, cargo and IT businesses are spun off as independent companies.

- 1997 Lufthansa, Air Canada, SAS, Thai Airways und United Airlines create the “Star Alliance”, the world’s first multilateral airline grouping, later to be joined by other carriers.
- 1999 The Lufthansa Aviation Group sharpens its focus on the development of e-business.