Deutsche Lufthansa AG (FWB: LHA) (German pronunciation: [ˈdɔʏtʃə ˈlʊfthanza]) is the largest airline in Europe in terms of overall passengers carried, and the flag carrier of Germany. The name of the company is derived from Luft (the German word for "air"), and Hansa (after Hanseatic League, the powerful medieval trading group). The airline is the world's fifth-largest airline in terms of overall passengers carried, operating services to 18 domestic destinations and 183 international destinations in 78 countries across Africa, Americas, Asia and Europe. Together with its partners Lufthansa services around 410 destinations. With over 530 aircraft it has the third-largest passenger airline fleet in the world when combined with its subsidiaries. Lufthansa's registered office and corporate headquarters is in Cologne, with its main operations base (Lufthansa Aviation Center [LAC]) and primary traffic hub at Frankfurt Airport in Frankfurt am Main with a second hub at Munich Airport. The majority of Lufthansa's pilots, ground staff, and flight attendants are based in Frankfurt. Lufthansa is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's largest airline alliance. Star Alliance was formed in 1997 together with Thai Airways, United Airlines, Air Canada and Scandinavian Airlines System. The Lufthansa Group operates more than 500 aircraft and employs worldwide 105,261 people of 146 nationalities (31 December 2007). In 2008, 70.5 million passengers flew with Lufthansa (not including Germanwings, BMI, AUA, Brussels Airlines). History
A pioneering era: from adventure to routine operations
Fly in open aircraft, in the dead of winter? Could such a thing really be possible? It just had to work. And the time was now: the beginning of the 1920s, right after the war. Politicians and journalists were the first to crouch on uncomfortable planks, “air-cooled” and surrounded by mail bags and parcels. The were real pioneers. But it wouldn’t be long until they’d be sitting in full-fledged passenger aircraft, equipped with heated cabins. By now a number of a small aviation companies had sprung up in Germany. Their aircraft made wobbly trips, back and forth, from one city to another – preferably along rail lines and during the day. Pilots didn’t have radio contact with the ground yet. Only two airlines survived the all-out competitive battle: Deutscher Aero Llyod and Junkers Luftverkehr. For the subsidies-paying German state, however, this was still one too many. After the two joined forces to found “Deutsche Luft Hansa AG” on January 6, 1926, the flight path started to point upward. Forties
The war years: The fight for survival
Europe was in the grips of war – one that was soon to escalate into a world war. The Reich’s government obligated Lufthansa by law to provide services, transport flights and technical operations. All Lufthansa documents, including the annual report, were stamped “Secret!” Despite all the difficulties, it was business as usual. Connections to neutral countries were particularly of great importance. That’s were businessmen, diplomats and agents continued to fly: that’s were post and information were exchanged. During the war years, timetables were always subject to changes at short notice. At the beginning of the decade, even Tempelhof, the airline’s home airport, had to be evacuated for a time. And finally – in 1945 – came the “over and out” for Germany and for Lufthansa. Eighties
Global challenge: Competing for customers
The world was now on our doorstep, thanks to more nonstop connections and ever-denser route networks. At the same time, air space had become more crowded, resulting in more time spent flying in holding patterns. The aircraft had evolved into a means of mass transport. Lufthansa was increasingly transforming itself into a competitive corporation with modern organizational structures: Its watchwords were now market orientation, a newly-designed corporate identity, more...
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