90th anniversary of the founding of the first Lufthansa

First Flight Der erste Linienflug der Luft Hansa´s first flight with a Fokker-Grulich F II from Berlin via Halle-Erfurt-Stuttgart to Zurich on April 6th, 1926 Foto: LH-Bildarchiv / Lufthansa: 04.1926 DLHD 3084-1-4
Luft Hansa´s first flight with a Fokker-Grulich F II from Berlin via Halle-Erfurt-Stuttgart to Zurich on April 6th, 1926 /Image: Lufthansa

6 January 2016 will mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the first Lufthansa. In order to mark this occasion, Deutsche Lufthansa AG is publishing the first comprehensive account of the history of the first Lufthansa. The historic work entitled in German ‘Im Zeichen des Kranichs’ (‘In the Sign of the Crane’) and written by Joachim Wachtel and Günther Ott will be issued by the Piper Verlag publishing company in February.
The exciting story of the first Lufthansa is told in great detail. The book portrays the history of the airline in the context of economic, cultural and political current affairs and also does not omit the dark years of the company’s history.

Wegen der geringen Nutzlast der fruehen Verkehrsflugzeuge musste alles, was mit Luft Hansa fliegen wollte, auf die Waage (um 1926). Foto: LH-Bildarchiv 00.1926 DLHD 4011-1-1
Everybody and everything had to be weighed as the loading capacity of these early aircraft was rather small …. Image: Lufthansa

With the merger of Junkers Luftverkehr AG and Deutsche Aero Lloyd AG, the national airline “Deutsche Luft Hansa” was brought into being in Berlin on 6 January 1926. The name was written as a single word as of 1933. It was one of the first large, internationally respected mergers of Germany’s economic history and with it, the era of adventurous post-war aviation came to an end. The focus now was on safety, expanding the route network and offering air passengers more comfort. Huge strides forward were made in the areas of air transport, passengers and cargo. The outbreak of World War II prevented any further development. Lufthansa was legally obliged by the government to provide services, transport planes and technical operations. Air traffic, especially flights to neutral countries abroad, was constantly subject to change without notice during the war years. And at the end – in 1945 – it was all over for the first Lufthansa. In 1951, the victorious Allies ordered the liquidation of the airline, which came to an end in 1965 when it was deleted from the commercial register. Only in the spring of 1955 was the newly founded Deutsche Lufthansa AG, headquartered in Cologne, allowed to take off. Today, the Berlin-based Lufthansa Group is again by far the largest aviation employer in the capital, with a staff of more than 3,000 people.
Read more about the history in ‘Im Zeichen des Kranichs’ soon. More about the history of the Deutsche Lufthansa AG, founded 1953, can be found here.
Source: Lufthansa Group press release

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