||LTU was founded in October of 1955 and was called ‘Lufttransport Union’. Its maiden flight was made to Catania, Sicily from Frankfurt. The flight, which carried 36 passengers on board, was made on the 2nd of March 1956 in a twin engine Vickers Viking.
In 1960, LTU began servicing it first holiday destination, Majorca. The following year, LTU moved its headquarters to Düsseldorf and began to expand using its motto ‘Flying is for everybody’ as its base. Between 1966 and 1967 the airline grew by 40%. At this point, LTU had a fleet consisting of five aircrafts and flew to 20 destinations. In 1969 the airline was the first in the world to own a fleet consisting exclusively of jets.
Then, in 1977, the airline opened up routes to North America and Asia and commenced flights to Sri Lanka, New York and the Bahamas. Around this time, LTU also became the first European airline to operate jets fitted with silent engines. The airline received many awards on account of this. In 1978 the airline carried one million passengers for the first time in its history.
By the 1980, LTU was offering non stop long haul flights. This was made possible by adding long range TriStars to the fleet.
The 1990s saw the airline becoming one of the members of IATA and soon it began operating flights out of the United States. In 1991 the airline commenced their service to the Far East and Thailand, offering 3 flights per week. Following this, more routes were added: Orlando, Eilat, Atlanta, Acapulco, San Jose and Rio de Janeiro.
In 1992, the airline’s official mascot was selected – a floppy-eared clever bunny!
LTU soon ventured into cargo and opened up a cargo division, with their initial office at Düsseldorf. Following this, more offices were opened in Munich, Hamburg and Frankfurt. In the years that followed, LTU Cargo became a large part of the airlines revenue.
In March 2007, LTU was acquired by airberlin thereby becoming the 4th largest carrier in terms of passengers transported Europe. To give you an idea, the number of passengers carried between LTU and airberlin added up to a massive 22.1 million in 2006 alone.
LTU has made some aviation history around that time: on the 1st of May 2007, the company launched the first ever Arctic & North Pole Sightseeing Flight from continental Europe.
Today, LTU features as one of Germany’s most popular airlines. It has to its credit the most advanced fleet in terms of technology. Its fleet is also the youngest, with an average age of less than 7 years. In addition to all of this, the airline is one of the safest in the world with aircrafts that are economical and very comfortable.
LTU does not belong to any of the global aviation alliances, but they do have codeshare agreements through airberlin with Belair, Hainan Airlines, Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter and Niki