Thanks to my friends at Lufthansa, I have been able to put together a chronicle of the history of this great airline. As a result, I will post a piece of Lufthansa history any time that it celebrates an anniversary….
Today’s anniversary goes WAY WAY WAY back to 1919.
On February 10, 1919 Deutsche Luft-Reederei carried it’s first passenger from Johanistal Airfield in Berlin to Weimar marking the beginning of civilian airline operations in Germany. Soon afterwards in March of 1919, service from Berlin would expand to Leipzig, Hamburg, Warnemünde and in April, Gelsenkirchen.
Up until this point, Zeppelins were the primary source of air transport in Germany. Deutsche Luft-Reederei would be the first company in Germany that would operate commercial flights with “Heavier Than Air” aircraft.
The initial fleet:
A brief background on Deutsche Luft-Reederei(DLR):
DLR was founded on December 13, 1917 and was authorized by the German Air Ministry to begin civilian airline operations in January 1919. DLR’s first flights began on January 8, 1919 but only for newspaper and mail delivery flights between Berlin and Weimar, Germany.
Deutsche Luft-Reederei was also a founding member of the International Air Traffic Association (IATA) which is the predecessor to today’s International Air Transport Association(IATA) which was inaugurated in Havana, Cuba in April of 1945.
In essence, we can look at DLR as being the grandparent of today’s Lufthansa.
What may be the most important aspect of DLR as it relates to the Lufthansa that we know and love today, is the fact that the famous crane logo was born with DLR. Created by Otto Firle, this symbol would persevere through trial and tribulation in the coming years and decades, and has changed little in nearly 100 years.