|Ceased operations||2009 (merged with Air Berlin)|
|Fleet size||26 (as of March 2007)|
|Destinations||56 (as of March 2007)|
|Parent company||Air Berlin|
|Key people||Helmut Weixler (CEO)|
LTU, legally incorporated as LTU Lufttransport-Unternehmen GmbH, was a German leisure airline headquartered in Düsseldorf. It operated medium and long-haul routes and maintained hubs at Düsseldorf Airport, Munich Airport and Berlin-Tegel Airport. LTU was acquired by Air Berlin in 2007. Use of the LTU brand ceased in 2009, and LTU itself was dissolved by April 2011.
LTU was established in May 1955 as Lufttransport Union and started operations in Frankfurt. It adopted its present name in 1956 when it operated charter flights. LTU has been headquartered in Düsseldorf since 1961. The airline was owned at March 2007 by Intro Verwaltungsgesellschaft (55%) and Marbach Beteiligung und Consulting (45%) and had 2,892 employees before the Air Berlin merger.
In March 2007, Air Berlin took over LTU International, creating the fourth-largest airline group in Europe in terms of traffic. Between them, the airlines carried 22.1 million passengers in 2006. The takeover was driven by the prospect of branching into long-haul operations and the chance to establish a stronger presence at Düsseldorf Airport. For a period, LTU retained its name on its leisure routes, while routes to the U.S. and China immediately switched to Air Berlin branding.
On 1 May 2007, LTU operated the first Arctic & North Pole Sightseeing Flight from continental Europe in aviation history for their charter customer Deutsche Polarflug. The flight took 12h55m and the aircraft, an A330-200 took a group of 283 passengers from Düsseldorf via Norway, Svalbard, The North Pole, Eastern Greenland and Iceland back to Düsseldorf. The flight was filmed for an episode of PilotsEYE.tv
LTU opened a third long-haul base besides Düsseldorf and Munich at Berlin Tegel Airport in October 2007, basing a single Airbus A330-200 there to launch flights to Bangkok, Punta Cana and Varadero.
Air Berlin announced in 2008 that the trademark LTU would no longer be used. All flights have been branded as Air Berlin since then. The last known flight under LTU-callsign, but already in Air Berlin livery, was on 13 October 2009 from Montreal to Düsseldorf. As of April 2011, the AOC of LTU had been expired and the company itself was dissolved.
Before being taken over by Air Berlin, LTU served 56 destinations in 22 countries on four continents during winter schedule season 2006/2007. Further destinations were available with codeshare partner Bangkok Airways.
By the time Air Berlin took over LTU in March 2007, their fleet contained the following aircraft:
|Airbus A320-200||10||—||24||144||168||one additional aircraft operated by subsidiary LTU Austria|
|British Aerospace BAe 146-300||1||—||0||104||104||wet leased from WDL Aviation|
All aircraft operated by LTU until March 2007:
|Aircraft||Total||Years Introduced||Years Retired||Notes|
|Airbus A330-200||8||2001||2009||Plus two orders (see above)|
|Boeing 747-200||1||1991||1991||Wet leased from Evergreen International Airlines|
due to delayed delivery of first McDonnell Douglas MD-11
|Boeing 757-200||14||1984||2004||Operated with subsidiaries LTE and LTS|
|Boeing 767-300ER||5||1989||2002||Operated with subsidiary LTS|
|de Havilland DH.104 Dove||1||1957||1958||Another example still operating sightseeing flights in historic LTU livery|
|Fokker F27 Friendship||5||1958||1974||Including two prototypes (PH-FDO/NVF)|
|Fokker F28 Fellowship||5||1969||1974||Including two prototypes (PH-ZAA/ZAB)|
|Lockheed L-1011-100||10||1973||1996||One fleet was written off due to fire in 1991 during maintenance|
|McDonnell Douglas MD-11||4||1991||1998|
|Sud Aviation SE 210 Caravelle 10R||5||1967||1979|
|Sud Aviation SE 210 Caravelle III||2||1965||1968|
|Vickers VC.1 Viking||5||1955||1963||First aircraft in fleet|
Media related to LTU International at Wikimedia Commons