Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter

Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter
Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter logo.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
HE LGW WALTER
Founded1980
Fleet size20
Parent companyZeitfracht Group
HeadquartersDortmund, Germany
Websitewww.lgw.de

Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter mbH, commonly abbreviated LGW, is a German regional airline headquartered in Dortmund.

Originally it was an independent provider of scheduled and chartered low-volume passenger flights. After years of cooperation with Air Berlin, eventually becoming a subsidiary of Air Berlin in 2017. After the collapse of Air Berlin it was purchased by Lufthansa in October 2017 to become an operational unit of the group's low-cost carrier Eurowings. As of 1 April 2019, Zeitfracht Group has taken over LGW from Lufthansa.

History[]

An LGW Dornier Do 228 in 2004
An LGW Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 operated for Air Berlin in 2011

Independent company[]

Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter was founded in 1980 by Bernd Walter, the owner of a flying school at Dortmund Airport.[1] Initially, LGW offered on-demand charter and air taxi services.[1] During the 1990s, the airline grew a network of scheduled domestic flights.[2] At that time, it had 25 employees and the Dornier Do 228, with its capacity of 19 passengers, was the largest airliner in its fleet.[3]

Cooperation with Air Berlin[]

In 2007, LGW entered into a partnership with Air Berlin, the second largest German airline. Effective 12 October of that year, LGW flights into Düsseldorf Airport and Berlin Tegel Airport were sold via the Air Berlin booking engine.[4] In 2008, Air Berlin introduced the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 into its fleet. The ten aircraft of that type were leased to LGW[5] and operated on regional routes.[6]

Subsequently, LGW discontinued its independent corporate identity. It no longer offered any chartered services, but operated scheduled flights on behalf of Air Berlin, under Air Berlin flight numbers and branding.[7] The website lgw.de was shut down and replaced with a redirect to airberlin.com. On 2 March 2009, Air Berlin notified the Federal Cartel Office that it would become the controlling shareholder of LGW.[8]

As staff employed by LGW do not have a collective agreement, salaries were considerably lower than at Air Berlin.[7] To save costs, Air Berlin transferred a large number of its staff to LGW (especially those whose fixed-term contracts had expired). By the end of 2011, LGW had 110 employees. By early 2013, this number had grown to 480.[9] Since that year, LGW also employed jet pilots, as a number of Embraer 190 aircraft were transferred to the airline from Niki (another Air Berlin subsidiary),[10] the first of which arrived on 14 March and left the fleet in November 2013.[6]

By spring 2015, LGW increased their fleet of Bombardier Dash 8 Q400s from 12 to 17.[11]

In May 2017, Air Berlin announced plans to buy Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter entirely, in which it had a controlling stake since 2009.[12]

Takeover by Lufthansa[]

In the course of the 2017 bankruptcy of Air Berlin, Lufthansa bought LGW.[13] After Air Berlin ceased operations on 27 October 2017, LGW started wetlease operations for Eurowings, taking over parts of the wetlease agreement previously provided by its parent for the Lufthansa subsidiary. In addition to its existing fleet of Dash 8-Q400 aircraft, it will also receive 13 Airbus A320-family aircraft[14] and started hiring crews hereto in November 2017.[15] The acquisition was closed in January 2018 after receiving approval from the European Commission on 21 December 2017.[14]

In late 2018, all Airbus A320 family aircraft have been moved from LGW to other companies within the Eurowings network again.[16]

Takeover by Zeitfracht Group[]

In January 2019, it was reported that Lufthansa plans to sell LGW to Zeitfracht, which already owns German ACMI and charter airline WDL Aviation.[17] As of April 1, 2019, the Zeitfracht Group has taken over LGW. Following the approval of the relevant supervisory authorities and the fulfillment of customary conditions, the purchase of the previous Eurowings subsidiary had been successfully completed. The takeover also marks the beginning of a longer-term lease agreement between LGW and Eurowings.[18]

In May 2019, LGW announced to replace all of its Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 with newer Embraer E190 from late 2019. These aircraft will be operated for Eurowings as part of a long term lease.

Destinations[]

As of January 2019, LGW operates European routes on behalf of Eurowings with a focus on Düsseldorf Airport, where most aircraft are based.

Fleet[]

Current fleet[]

As of May 2019, the Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter fleet consists of the following aircraft:[19]

Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 17 6 70 76 Operated for Eurowings
To be replaced by Embraer 190 from late 2019[20]
Embraer 190 -- 17 TBA To replace Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 from late 2019
Total 17

Historical fleet[]

Previously, LGW operated the following aircraft types under its own brand or on behalf of other airlines:

LGW historical fleet
Aircraft Introduced Phased-out Notes
Airbus A319-100
2017
2018[16]
operated for and returned to Eurowings[16]
Airbus A320-200
2017
2018[16]
operated for and returned to Eurowings[16]
Britten-Norman Islander
1999[3]
Cessna 404 Titan
1997[21]
Dornier Do 228
2008
Embraer 190
2013[6]
2013
taken over from and returned to Niki on behalf of Air Berlin

References[]

  1. ^ a b Information about Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter at the Aero Transport Data Bank
  2. ^ LGW timetable front covers, at timetableimages.com
  3. ^ a b "World Airline Directory". Flightglobal: 86. 24 March 1999. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  4. ^ "Air Berlin kooperiert mit LGW Walter". airliners.de. 11 October 2007. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Air Berlin setzt erste Q400 ein". Air Berlin. 7 November 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  6. ^ a b c "LGW Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter fleet details". airfleets.net. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  7. ^ a b Friedrich, Tina (21 December 2012). "Air Berlin: Hungerlohn im Cockpit". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  8. ^ "Angemeldete Fusionen: Air Berlin / Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter (Kontrollerwerb)". Federal Cartel Office. 3 March 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  9. ^ Busche, Dirk (30 January 2013). "Kostendruck: Air Berlin wird zur Spardose". Neue Presse. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  10. ^ "airberlin will offenbar auch Jets über LGW bereedern". Flug Revue. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  11. ^ LGW ch-aviation.com - Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter retrieved 22 November 2015
  12. ^ austrianaviation.net - "Air Berlin takes over Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter" (German) 25 May 2017)
  13. ^ austrianaviation.net - "Niki to be history by year's end" (German) 25 October 2017
  14. ^ a b "European Commission approves the Lufthansa Group's acquisition of Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter". Lufthansa Group | Newsroom. 2017-12-21. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  15. ^ "Careers". Career (in German). Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  16. ^ a b c d e austrianaviation.net - "LGW again ends the jetage" 8 January 2019
  17. ^ aero.de - "Lufthansa prepares LGW sale" (German) 30 January 2019
  18. ^ pressebox.de - "Zeitfracht Holding New LGW Owner - Smooth Transition - Flight Operation Without Disturbances" (German) 1 April 2019)
  19. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2017 (Part One)". Airliner World (October 2017): 15.
  20. ^ "LGW stellt Flotte auf E190 um". aero.de (in German). 2019-05-09. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  21. ^ "World Airline Directory". Flightglobal: 84. 26 March 1997.

External links[]

Media related to Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter at Wikimedia Commons