|Parent company||Zeitfracht Group|
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.
Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter was founded in 1980 by Bernd Walter, the owner of a flying school at Dortmund Airport. Initially, LGW offered on-demand charter and air taxi services. During the 1990s, the airline grew a network of scheduled domestic flights. 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.
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. In 2008, Air Berlin introduced the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 into its fleet. The ten aircraft of that type were leased to LGW and operated on regional routes.
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. 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.
As staff employed by LGW do not have a collective agreement, salaries were considerably lower than at Air Berlin. 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. 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), the first of which arrived on 14 March and left the fleet in November 2013.
In May 2017, Air Berlin announced plans to buy Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter entirely, in which it had a controlling stake since 2009.
In the course of the 2017 bankruptcy of Air Berlin, Lufthansa bought LGW. 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 and started hiring crews hereto in November 2017. The acquisition was closed in January 2018 after receiving approval from the European Commission on 21 December 2017.
In January 2019, it was reported that Lufthansa plans to sell LGW to Zeitfracht, which already owns German ACMI and charter airline WDL Aviation. 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.
As of May 2019, the Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter fleet consists of the following aircraft:
|Bombardier Dash 8-Q400||17||—||6||70||76||Operated for Eurowings|
To be replaced by Embraer 190 from late 2019
|Embraer 190||--||17||TBA||To replace Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 from late 2019|
Previously, LGW operated the following aircraft types under its own brand or on behalf of other airlines:
|operated for and returned to Eurowings|
|operated for and returned to Eurowings|
|Cessna 404 Titan||
|Dornier Do 228||
|taken over from and returned to Niki on behalf of Air Berlin|
Media related to Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter at Wikimedia Commons