Lufthansa is the largest German airline and, when combined with its subsidiaries, also the largest airline in Europe, in terms of fleet size, and the second largest airline in terms of passengers carried during 2016. It operates services to 18 domestic destinations and 197 international destinations in 78 countries across Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe, using a fleet of more than 270 aircraft. Lufthansa is one of the five founding members of Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance, formed in 1997. The name of the company is derived from Luft (the German word for “air”), and Hansa (a Latin term meaning “guild” most commonly used historically in reference to the Hanseatic League).
Besides its own passenger airlines Austrian Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines, and Eurowings including Germanwings (referred to in English by Lufthansa as its Passenger Airline Group), Deutsche Lufthansa AG owns several aviation-related companies such as Lufthansa Technik as part of the Lufthansa Group. Combined with its subsidiaries, the group has 656 aircraft, as of February 2016, making it one of the largest passenger airline fleets in the world. In 2014, the group carried over 106 million passengers.
Lufthansa’s registered office and corporate headquarters are in Cologne. The main operations base, called Lufthansa Aviation Center (LAC), is at Lufthansa’s primary hub at Frankfurt Airport. The majority of Lufthansa’s pilots, ground staff, and flight attendants are based there. Lufthansa’s secondary hub is Munich Airport.
Lufthansa was a state-owned enterprise (and flag carrier) until 1994. In 2014, 60% of Lufthansa’s shares were held by institutional investors. The remaining 40% were held by individual stock owners. Since 1970, Lufthansa has involved its employees in profit sharing, giving them the opportunity to choose between cash and preference shares. When Lufthansa was privatised, employees received more than 3% of its shares.
The Boeing 747-8 is a wide-body jet airliner developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Officially announced in 2005, the 747-8 is the third generation of the 747, with a lengthened fuselage, redesigned wings, and improved efficiency. The 747-8 is the largest 747 version, the largest commercial aircraft built in the United States, and the longest passenger aircraft in the world.
The 747-8 is offered in two main variants: the 747-8 Intercontinental (747-8I) for passengers and the 747-8 Freighter (747-8F) for cargo. The first 747-8F performed the model’s maiden flight on February 8, 2010, with the 747-8I following on March 20, 2011. Delivery of the first freighter aircraft occurred in October 2011 and the passenger model began deliveries in 2012. As of January 2017, confirmed orders for the 747-8 total 136: 88 of the freighter version, and 48 of the passenger version.