Contact Air Flugdienst GmbH & Co. KG , or Contact Air for short , was a German airline based in Filderstadt-Bernhausen and its technical base at Saarbrücken Airport . It was taken over by OLT Express Germany on September 1, 2012 and integrated into it. Up to this point in time she was still a member of the Lufthansa Regional group and served mainly domestic German and European destinations on behalf of Lufthansa and Swiss .
Foundation and first years
Gunther Eheim founded Contact Air in 1974 as a charter and business airline . The company was a 100% subsidiary of Eheim Verwaltungs GmbH based in Deizisau . Gunther Eheim was also the founder and managing director of the manufacturer of aquarium accessories Eheim GmbH & Co. KG, which has existed since 1949 . He died on February 3, 2013.
Passenger and ambulance flights were carried out in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East with a Dassault Falcon 20 and several Learjets . In 1982, BAe Jetstream 31 and Beechcraft 200 turboprop aircraft were purchased.
In 1983, the business flight division was transferred to the Stuttgart flight service, at the same time the first charter contract for scheduled services was concluded with the Deutsche Luftverkehrsgesellschaft ( DLT , today's Lufthansa CityLine ). The route Saarbrücken - Düsseldorf was operated on behalf of the DLT, and its own scheduled flights were carried out between Münster / Osnabrück , Stuttgart and Munich . In 1987 the fleet was supplemented by the De Havilland DHC-8-100 and -300. Contact Air's maintenance base has been located at Saarbrücken Airport since 1988 .
Partnership with Lufthansa
In 2003, a total of nine ATR 42-500 were taken over by Eurowings . At the same time, the Fokker 50s were sold to customers in Iran, Indonesia, Iceland and Kenya. Since January 2004, Contact Air has offered flights under the Lufthansa Regional brand , which has replaced Team Lufthansa. In 2005, six ATR 72-500 from Eurowings were taken over and four ATR 42-500 were phased out. Since the beginning of the 2008 summer flight schedule, Contact Air has been using two Fokker 100s for Swiss that have the Star Alliance special paint scheme . Contact Air operated six other Fokker 100s for Lufthansa Regional.
In November 2011 it was announced that Lufthansa would terminate the contract with Contact Air at the end of the summer flight schedule in October 2012 and that Lufthansa would therefore withdraw from the Lufthansa regional network. The older Contact Air aircraft would be replaced by Lufthansa's own newcomers. As a result, up to 90 workstations would be available at Contact Air.
Takeover by OLT Express Germany
In July 2012 it was announced that Contact Air will be taken over by OLT Express Germany . The takeover was completed on September 1, 2012, and the Contact Air aircraft have been operated under the OLT Express Germany brand since then.
However, OLT Express Germany also ceased operations in January 2013 - including the acquired parts of Contact Air. The Contact Air shipyard in Saarbrücken will continue to operate as Contact Air Technik GmbH.
Contact Air only operated scheduled flights on behalf of Lufthansa and Swiss under their flight numbers . The focus was on connections within Germany and connections to destinations in neighboring European countries. Flights on behalf of Lufthansa were operated under the Lufthansa Regional brand .
At the time of the takeover by OLT Express Germany , the Contact Air fleet consisted of eight aircraft with an average age of 17.7 years:
- On January 6, 1993, a Contact Air De Havilland DHC-8-300 with the aircraft registration D-BEAT crashed on the Lufthansa CityLine flight 5634 at about 18:20 UTC while approaching Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle airport . When changing the runway at short notice, the aircraft crashed and hit about 1,800 m from runway 28 . Four people on board were killed.
- On September 14, 2009, a Fokker 100 with the registration D-AFKE had to belly land at Stuttgart Airport because the main landing gear could not be fully extended. The SPD politician Franz Müntefering was also on board the machine . The machine had only been put into service with Contact Air four days earlier, after having flown in Taiwan and Brazil for almost 14 years. The cause of the accident was a hydraulic valve in which fragments came loose internally and blocked the hydraulic system.
- Eheim Verwaltungs GmbH: Annual financial statements for the financial year from January 1 , 2009 to December 31 , 2009, Deizisau May 3, 2010 (accessed via e-federal gazette on October 30, 2011)
- notice Stuttgarter Zeitung / Stuttgarter Nachrichten ( memento of the original from April 7, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. February 6, 2013. Retrieved February 6, 2013
- airliners.de - Contact Air loses Lufthansa contract November 29, 2011
- aero.de - Stuttgarter Contact Air merges with OLT Express Germany
- contactair-technik.com - About us ( Memento from August 14, 2015 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on July 30, 2015
- Contact Air ( Memento from May 27, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Flight destinations
- ch-aviation.ch - Contact Air fleet (English) accessed on January 23, 2012
- airfleets.net - Fleet age of Contact Air (English) accessed on January 23, 2012
- Rapport preliminaire (PDF; 12.9 MB), Ministere de'l equipement, du logement et des transports, accessed October 22, 2008
- Flugrevue.de, "Fokker 100 from Contact Air: Emergency landing in Stuttgart with defective main landing gear"
- Contact Air press release of September 14, 11:14 am ( Memento of the original from May 9, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Zeit Online, "Machine with Müntefering on board made an emergency landing"
- Federal Office for Aircraft Accident Investigation: Bulletin September 2009 ( page no longer available , search in web archives ) Info: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.