Ceased operations: 2009 (merged with Air Berlin)
- Berlin Tegel Airport (from October 2007)
- Düsseldorf Airport
- Munich Airport
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 had been headquartered in Düsseldorf since 1961. Over the years, LTU rose to become one of the biggest and most renowned German leisure time airlines and operated worldwide charter flights from many German airports, but mainly from its traditional main hub at Düsseldorf.
In 1983, a Munich-based subsidiary called LTS Lufttransport Süd was founded, which had a similar livery, but with blue instead of red. It was renamed LTU Süd in 1987 and got a new livery closer to the familiar red LTU livery. In 1998 LTU Süd was completely incorporated into LTU.
LTU also operated sister companies in Spain (LTE, 1987 - 2001) and Austria (LTU Austria, 2004 - 2008). Their traditional red and white livery barely changed over the years, thus becoming a recognizable trademark in the German charter flight business.
The airline was owned by 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. Combined, 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.
In April 2007, shortly after the Air Berlin takeover, a new livery was presented. It maintained the traditional red and white corporate colors, but the body was now much more white.
Air Berlin announced in 2008 that the trademark LTU would no longer be used. All flights were rebranded as Air Berlin. 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. On 27 October 2017, Air Berlin themselves ceased operations.
Fleet: 14 - Boeing 757-200 from 1984 to 2004 (Operated with subsidiaries LTE and LTS).
Source: LTU International - Wikipedia
So why to add this livery? LTU was a competitor with Lufthansa Group, Pan Am and other airlines during 1900’s.