Contact Air

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Contact Air
IATA ICAO Callsign
Ceased operations2012 (acquired by OLT Express Germany)
Operating basesStuttgart Airport
Frequent-flyer programMiles & More
AllianceStar Alliance
HeadquartersFilderstadt, Germany
Key peopleW.A. Hayward (owner)

Contact Air Flugdienst was a German regional airline from Filderstadt. With flight operations based at Stuttgart Airport, it operated scheduled passenger flights under the Lufthansa Regional brand.


The airline was founded in 1974 as a tax-break by Gunter Eheim, a German World War II test pilot and later manufacturer of aquarium filters, initially operating chartered passenger services using a small fleet of Dassault Falcon 20 and Learjet[specify] aircraft.[1] In 1981, Contact Air became one of the launch customers for the British Aerospace Jetstream, along with US carrier Mall Airways.[2] Its first aircraft of that type was delivered in the following year.[2]

In 1984, Contact Air was subcontracted by DLT to operate one of its Jetstreams on scheduled regional flights on behalf of Lufthansa.[1] Subsequently, DLT acquired 24.8 percent of the Contact Air shares.[1]

Having waged the alternative of ordering the ATR 42, Contact Air announced in 1986 that it had chosen the de Havilland Canada Dash 8-100 for a fleet enlargement, thus becoming the second European airline to operate that type, after Tyrolean Airways.[3][4] Two years later, Contact Air became the first non-Canadian buyer of the stretched Dash 8-300 version, ordering three aircraft worth $35 million.[4]

In April 1996, Contact Air became a founding member of Team Lufthansa.[5] In 2004, this airline association was reorganized as Lufthansa Regional, a Star Alliance affiliate. Henceforth, all Contact Air flights were operated using the Lufthansas branding and flight numbers.

On 29 November 2011, it was reported that Lufthansa would terminate its contract with Contact Air effective 1 October 2012. At that time, the Contact Air fleet consisted of eight Fokker 100, six of which were operated on behalf of Lufthansa out of Stuttgart Airport, with another two being based at Zurich Airport and operated for Swiss International Air Lines.[6] In May 2012, Contact Air agreed to be taken over by OLT Express Germany, a step which was finalized in September of that year following its approval by the Federal Cartel Office.[7]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Prior to acquisition the headquarters were in Filderstadt.[8] Previously they were in Stuttgart.[9]


Contact Air Dash 8-300, 1994.
Contact Air Fokker 50 in Team Lufthansa livery, 2003.
Contact Air ATR 42-500 in Lufthansa Regional livery, 2008.
Contact Air Fokker 100 in Lufthansa Regional livery, 2010.

The scheduled destinations that were served by Contact Air on behalf of Lufthansa included:[5][10][11]

Country City Airport
Austria Graz Graz Airport
Vienna Vienna International Airport
Belgium Brussels Brussels Airport
Czech Republic Prague Prague Ruzyně International Airport
France Mulhouse EuroAirport Basel–Mulhouse–Freiburg
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
Germany Berlin Berlin Tegel Airport
Bremen Bremen Airport
Cologne Cologne Bonn Airport
Dresden Dresden Airport
Düsseldorf Düsseldorf Airport
Frankfurt Frankfurt Airport
Hamburg Hamburg Airport
Hannover Hannover Airport
Leipzig Leipzig/Halle Airport
Munich Munich Airport
Nuremberg Nuremberg Airport
Paderborn Paderborn Lippstadt Airport
Stuttgart Stuttgart Airport (base)
Hungary Budapest Budapest Ferihegy International Airport
Italy Bologna Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport
Milan Malpensa Airport
Turin Turin Airport
Switzerland Geneva Geneva International Airport
Zürich Zurich Airport


Over the years of its existence, Contact Air operated the following aircraft types:[12][13]

Aircraft Introduced Retired
ATR 42-500
ATR 72-212
British Aerospace Jetstream
De Havilland Canada Dash 8-100
De Havilland Canada Dash 8-300
Fokker 50
Fokker 100

Incidents and accidents[edit]

The Fokker 100 involved in the emergency landing of Flight 288 shortly after the incident at Stuttgart Airport.


  1. ^ a b c "World Airline Directory: Contactair Flugdienst". Flight International: 82. 27 March 1991. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Jetstream 31 clinches first sales". Flight International: 1813. 13 June 1981. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  3. ^ "DHC Scores in Europe". Flight International: 2. 17 May 1986. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Canada exports Dash 8-300". Flight International: 15. 20 August 1988. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines—Contact Air Flugdienst". Flight International: 51. 19 March 2002. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  6. ^ "Contact Air verliert Lufthansa-Vertrag" (in German). 29 November 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  7. ^ "Stuttgarter Contact Air geht in OLT Express Germany auf" (in German). 5 July 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Impressum." Contact Air. 17 July 2012. Retrieved on 7 January 2015. "Contact Air Flugdienst GmbH + Co. Gottlieb-Manz-Straße 2 70794 Filderstadt"
  9. ^ "Impressum." Contact Air. 13 April 2008. Retrieved on 7 January 2015. "Contact Air Flugdienst GmbH + Co. Echterdinger Str. 30 D-70599 Stuttgart (Plieningen)"
  10. ^ "Directory: World Airlines—Contact Air Flugdienst". Flight International: 50. 25 March 2003. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  11. ^ "Directory: World Airlines—Contact Air Flugdienst". Flight International: 56. 23 March 2004. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  12. ^ "Contactair fleet details". Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  13. ^ "Contact Air fleet details and history". Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  14. ^ "Accident description of Lufthansa Flight 5634". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 28 September 2009.
  15. ^ "Accident description of Lufthansa Flight 288". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 28 September 2009.
  16. ^ "Fliegende Zeitbombe". Der Spiegel (in German): 125. 21 September 2009. Archived from the original on 16 June 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  17. ^ Путаницу с количеством жертв при крушении самолета Bek Air признали чиновники

External links[edit]

Media related to Contact Air at Wikimedia Commons