Lufthansa ends JU-52 operations

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Lufthansa has ended as of today, all future passenger paying flights on its Junkers Ju-52, D-AQUI.

The 83-year-old aircraft has been flying around Germany and Europe for paying passengers during late spring and summer months since 1986. The 16 seat aircraft (which I’m delighted to say I have actually flow in) was captured from the German Luftwaffe at the end of WW2 and Lufthansa purchased it in 1984 from the USA.

Maintained by apprentices and volunteers, the aircraft has cost several million Euros more to operate than it can possibly recover every year, but has been a welcome and surprising site over German skies. I last saw it in Nuremberg in late September 2013.

In the early 1990’s it was disassembled and flown in an Antonov AN-124 to the USA where it made a national tour. 2016 saw flights cancelled and not resumed when an expensive wing spar needed replacement. The aircraft is likely to be allocated to a museum.

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In addition to this Lufthansa bought a Lockheed L-1649 Starliner in 2007 an intended to get it back in service by 2011. This has ended up costing so much money that last year the airline abandoned the project as unviable, and moved it from its Auburn, Maine location to Germany to decided what to do with it.

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