Lufthansa has a relatively good, but not perfect safety record. During its operational history, it has suffered some fatal crashes, but only one within the last thirty years. The airline is fully safety-compliant with local and international standards and many consider it to be one of the safest airlines in the world.
In the article below, I explain why Lufthansa is a safe airline to fly with. Hopefully, the information contained in this article will reassure you and dispel any concerns you may have.
Lufthansa Operates a Modern Fleet
Lufthansa is supported by its subsidiary Lufthansa CityLine which specializes in European capital city and regional city feeder hub operations at Frankfurt and Munich Airports. The airline has a large fleet of Boeing and Airbus aircraft.
According to Airfleets.net the average weighted age of the Lufthansa active fleet is 10.5 years, and the Lufthansa CityLine active average fleet age is 14.0 years. The average Lufthansa and Lufthansa CityLine aircraft ages by aircraft type are shown in the table below.
|Aircraft||Lufthansa||Lufthansa City Line|
|# of Aircraft||Average Age||# of Aircraft||Average Age|
|Canadair Regional Jet||–||–||30||12.7|
Lufthansa’s oldest aircraft are its A340s. These were delivered between 1996 and 2020. Lufthansa’s youngest aircraft are its A350s, these aircraft were delivered between 2016 and 2022. Lufthansa CityLine’s oldest aircraft are its A319s. These aircraft were originally delivered to Lufthansa between 1996 and 2005 and were subsequently transferred to Lufthansa CityLine.
With an average fleet age of 10.2 years, Lufthansa is operating a relatively young fleet that compares well to other major full-service carriers. For example, United Airlines’ is 16.5 years, British Airways’ is 12.9 years, and Air France’s is 14.3 years. Emirates and Qatar Airways have average fleet ages of 8.4 and 7.5 years respectively, and Singapore Airlines’ average fleet age is 6.2 years.
Lufthansa Is IOSA-Certified and a Member of Star Alliance
Another thing to keep in mind is that Lufthansa checks all of the boxes that safe airlines are expected to – at least based on AirlineRatings.com’s criteria which is based on the following:
- Both Lufthansa and Lufthansa CityLine are IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) certified. This audit is optional and assesses whether an airline has the necessary systems and processes in place to operate safely. Airlines are evaluated every two years.
- Lufthansa is not blacklisted in the European Union or the United States.
- Lufthansa is safety regulated by the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA, ‘Federal Aviation Office’), and the LBA’s ICAO Safety Audit results are good with effective implementation in the range 80-100% for the eight areas audited, well above the global average for seven of the eight areas audited. The IATA audit assesses a nation’s approach to airline safety oversight and regulation.
- The only fatal air crash involving a Lufthansa aircraft within the last thirty years occurred in 1993 and there have been no fatal crashes since then.
Separately, in a separate ranking by the Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Center (JACDEC), Lufthansa was ranked number 57 out of 100 in a 2021 list of the world’s airlines with a risk index of 86.97%, and one fatal air crash, one non-fatal crash, and two hull losses noted since 1989. This risk index was calculated by looking at around 30 different airline safety parameters.
Lastly, Lufthansa is a member of Star Alliance – one of the largest airline alliances.
Lufthansa Incidents and Accidents
Similar to many large airlines that have had a long operational history and that operate a large fleet, Lufthansa’s safety record is not spotlessly clean, but it is pretty good. If we look back over the last thirty years we see only a small number of reported incidents, although one was very serious resulting in fatalities.
This fatal air crash occurred in September 1993 at Warsaw-Okecie International Airport, Poland. A Lufthansa A320 flying from Frankfurt to Warsaw with 64 passengers and 4 crew members on board overran the runway upon landing and crashed into an earth embankment, resulting in the death of the co-pilot and one passenger.
Prior to this Lufthansa had some fatal air crashes way back in the 1960s and 1970s. The most serious of which occurred in November 1974 when a Boeing 747 lost power and crashed shortly after take-off at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, Kenya. Fifty-five out of the 140 passengers, and 4 out of the 17 crew lost their lives.
Other incidents within the last thirty years (excluding those attributed to natural events such as volcanic ash, lightning strikes, etc., and events such as hijacks) involving Lufthansa aircraft worth noting, are as follows:
- July 2010 – An MD11 freighter with two crew on board en route from Frankfurt to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia crashed on landing. There were no fatalities.
- June 2018 – one of Lufthansa’s Airbus A340-300s was being towed to its departure gate at Frankfurt Airport when the towing vehicle caught fire. Despite the quick action of the airport fire brigade, the aircraft suffered substantial fire and smoke damage to the nose and flight deck. Six people were treated for smoke inhalation. There were no fatalities.
- July 2019 – An A319 received significant damage to its tail after a collision with a ground services vehicle at Frankfurt International Airport. There were no fatalities.
Summary: Is Flying with Lufthansa Safe?
Lufthansa has suffered some fatal crashes during its long company history, although there has been only one fatal crash within the last thirty years back in 1993, and no fatal crashes since then.
Lufthansa and its subsidiary Lufthansa CityLine are fully IATA IOSA certified and safety oversight of the airline is performed by Germany’s Federal Aviation Office which scores well in ICAO’s Country Audits.
Given these observations, my conclusion is that Lufthansa is a safe airline to fly with.
If you are wondering what flying with Lufthansa is like, check our reviews: