Deutsche Lufthansa AG (FWB: LHA) (German pronunciation: [ˈdɔʏtʃə ˈlʊfthanzaː]), commonly known as Lufthansa (sometimes also as Lufthansa German Airlines), is a German airline and, when combined with its subsidiaries, the largest airline in Europe, both in terms of passengers carried and fleet size. It operates services to 18 domestic destinations and 197 international destinations in 78 countries across Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe, using a fleet of more than 280 aircraft. Lufthansa is one of the five founding members of Star Alliance, the world's largest airline alliance, formed in 1997. The name of the company is derived from Luft (the German word for "air"), and Hansa (a Latin term meaning "guild" most commonly used historically in reference to the Hanseatic League).
Besides its own passenger airlines Austrian Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines, Eurowings and Germanwings (referred to in English by Lufthansa as its Passenger Airline Group), Deutsche Lufthansa AG owns several aviation-related companies such as Lufthansa Technik as part of the Lufthansa Group. Combined with its subsidiaries, the group has over 615 aircraft, making it one of the largest passenger airline fleets in the world. In 2014, the group carried over 106 million passengers.
Lufthansa's registered office and corporate headquarters are in Cologne. The main operations base, called Lufthansa Aviation Center (LAC), is at Lufthansa's primary hub at Frankfurt Airport. The majority of Lufthansa's pilots, ground staff, and flight attendants are based there. Lufthansa's secondary hub is Munich Airport.
Lufthansa was a state-owned enterprise (and flag carrier) until 1994. In its annual report for 2014, Lufthansa reported around 60% of its shares were owned by institutional investors and around 40% by private individuals.Since 1970, Lufthansa has involved its employees in profit sharing, giving them the opportunity to choose between cash and preference shares. When Lufthansa was privatised, employees received more than 3% of its shares.