OLT Express Germany

OLT Express Germany (formerly OLT Ostfriesische Lufttransport GmbH or OLT) was[1][2] an airline based in Bremen in Germany.[3] The company moved to Bremen from Emden in February 2012. It operated regional scheduled and charter flights linking northern Germany to other parts of the country and Bremen to other European destinations. Its main base was Bremen Airport.[4]

OLT Express Germany
OLT Express Germany logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded1958 (as Ostfriesische Lufttaxi)
Ceased operations30 January 2013
Fleet size15
Parent companyPanta Holdings
HeadquartersBremen, Germany
Key peopleProf. Dr. Joachim Klein (CEO)


Founding and first yearsEdit

OLT was founded on 1 November 1958 by Martin Dekker and Jan Janssen as Ostfriesische Lufttaxi - Dekker und Janssen OHG, initially operating air taxi flights to islands in the North Sea from Emden. The first aircraft was a KZ VII from Skandinavisk Aero Industri A/S in Copenhagen.[5] In 1961 the airline hired its first own staff: a pilot and a 'groundstewardess'.

OLT had, by 1968, five aircraft and operated 13,174 flights.[5] After Janssen's death the company AGIV (Aktiengesellschaft für Verkehrswesen) and the shipping company Reederei Visser & van Doornums became 1970 new shareholders and the airlines was renamed into Ostfriesische Lufttaxi GmbH. A schedule service from Emden to Bremen and Hamburg was introduced then.[5] Soon later AGIV became the single shareholder of OLT and positioned the new CEO Christian Ulrich Baron von Kaltenborn-Stachau.

39 Years of operation as OLT - Ostfriesische LufttransportEdit

A Saab 2000 of OLT - Ostfriesische Lufttransport

In 1972 the airlines was renamed again, now into Ostfriesische Lufttransport GmbH (OLT) and Kaltenborn-Stachau took over 26%. Several new schedule services were introduced like from Kassel, Düsseldorf to Cologne/Bonn in 1973 and Hanover, Saarbrücken, Stuttgart, Münster/Osnabrück and Frankfurt in 1974.[5] For the regional airlines business strategy the company DLT (Deutsche Lufttransport-Gesellschaft mbH) was created and OLT was renamed into DLT Luftverkehrsgesellschaft. But soon later AGIV decided to split the Emden (OLT) operation away from DLT. This unit (Emden operation) was sold then to AG EMS and OLT restart its old core activities under its own name.[5] To ensure a flexible operation, especially in the charter sector, OLT organised 1976 a joint platform called OFD with the participating airlines OLT, FLN and Dollart GmbH.[5]

At the beginning 1990s, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the airlines faced an increase of their business activities. OLT started operations in the former East German provinces and 1990 took over Roland Air from Bremen.[6] In 1991 OLT set up a base in Bremen and started with its scheduled services there. In 1996 all OFD activities were integrated into OLT and therefore under the control of AG EMS.[5]

OLT is one of very few airlines that has succeeded in driving a low-cost rival off a route. In December 2005, easyJet started daily flights between Bristol and its base in Hamburg. OLT was operating twice-daily weekday-only services. The route being a predominantly business route, frequency won out over price and easyJet cancelled the route at the end of October 2006.[7]

OLT Express GermanyEdit

OLT announced on 4 August 2011 it would undergo major restructuring after losing its shuttle flights contract with Airbus Industries. Effective October 2011 all Fokker and Saab aircraft operations would stop and 100 of its 120 employees were to leave the company. Only the 'island-hopping' services from Emden to Heligoland and Borkum with small aircraft were to remain.[8] In August 2011, OLT was bought by a Polish shadow banking Ponzi scheme company Amber Gold, which also bought Polish regional carrier Jet Air and the Polish charter airline Yes Airways. These two Polish companies were combined under the brand OLT Express while OLT became OLT Express Germany. The island flights were taken over by a new independent company, OFD Ostfriesischer-Flug-Dienst.

OLT Express Germany completed the purchase of Contact Air in September 2012. The purchase included Contact Air's wet-lease contract to operate two aircraft on behalf of Swiss International Air Lines. The same week as the Contact Air purchase Amber Gold was reported to be experiencing financial difficulty and funding for the deal was in question.[9][10][11] On 27 July, the Polish OLT Express suspended all services without notice.[12]

In August 2012 Dutch company Panta Holdings announced it was buying OLT Germany from Amber Gold and also finalised the purchase of Contact Air. Panta also owns Denim Air and Maas Air Leasing.[13] Both subsidiaries own Fokker aircraft and Maas leased out two Fokker 100 to Contact Air. In December 2012 it was announced that the wet-lease contract with Swiss International Air Lines would not be renewed and was scheduled to conclude in March 2013.

OLT Express Germany ceased all operations on 27 January 2013 due to financial difficulties.[1][2] The company filed for bankruptcy two days later.[14]


OLT operated the following services (as of January 2013). Note that all island flights had been transferred to the independent company OFD Ostfriesischer-Flug-Dienst back in 2011.

Operated as OLT Express GermanyEdit

Operated for Swiss International Air LinesEdit


A OLT Express Germany Fokker 100

As of  2013 the OLT Express Germany fleet consisted of the following aircraft:[15]

Aircraft At bankruptcy Orders Passengers Note
Fokker 100 10 100
Saab 2000 4 56
Saab 340 1 37
Total 15


  1. ^ a b "Luftfahrt-Nachrichten und -Community". aero.de. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b Austrian Aviation Net. "Austrian Aviation Net: Grounding bei OLT Express". Austrianaviation.net. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Imprint." (Archived 2 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine) OLT. Retrieved on 4 August 2011. "OLT Express Germany GmbH Henrich-Focke-Strasse 6 28199 Bremen"
  4. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 10 April 2007. p. 58.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g [1] Archived 14 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "OLT fliegt seit 40 Jahren nach Helgoland " Günstig, Urlaub, Reisen, Billig verreisen, Infos, Tipps und Ratgeber " Holidaystarter - News". Holidaystarter.com. 23 February 2007. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  7. ^ "OLT celebrates reaching 50 by acquiring its first jets for Airbus 'shuttle' flights". anna.aero. 19 September 2008.
  8. ^ "OLT schrumpft zurück zum Inselhüpfer". Airliners.de. 26 July 2012. Archived from the original on 20 September 2011. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  9. ^ "OLT Express podnosi ceny biletów i kasuje trasy. Ucieka przed bankructwem? - Transport - Gazeta Prawna - partner pracodawcy, narzędzie specjalisty". Serwisy.gazetaprawna.pl. 25 July 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  10. ^ "OLT Express raises prices and goes on sale". Biznes.onet.pl. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  11. ^ Hofmann, Kurt (19 July 2012). "OLT Express Germany finalizes acquisition of Contact Air". ATWOnline. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  12. ^ "OLT Express zawiesił do odwołania wszystkie swoje rejsy". Wyborcza.pl. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  13. ^ "OLT Express Owner Sees Low Labor Costs Key To Profit". Aviationweek.com. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  14. ^ "Luftfahrt-Nachrichten und -Community". aero.de. 29 January 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  15. ^ "OLT Express Germany Fleet Details and History - Planespotters.net Just Aviation". Planespotters.net. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2012.

External linksEdit

  Media related to OLT Express Germany at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 53°23′20″N 7°13′43″E / 53.38893°N 7.22852°E / 53.38893; 7.22852