It was the way many of us who first stepped into a commercial airliner remember how flying used to be.
Too young for happy hour cocktails in the Pan Am lounge, but brandishing copper wings and inflight games, the golden age of flight was emblematic with Boeing’s epochal transcontinental airliner, the 707. Airliners with swanky logos and attendants once known as stewardesses who would pamper tweed and tie wearing passengers with their white gloves and Jackie O bonnets are as anachronic today, as Polaroid and hand written tickets.
The Boeing 707 was the ‘dreamliner’ of the 1960s and 70s, rolling out a brave new world for business travelers, fashionable vacationers, and those “unaccompanied Minors” left in the trusted hands of crew to cross continents after finishing term at school. Millions, enthralled by bone china inflight service and the thrust of four turbines took to the skies. Boeing delivered 1,010 707s between 1958 and 1978 and if you were anyone in the stratosphere, you most likely covered the most exotic routes: New York – Zurich – Tel Aviv – Tehran – Rangoon – Bangkok.
Before the arrival of the ‘Jumbo’ 747, the 707 was the King of the skies and airlines across the globe scrambled to acquire them, including Germany’s Lufthansa. On April 2nd 1967, Lufthansa’s LH 493 traveled for the first time from Bogotá via New York to Frankfurt with a Boeing 707.
The trip lasted about 15 hours. That same year, the German flagship began operating one round-trip flight per week between the Colombian capital and its base in Frankfurt. But the service was interrupted in 2002 and reinstated in 2010. Today, the airline offers a daily flight between El Dorado and Frankfurt (FRA) with an Airbus A340-300. The flight time is roughly 11 hours and 20 minutes.
One of the world’s most prestigious airlines, Lufthansa, serves 22 North American gateways and flies to 194 destinations in 76 countries. The carrier has hubs in Frankfurt and Munich. With the Lufthansa Group acquisition of Austrian Airlines, Swiss and Brussels Airlines, additional hubs include Vienna, Brussels, and Zurich. The entire Group flew a total of 95.8 million passengers in 2016. This year’s summer schedule, will offer almost 20,000 weekly frequencies to 289 destinations in 103 countries.
As an industry innovator, Lufthansa has also been committed to environmental care and sustainability, operating one of the most technologically-advanced and fuel-efficient fleets in the world. Its long-haul fleet to and from north America includes the Boeing 747-800,the Airbus A380 and the Airbus A350-900, which are some of the most environmentally-friendly aircraft in the skies. Lufthansa is Europe’s largest operator of the two level A380. The Group currently has 180 new aircraft on order for 2025. So willkommen another 50 years of uniting Colombia with the world.