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E-01 The First Operational Season of the Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei

The Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei (DZR) was (re-)founded at the beginning of 2001 as a direct subsidiary of Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik (ZLT) with the task of carrying out commercial passenger transport with airships. Approval as a commercial air carrier (airline) was granted in August 2001 by the German Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA). Up to the end of the flying season in November 2001, hundreds of one hour long scenic flights were performed in the Friedrichshafen area in southern Germany with fare paying passengers. For the operating season 2002 commercial flights are planned from Friedrichshafen-Löwental, Ostfildern (near Stuttgart) and Berlin-Tempelhof.

This paper shall report on the first experiences gained during this type of operation. It will deal with the problems of performing regular scheduled flights with airships, the procedures concerning the handling of passengers ranging from ticket reservation and ticket sale to the point when they leave the airport premises and how to maintain the airship in the commercial environment of JAR 145. Furthermore, some comments will be made on dispatch reliability and commercial aspects.

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