The Passport of Aviation Pioneer Hans Bongers

aviation pioneer Hans Bongers

The following passport is an important document when it comes to the history of German airline Lufthansa.

aviation pioneer Hans BongersHans M. Bongers was born on 5 December 1898 in Itzehoe. The business graduate is considered a pioneer of German commercial aviation. During the Weimar Republic and under National Socialism, Hans Bongers accompanied the rise of Deutsche Lufthansa AG in leading positions. From 1954 to 1965, he was responsible for rebuilding the German airline in post-war Western Germany. When Bongers resigned from the Executive Board in 1965, he was still represented on the company’s Supervisory Board for several years… aviation pioneer Hans Bongers

After school, Bongers did a commercial apprenticeship in Dessau. In 1918 he joined the aviation company Junkers in Dessau as an employee. One year later, he began his studies, first at the commercial college in Munich, which he continued at the Technical College and University there, graduating in 1921. In 1923, Bongers was then appointed to the management of the newly founded Junkers Luftverkehr AG, which he headed until 1925. In 1926 Junkers merged with German Aero Lloyd to form Deutsche Lufthansa AG, for which Bongers now worked.

When the world economic crisis broke out, Bongers was appointed to the Lufthansa board of directors in 1929. He also assumed the position of traffic manager (The profession mentioned in exactly this passport). In National Socialist Germany, Bongers continued to work in leading positions for the German airline. After the end of the war, he initially worked as an economic consultant. However, Bongers was soon committed to the reconstruction of German aviation in the newly founded Federal Republic. In 1949 he was appointed as a consultant to the Federal Ministry of Transport. aviation pioneer Hans Bongers

When the “AG für Luftverkehrsbedarf” was founded in 1953, Bongers was appointed member of the board. In 1954 he was appointed Director and First Member of the Executive Board of the refounded Deutsche Lufthansa AG. In this way, Bongers accompanied the rise of West German Lufthansa to become one of the most important airlines in the world, in a time of reconstruction and the economic miracle. When Bongers resigned from the Executive Board in 1965, he was still represented on the company’s Supervisory Board for several years. In 1971 Bongers went public with the publication “Es liegt in der Luft” (It was in the air). He died on 23 June 1981 in Bollendorf near Bitburg. aviation pioneer Hans Bongers


A research made it clear that the passport was included in a larger document/item lot at an auction in 2008. Interesting that this very document is now on my desk. Another nice addition to my collection!

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  1. yes, very exciting when a passport throws light on real historical development. Regardless of your own personal interest in aviation, this one really does. Thanks for showing it.

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