The first one doesn't work as a stand alone sentence with that semicolon, however. You'd have to add another clause explaining what the pilots are to be thanked for, and change the semicolon to a comma.
"Thanks to Lufthansa pilots, we arrived at our destination safe and sound ahead of schedule."
As far as that goes, the second one is hard to view as a complete sentence as well, other than some kind of general "thank you' to pilots.
If you're using both of them as precursors as to why the pilots deserve thanks, then I agree they carry the same meaning.