Is Condor Airlines still flying after Thomas Cook Bankruptcy
Condor, legally incorporated as Condor Flugdienst GmbH, is a German leisure airline based in Frankfurt and a subsidiary of the insolvent Thomas Cook Group. It operates scheduled flights to leisure destinations in the Mediterranean, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, and the Caribbean.
Condor was owned between Norddeutscher Lloyd (27.75%), Hamburg America Line (27.75%), Deutsche Lufthansa (26%), and Deutsche Bundesbahn (18.5%). The initial fleet of three 36-passenger Vickers VC.1 Viking aircraft was based at Frankfurt Airport, the Lufthansa hub. Lufthansa bought out the other shareholdings in 1960.
In 1961, Deutsche Flugdienst took over its rival Condor-Luftreederei (which had been founded in 1957 by Oetker), subsequently changing its name to Condor Flugdienst GmbH, thus introducing the “Condor” name with Lufthansa.
From 2000 onwards, the Condor shares held by Lufthansa were gradually acquired by both Thomas Cook AG and Thomas Cook Group plc. The process of transforming Condor from a Lufthansa subsidiary to a part of Thomas Cook (along with Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium and Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia began with the rebranding as Thomas Cook powered by Condor on 1 March 2003. A new livery was introduced, featuring the Thomas Cook logo on the aircraft tail and the word “Condor” written in the font used by Thomas Cook Airlines. On 23 January 2004, Condor became part of Thomas Cook AG and returned to the Condor brand name By December 2006, the remaining Lufthansa shares only amounted to 24.9 percent.
On 20 September 2007, shortly after having taken over LTU International, Air Berlin announced its intention to acquire Condor in a share swap deal. It was intended to buy the 75.1 percent of Condor shares held by Thomas Cook, with the remaining Lufthansa assets being acquired in 2010. In return, Thomas Cook would take up 29.99 percent of the Air Berlin stock. On 11 September 2008, the plan was abandoned.
In December 2010, Thomas Cook Group chose the Airbus A320 family as preferred short-medium haul aircraft type for its airlines, with a review concerning the long haul aircraft scheduled for 2011.
On 17 September 2012, the airline signed a codeshare agreement with the Mexican low-cost carrier, Volaris. On 12 March 2013, Condor and the Canadian airline WestJet agreed on an interline partnership which will offer customers connecting flights to/from 17 destinations in Canada. This agreement expands the network of both airlines, allowing passengers to connect beyond each airline’s own network.
On 4 February 2013, the Thomas Cook Group announced that Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium, and Condor would be merged into a single operating segment of the Thomas Cook Group, Thomas Cook Group Airlines. On October 1, 2013, the Thomas Cook Group began presenting itself under the new unified brand symbol. The aircraft of the Thomas Cook Group Airlines also had the new logo: the Sunny Heart added to their tails and were re-painted in the new corporate color scheme grey, white, and yellow. On the aircraft, the Sunny Heart on the tail is meant to symbolize the unification of airline brands and tour operators within the entire Thomas Cook Group.
Condor refurbished the cabins on all of its Boeing 767-300 long-haul aircraft. All economy class and premium economy class seats were replaced with new seats from ZIM Flugsitz GmbH. Condor kept its successful Premium Economy Class with more legroom and added services. The new Business Class seats (Zodiac Aerospace) offer fully automated, angled-lie-flat seats capable of inclining to an angle of 170 degrees with a bed length of 1.80 metres (5 ft 11 in). The airline added seats in its new Business Class section from 18 to 30 seats on three of its Boeing 767 aircraft. New in-flight entertainment includes personal screens for all passengers throughout all three classes of service. Condor will implement the RAVE IFE technology of Zodiac In-flight Entertainment. On 27 June 2014, Condor completed the cabin refurbishment for all of its long-haul Boeing 767 aircraft.
In early 2017 Condor’s CEO Ralf Teckentrup introduced a plan to cut operating costs by €40 million, because of the €14 million operating cost loss and the €1.4 billion revenue drop. The passenger numbers also dropped by 6%. Condor had also planned new routes to the United States which were: San Diego, New Orleans, and Pittsburgh – all flights are operated by the 767-300ER.
Today the future of Condor has a lot to ask for, but according to an alert on condor.com the airliner is operating for the time being.