The collapse of parent company Thomas Cook has not affected Condor…at least not yet. What will happen to another storied company that now faces uncharted waters?
While all Thomas Cook flights have been suspended, Condor flights continue to operate as normal. Condor employees 4,500 people in Germany and is profitable. Ralf Teckentrup, CEO of Condor, said:
We will continue to concentrate on what we do best: flying our customers to their holidays safely and on time.
A scrolling banner on the Condor website assures travelers that flights are operating on schedule.
But hoping to ensure stability and maintain liquidity, Condor has requested a bridge loan from the German government to ensure uninterrupted operations. The precise amount requested has not been disclosed.
An Opening For Lufthansa?
Lufthansa has little interest in Condor itself. The Condor fleet is older than Lufthansa’s and many of the destinations served are also served by Lufthansa. But just like with Air Berlin, Lufthansa does want Condor’s slots, if for nothing else than to keep competition out.
Earlier this year, Lufthansa bid for Condor, though Thomas Cook opted not to sell. Now Lufthansa may find itself able to pick up Condor and its assets at a fire-sale price.
But the more likely outcome is that Germany will issue the bridge loan to Condor, as it did for Air Berlin, in hopes of stabilizing a popular German airline and important source of competition for German consumers.
Lufthansa, which used to own Condor, faces continued criticism for its inept integration of Air Berlin jets into the fleet after that carrier collapsed in 2017. With investors already skeptical over what Lufthansa will do with its low-cost Eurowings division, acquiring Condor simply may not be a viable option, even if available.
Condor hopes to emerge as a strong and independent airline, even as it is unclear whether Thomas Cook creditors will latch on to the profitable German subdivision. For now, all business continues as normal on Condor.