Condor saved by €380m lifeline from the German Government.
Condor Airlines will continue flying despite it being part owned by Thomas Cook Airlines.
Who are Condor and where did it come from?
The company was founded on 21 December 1955 as Deutsche Flugdienst, ownership was split between Norddeutscher Lloyd (27.75%), Hamburg America Line (27.75%), Deutsche Lufthansa (26%), and Deutsche Bundesbahn (18.5%). In 1960 Lufthansa bought out the remaining shares.
In 1961, Deutsche Flugdienst took over its rival Condor-Luftreederei this developed into to Condor Flugdienst thus introducing the “Condor” name with Lufthansa.
Fast forward to the year 2000, The Thomas Cook Group founded in 1841 as Thomas Cook & Son consisting of at the time of insolvency was Thomas Cook (Travel Agency), Airtours, Intourist, Thomas Cook Airlines UK (Including subsidiary airlines Thomas Cook Balearics, Scandinavia), They began to gradually acquire the shares owned by Lufthansa. In 2013 rebranded as Thomas Cook powered by Condor. This rebranding introduced the famous Thomas Cook Heart logo into Condor’s new livery.
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.
A bridging loan of €380m was financed by the German Government and the state of Hesse where the firm is based, however this has first to be approved by the European commission’s competition watchdog. CEO Ralf Teckentrup, said ‘the intervention was justified because the airline had a strong track record of profitability’
Many have come forward and openly criticized the rescue deal including The Free Democratic party and the German taxpayers’ association, both argued most of Condor’s passengers were insured (ATOL protection) more on this can be found via the link.
However many of you may be wondering why Condor why did the UK government not financially back its parent company Thomas Cook?
Boris Johnson stated a rescue deal with Thomas Cook would have created a “moral hazard” in future cases of companies on the brink. Thomas Cook required £200m to avoid compulsory liquidation.
Condor has a current fleet of 53 aircraft which is a mixture of Airbus/Boeing aircraft ranging from A320,321 & 330 and Boeing 757’s & 767’s to compliment. This fleet was larger than its parent company Thomas cook airlines with its all Airbus fleet of only 34.