News Condor flies on: how things are going with the...

Condor flies on: how things are going with the German Thomas Cook subsidiary – economy

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The bankruptcy of the travel group Thomas Cook also unsettles passengers of the German airline subsidiary Condor. “Many passengers at the major airport locations in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hanover, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich and Stuttgart are affected,” said the Association of German Commercial Airports on Monday. But one thing is certain: Condor will continue to fly for the time being.

The federal government is examining whether it will grant the previously profitable airline a bridging loan. This could possibly prevent it from getting slanted in the wake of the Thomas Cook bankruptcy.

“We continue to concentrate on what we do best: flying our guests on vacation safely and on time,” said Condor boss Ralf Teckentrup. According to the company, 140,000 guests are currently traveling with Thomas Cook’s German tour operator. 21,000 people were due to leave on Monday and Tuesday. Thomas Cook holidaymakers who want to fly home on schedule are not affected. They are promoted by Condor.

Condor has applied for around 200 million euros as a bridging loan, as the German press agency learned from government circles. It is intended to prevent liquidity bottlenecks. On average, less than a fifth of Condor passengers are guests of the Thomas Cook tour operator brands.

The Hessian state government offered additional help for the company based in Frankfurt. “In principle, we are open to helping Condor to bridge the current crisis together with the federal government, for example through a supplementary state guarantee,” said the state government.

Speculation about Condor sale

The bankruptcy of the Thomas Cook Group again spurred speculation about a sale of Condor. A Lufthansa spokesman did not want to comment on a possible interest from Europe’s largest airline in the German holiday airline on Monday.

Airports and unions supported the company’s request for state aid. The airline has 4900 employees and maintains 58 aircraft. “A healthy and economically stable company by itself deserves a fair chance to survive,” emphasized the flight attendant union Ufo, similar to Verdi and the Cockpit Association.

In the last full financial year, Condor had generated sales of around 1.8 billion euros by the end of September 2018 and, before deducting interest and taxes, booked around 43 million euros as profit (EBIT). An even better result in current business was expected for the current financial year.

In August 2017, after the bankruptcy of Air Berlin, the federal government granted a loan of 150 million in order to keep the airline in the air for the time being and to improve the chances of rescue. Many employees came to buy from the airline, and the loan has now been repaid.

Thomas Cook put all of its airlines up for sale in February. Lufthansa made a preliminary purchase bid for Condor in May; Its long-haul business in particular seemed attractive to Lufthansa.

But after just a few weeks, Lufthansa CFO Ulrik Svensson no longer expected to come to Condor. The problems of the Lufthansa low-cost brand Eurowings also intensified. “Eurowings will renovate itself, and then we can talk about acquisitions,” Svensson said at the end of June. (dpa)

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