“The German government stands ready to take over Condor as a deal for the airline to be bought by Polish rival LOT is likely to collapse in the industry turmoil caused by the coronavirus crisis, several people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
LOT agreed in January to buy Condor for about 300 million euros ($328 million) to create a leading European aviation group with more than 20 million passengers a year.
Above Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten. Condor aircraft parked at Dusseldorf.
But with planes unable to fly because of travel restrictions, compounded by a plunge in demand over fears of contagion, airlines worldwide have grounded most of their fleets, and many have said they need government support to survive.
Last week, airlines urged governments to speed up bailouts to rescue the air transport industry, as they doubled their estimate of 2020 revenue losses from the health crisis to more than $250 billion.
LOT owner PGL has made completion of its takeover deal contingent on certain financial guarantees that the German government considers unacceptable, the sources said, adding no final decision on Condor’s immediate future had been taken.
“LOT has some issues with the deal financing”, one of the people said, while another said a government decision could come as early as this week.
Condor said it was in talks with all parties involved and no decision had been made yet, declining to comment further. PGL and the German economy ministry declined to comment.
Nationalizing Condor would only be for a limited time as Germany aims to restart a sales process as soon as the stranglehold on the travel industry from the coronavirus pandemic has eased, the sources said.”
In other news, Condor made this announcement:
Condor has brought almost 67,000 guests back to Germany in the past two weeks. As part of the Federal Foreign Office Airlift and in cooperation with tour operators, Germany’s most popular holiday airline is thus supporting the largest return fligh it operation German history. The return flight schedule of #homewithcondor continues to include classic tourist destinations such as Cuba and the Canary Islands, but also destinations that Condor does not actually fly to, such as Bali, Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Honduras, Nicaragua, Thailand – and even Australia.
Tomorrow morning on Monday morning, a total of four Boeing 767s will land in Australia from Condor in Perth. More than 800 cruise passengers are on board, which Condor will bring home with a stopover in Phuket in close cooperation with the tour operator. The pure flight time from Perth to Frankfurt is expected to be around 20 hours.
For these special flights, the holiday airline has recently set up an aircraft and crew hub in Phuket, Thailand. Condor is also working flat out on further special flights to the Asia-Pacific, South America and Caribbean regions for the coming week, which will be continuously updated in the return flight schedule for the next 72 hours on www.condor.com/travel-updates.
“The largest return flight in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany is also a tour de force for Condor. Almost all the aircraft are in the air to bring as many guests home as possible as quickly as possible. At this point, I would like to pay a big compliment and my greatest respect to the German Foreign Office, which is coordinating this return operation, the tour operators – and of course to the Condor teams on the ground and in the air,” says Ralf Teckentrup, CEO of Condor. “We will also be operating further special flights this week and will maintain our own regular flight schedule with the destinations Seattle, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Jerez de la Frontera, which will ensure basic infrastructural services”.
Seattle is connected to more than 30 cities in the USA, such as Los Angeles or San Francisco, via the long-standing Condor partner airline Alaska Airlines, so that guests can start their journey home to Germany without any complications and US Americans who urgently need to get home from Europe can also fly on via Seattle.
Guests who are still abroad are asked to register with the German Foreign Office or at www.condor.com/fly-home. For all guests with a scheduled departure by April 30, 2020, Condor offers, among other things, a free rebooking of their ticket to any destination in the route network of Condor and its partner airlines at a time of their choice. If you do not want to commit to a date yet, you do not have to. This also applies to passengers with tickets to countries whose entry restrictions have not been extended.
Out of consideration for particularly urgent requests from guests abroad, we still ask that you only contact customer service if the original flight would have taken place within the next 72 hours, or if the respective guest is still abroad.
Condor aircraft photo gallery: