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Condor Airlines (Germany)

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Condor Flugdienst GmbH
IATA ICAO Callsign
DE[1] CFG CONDOR
Founded21 December 1955; 63 years ago (1955-12-21)
Commenced operations29 March 1956
Operating bases
Frequent-flyer programMiles & More
Fleet size42[2]
Destinations81, see list
Company slogan'Wir Lieben Fliegen.' (German)
'Born to Fly.' (English)
Parent companyThomas Cook Group (insolvent)
HeadquartersFrankfurt, Germany
Key peopleRalf Teckentrup, CEO
Employees4,900+
Websitecondor.com

Condor, legally incorporated as Condor Flugdienst GmbH, is a German leisure airline based in Frankfurt and a subsidiary of the insolvent and now defunct Thomas Cook Group. It operates scheduled flights to leisure destinations in Africa, Caribbean, Europe, Indochinese Peninsula (until February 2020),[3] South Asia and North America. Its main base is at Frankfurt Airport with further smaller bases at other German airports.[4]

Despite its parent company Thomas Cook Group filing for insolvency, the airline continues to operate after securing a loan from the German government.[5][6]

History

The beginnings

The company was founded on 21 December 1955 as Deutsche Flugdienst GmbH, its ownership being split 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.[7]

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.[7]

20002009: Transition to Thomas Cook ownership

From 2000 onwards, the Condor shares held by Lufthansa were gradually acquired by both Thomas Cook AG and Thomas Cook Group.[8] 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.[8] 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.[8] By December 2006, the remaining Lufthansa shares only amounted to 24.9 percent.[8]

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.[9] On 11 September 2008, the plan was abandoned.[8]

2010present

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 longhaul aircraft scheduled for 2011.[10]

On 17 September 2012, the airline signed a codeshare agreement with the Mexican low-cost carrier, Volaris.[11] 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.[12]

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.[13] 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.[14]

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.[15] 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.[16][17]

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.[18] The passenger numbers also dropped by 6%. Condor had also planned new routes to the United States for San Diego, New Orleans, and Pittsburgh; all flights are operated by the 767-300ER.[19]

On 25 September 2019, Condor secured additional credit facilities of 380 million to keep flying, despite the collapse of Thomas Cook Group.[20] On the same day, a Frankfurt court authorised investor protection measures to allow Condor to be restructured.[21]

Destinations

Code-share agreements
Interline agreements

Corporate affairs

Headquarters

The company is headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Hesse.[34]

In January 2010 the airline held a groundbreaking for a new headquarters complex in Gateway Gardens, an office complex located in Flughafen, Frankfurt, across the Bundesautobahn 3 from Frankfurt Airport. Ralf Teckentrup, the CEO of Condor, said that the new headquarters would place the airline's operations closer to Frankfurt Airport. 380 ground employees will work in the building, and pre-flight briefings for about 2,000 flight attendants will be held in the building. Prior to its redevelopment, the land of Gateway Gardens housed residences of families stationed at a U.S. military base.[35]

Groß & Partner and OFB Projektentwicklung developed the seven-floor facility.[36] The 14,600-square-metre (157,000 sq ft) building is situated between the park and the central plaza, in the "Quartier Mondo" area of Gateway Gardens. It houses Condor's corporate headquarters, a training and education center with a flight simulator, and the airline's flight operations facility. 2,700 square metres (29,000 sq ft) of the facility includes small units rented to other tenants and a café and restaurant on the building's first floor. The building opened in the spring of 2012.[34]

The company used to be headquartered in Kelsterbach, Hesse.[37][38]

Condor Berlin

At the beginning of 1998, Condor founded Condor Berlin GmbH (CIB), a wholly owned subsidiary headquartered in Berlin-Schönefeld. It owned the ICAO-Code CIB and operated on the short and medium haul routes with its Airbus A320-200 until its integration into the parent company on 1 May 2013.[39]

Fleet

Current fleet

As of September 2019, the Condor fleet consists of the following aircraft:[2]

Condor Fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes
C P Y Total
Airbus A320-200 7 180 180[40]
Airbus A321-200 4 210 210[41]
220 220[41]
Boeing 757-300 15 275 275[42]
Boeing 767-300ER 16 18 35 205 258[43]
206 259[43]
Total 42
Historical fleet

Over the years, Condor operated the following aircraft types:[44]

Aircraft Introduced Retired Notes / references
Airbus A300B2 1979 1989
Airbus A300B4
Airbus A310-200 1985 1994
Airbus A310-300
Airbus A319-100 2011 2011 One leased from Hamburg Airways[45]
Boeing 707-300B 1967 1981
Boeing 707-300C
Boeing 727100 1965 1989
Boeing 727200
Boeing 737100 1969 1981
Boeing 737200 1981 1988
Boeing 737300
Boeing 747200 1971 1980
Boeing 747-400 1993 1996
Boeing 757200 1990 2006 One Boeing 757200 (D-ABNF) named "Rizzi Bird", carrying a special livery by artist James Rizzi phased out in 2011[46]
Convair CV-240 1957 Unknown [47]
Convair CV-440 Unknown
Douglas DC-8-33 1968 1969 One DC-8 taken over from Südflug by Lufthansa and transferred to Condor[48]
Douglas DC-8-73CF 1985 1986 One aircraft leased from and operated by German Cargo
McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 1979 2000
Fokker F27 Friendship 1965 Unknown
Hawker Siddeley HS-125 Unknown Unknown [49]
Vickers VC.1 Viking 1955 Unknown [50]
Vickers Viscount 1964 Unknown

Cabin

Business Class

Condor's Business Class is offered on all Boeing 767 aircraft. The seats (Zodiac Aerospace) convert to 170 degrees lie-flat beds with 180 centimetres (71 in) in length and a standard seat pitch (in take off mode) of 60 inches (1,500 mm). The seats include power and USB outlets as well as a 15-inch (380 mm) screen for in-flight entertainment.[51]

Premium Economy

The long-haul version (offered on all Boeing 767) offers regular economy class seats from German manufacturer ZIM FLUGSITZ with 15 centimetres (5.9 in) more legroom (1 metre (3 ft 3 in) seat pitch).[52]

Economy Class

Condor's long-haul Economy Class is offered on all Boeing 767 aircraft. All seats have a 30-inch (760 mm) seat pitch[53] with a 17-inch (430 mm) width. The middle seats are slightly wider (2-inch (51 mm)) than non-middle seats.[54]

In-flight entertainment

A personal monitor is available at every seat in all Long-haul cabins giving passengers access to roughly 30 movies, more than 50 TV series, 24 radio channels, and hundreds of audio music of all genres. All entertainment content is available to passengers in Business and Premium Economy Class. However, Economy Class passengers have only limited access without an upgrade-fee. They have access to one movie, one TV episode, and the full music library and radio station.[55]

Accidents and incidents

  • On 17 October 1958, a Deutsche Flugdienst (as the airline was called at that time) Vickers VC.1 Viking (registered D-BELA) on a cargo flight had to carry out a forced landing near Zele in Belgium due to an engine fire. Upon impact, the aircraft caught fire and was destroyed, but all three crew members on board survived.[50]
  • On 31 July 1960, a Deutsche Flugdienst Convair CV-240 (registered D-BELU) en route from Frankfurt to Rimini experienced failures in both engines upon approaching Rimini Airport. The pilots had to carry out an emergency landing 1000 metres short of the runway, which resulted in the death of one passenger (out of 30, with additional four crew members on board) and the aircraft being written off.[47]
  • On 20 July 1970, a Condor Boeing 737100 (registered D-ABEL) which was approaching Reus Airport, collided with a privately owned Piper Cherokee light aircraft (registration EC-BRU) near Tarragona, Spain. The Piper subsequently crashed, resulting in the death of the three persons on board. The Condor Boeing suffered only minor damage, and there were no injuries amongst the 95 passengers and 5 crew members.[56][57]
  • On 2 January 1988 at 19:18 local time, Condor Flugdienst Flight 3782, a Boeing 737-200 (registered D-ABHD) on a chartered service from Stuttgart to Izmir, crashed into a hill near Seferihisar whilst approaching Adnan Menderes Airport, killing all 11 passengers and 5 crew members on board. Wrong use of navigation aids and lack of adherence to company procedures especially in respect of crew coordination were given as causes for the accident.[58]
  • On 24 June 1992, a Condor Boeing 767-300 (registered D-ABUZ) took a wrong turn after departing Porlamar Airport in Venezuela on a charter flight back to Germany, resulting in an overflight of mountainous terrain at a low altitude. The aircraft hit a TV mast on top of El Copey (with 890 metres, 2,900 feet, the second highest peak on Isla Margarita) with its left wing. The wing was substantially damaged (but could later be repaired), and the pilots managed to return to Porlamar Airport, without any of the 251 passengers and 12 crew members on board being injured.[59]
  • On 2 December 2015, a Condor Airbus A321-200, registration D-AIAF, was being towed at Berlin's Schönefeld Airport when the left wing struck a light tower. The tower collapsed and fell on the aircraft tearing open a section of fuselage of the cockpit injuring a technician in the cockpit.[60][61] The aircraft was repaired and put back into service.[62]

See also

References

  1. ^ "IATA Airline and Airport Code Search". iata.org. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Our Fleet". Condor. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  3. ^ "Condor fliegt nicht mehr nach Kuala Lumpur" (in German). Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  4. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 3 April 2007. p. 68.
  5. ^ "The German leisure airline Condor continues flight operations". Condor Newsroom (Press release). 23 September 2019. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  6. ^ Buyck, Cathy (25 September 2019). "Condor Secures Government-Backed Bridging Loan". Air Transport News: Aviation International News. The Convention News Company, Inc. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  7. ^ a b Davies, R.E.G. (2011). Airlines of the Jet Age: A History. Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press. ISBN 978-0978846084.
  8. ^ a b c d e "AeroTransport Data Bank". Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  9. ^ Flightglobal: Air Berlin consolidates market position with Condor takeover. Published online on 24 September 2007.
  10. ^ "Thomas Cook Group Preliminary Results 2010". hemscottir.com. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  11. ^ "Condor und mexikanische Volaris schließen Partnerschaft". 17 September 2012. Archived from the original on 23 September 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  12. ^ "Condor and WestJet agree on interline partnership" (PDF). 12 March 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  13. ^ "Thomas Cook shakes up airline business". Reuters. 5 February 2013.
  14. ^ 740KVOR: The Thomas Cook Group Unites as One Team With New 'Sunny Heart' Brand Published online on 1 October 2013.
  15. ^ "Condor Premium Economy Class; Condor Air Lines". www.condor.com. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  16. ^ "New Cabins for Condor's Entire Long-Haul Fleet". Marketwire. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  17. ^ "- New Cabins for Condor's Entire Long-Haul Fleet" (PDF). condor.com.
  18. ^ GmbH, FVW Medien. "Airlines: Condor cuts as Ryanair expands". fvw.com.
  19. ^ "Condor to Add New US Routes Airways Magazine". airwaysmag.com. 21 February 2017.
  20. ^ Condor (25 September 2019). "Condor Credit".
  21. ^ "German court begins protection proceedings for Thomas Cook's Condor". Reuters. 26 September 2019. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  22. ^ "Condor and Air Namibia Announce New Codeshare Agreement". aviationtribune.com. 9 March 2017.
  23. ^ "Condor: New partnership with Air Dolomiti" (PDF). condor.com.
  24. ^ "Condor enters into a marketing collaboration with Air North" (PDF). condor.com.
  25. ^ "Condor further expands route network: Seattle available from summer 2011" (PDF). condor.com.
  26. ^ "Condor and Bahamasair form partnership" (PDF). condor.com.
  27. ^ "Condor expands South America Programme" (PDF). condor.com.
  28. ^ "Condor News". Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  29. ^ partners
  30. ^ "Condor expands partnership with Brazilian airline GOL" (PDF). condor.com.
  31. ^ "Condor: Announces Interline Agreement With Sun Country Airlines®" (PDF). condor.com.
  32. ^ "Condor and Mexican Airline Volaris enter Pertnership" (PDF). condor.com.
  33. ^ "Condor and WestJet agree on Interline Pertnership" (PDF). condor.com.
  34. ^ a b "Condors headquarters"
  35. ^ "Fairplay Sustainability Report 2007 Archived 25 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine." Fraport. 6. Retrieved on 28 May 2011.
  36. ^ "CONDOR FLUGDIENST GMBH Archived 25 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine." Gateway Gardens. Retrieved on 28 May 2011.
  37. ^ "How to find us." Condor Flugdienst. Retrieved on 28 May 2011. "Condor Flugdienst GmbH Am Grünen Weg 1 3 65451 Kelsterbach GERMANY" and "Condor Flugdienst GmbH (location Oberursel) Thomas-Cook-Platz 1 61440 Oberursel GERMANY" and "Condor Berlin GmbH Airport Berlin-Schönefeld Postfach 12521 Berlin GERMANY" and "Condor Technik GmbH Cargo City Süd, Gebäude 507 60549 Frankfurt/Airport GERMANY"
  38. ^ "How to find us in Kelsterbach."(in German) Condor Flugdienst. Retrieved on 28 May 2011.
  39. ^ "Condor's and Condor Berlin's fleets merged from May 1". ch-aviation.com. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  40. ^ "Condor Airbus A320-200". condor.com.
  41. ^ a b "Condor Airbus A320-200". condor.com.
  42. ^ "Condor Boeing 757300". condor.com.
  43. ^ a b "Condor Boeing 767-300ER". condor.com.
  44. ^ "Condor Fleet Airfleets aviation". Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  45. ^ "Condor (Berlin) hat über den Sommerflugplan einen A319 von Hamburg Airways geleast. D-AHHB hat dadur Flugzeug-bild.de". Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  46. ^ airfleets.net Boeing 757 MSN 25140 F-HAVN (formerly D-ABNF) retrieved 3 August 2016
  47. ^ a b "ASN Aircraft accident Convair CV-240-4 D-BELU Rimini Airport (RMI) 31 July 1960". Aviation Safety Network. Flight Safety Foundation. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  48. ^ "Douglas DC-8-33, D-ADIM, Condor (DE / CFG)". Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  49. ^ "Aviation Photo #1427702 Hawker Siddeley HS-125-F403B Condor (Conti-Flug)". Airliners.net. VerticalScope Inc. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  50. ^ a b "ASN Aircraft accident Vickers 610 Viking 1B D-BELA Zele 17 October 1958". Aviation Safety Network. Flight Safety Foundation. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  51. ^ "Flight Review: Checking Out Condor Airlines' Business Class to Frankfurt - AirlineReporter.com". AirlineReporter.com. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  52. ^ "Condor Planes, Fleet and Seat Maps". Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  53. ^ "SeatGuru Seat Map Condor Boeing 767-300ER (763) V1". Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  54. ^ "Condor Gives Wider Middle Seats". AirlineReporter.com. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  55. ^ "SeatGuru Seat Map Condor Boeing 767-300ER (763) V2". Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  56. ^ Harro Ranter (20 July 1970). "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 737130 D-ABEL Tarragona". Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  57. ^ Harro Ranter. "ASN Aircraft accident 20-JUL-1970 Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee EC-BRU". Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  58. ^ Harro Ranter (2 January 1988). "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 737230 D-ABHD Seferihisar". Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  59. ^ Harro Ranter (24 June 1992). "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 767-330ER D-ABUZ Cerro Copey". Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  60. ^ "Condor A321 Ground Incident At SXF Civil Aviation Forum - Airliners.net". Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  61. ^ "Lichtmast-Crash in Schönefeld: Mitarbeiter schrottet 100-Mio.-Flieger". BILD.de. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  62. ^ "D-AIAF Condor Airbus A321-211(WL) cn 6459".

External links

Media related to Condor at Wikimedia Commons


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