The Polish airline LOT has demonstrated its ambition on joining Europe’s big aviation groups league by announcing its intention to acquire Condor, the former subsidiary of the bankrupt tour operator Thomas Cook. Following the collapse of its parent company in September 2019, the ailing German leisure airline managed to maintain its flights up until now thanks to a public loan.
Polish Aviation Group (PGL), the owner of LOT Polish Airlines, announced the acquisition of Condor on January 24, 2020. “The acquisition of Condor fits perfectly into PGL’s strategy,” said Rafał Milczarski, President of the Management Board of the group, adding “we want to develop Condor’s iconic brand in Germany and also introduce it to other markets in Europe.”
The financial details of the deal have not been made public by either company. Pending regulatory approval, the deal should be completed in April 2020.
In October 2019, a month after Thomas Cook’s demise, the European Commission approved a temporary loan shared between the federal government and the state of Hesse of €380 million euros to Condor, intended to keep the company airborne.
Founded in 1956, Condor operates a fleet of 58 aircraft and currently employs 4,900 people. Its core destinations are the United States and the Mediterranean area. As for LOT, its fleet of 80 aircraft carried more than 10 million passengers in 2019. PGL expects the combined airlines to carry nearly 20 million passengers per year, making it “one of the leading European aviation groups.”