Germany pledges €550M lifeline to ailing Condor
Condor, a former subsidiary of the bankrupt Thomas Cook group, says the German government has pledged to give it another €294 million loan to keep it afloat. The governmental aid comes after the carrier found itself in trouble for the second time in half a year “through no fault of its own”, in Condor CEO’s words.
Condor was promised €550 million from the Germany’s government, the airline announced in a statement on April 27, 2020. Around half of the money would go to refinance the carrier’s previous loan and half would help to secure operations during the coronavirus crisis.
“Condor will receive a loan of 294 million euros as corona aid as well as 256 million euros to fully refinance the bridging loan that the leisure airline received for last winter following the insolvency of Thomas Cook,” the airline’s statement read.
"As an operationally healthy and profitable company, Condor has gotten into trouble for the second time in almost half a year through no fault of its own - once by Thomas Cook and then by the effects of the Corona pandemic,” Ralf Teckentrup, CEO of Condor, is cited in the statement as saying. “We are very grateful to the Federal Government and the Hessian State Government for their support and would also like to thank all our customers, partners, service providers and supporters for their encouragement and trust."
Condor has survived the bankruptcy of its parent company, the tour operator Thomas Cook, in September 2019. The German airline stayed airborne thanks to a €380 million bridge loan from the German government, which was approved by the European Commission a month later.
In January 2020, Polish Aviation Group (PGL), the owner of LOT Polish Airlines, announced the acquisition of Condor for about €300 million. However, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent crisis, the company apparently changed its mind, media reports in early April 2020 indicated. “LOT has some issues with the deal financing,” wrote Reuters citing a source.
In late March 2020, Condor applied for an additional €200 million in state aid.
Founded in 1956, Condor operated a fleet of 58 aircraft and employed 4,900 people before the crisis. Its core destinations were the United States and the Mediterranean area.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, Condor mainly operates cargo flights of medical equipment to Germany, repatriation flights and serves the country’s other connectivity needs. For instance, Condor flies “numerous” harvest workers from Romania to Germany, according to the airline itself.
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