|Founded||21 December 1955|
|Commenced operations||29 March 1956|
|Frequent-flyer program||Miles & More|
|Company slogan||'Wir lieben fliegen.' (German) |
'We love to fly.' (English)
|Parent company||Thomas Cook Group PLC|
|Key people||Ralf Teckentrup, CEO|
Condor, legally incorporated as Condor Flugdienst GmbH, is a German leisure airline based in Frankfurt and a subsidiary of the Thomas Cook Group. It operates scheduled flights to leisure destinations in the Mediterranean, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, and the Caribbean. Its main base is at Frankfurt Airport with further smaller bases at other German airports.
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.
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.
From 2000 onwards, the Condor shares held by Lufthansa were gradually acquired by both Thomas Cook AG and Thomas Cook Group plc. 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. 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. By December 2006, the remaining Lufthansa shares only amounted to 24.9 percent.
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. On 11 September 2008, the plan was abandoned.
On 17 September 2012, the airline signed a codeshare agreement with the Mexican low-cost carrier, Volaris. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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 include 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.
In early 2017 Condor's CEO Ralf Teckentrup introduced a plan to cut operating costs by EUR40 million, because of the EUR14 million operating cost loss and the EUR1.4 billion revenue drop. The passenger numbers also dropped by 6%. Condor had also planned new routes to the United States which were: San Diego, New Orleans, and Pittsburgh - all flights are operated by the 767-300ER.
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.
Groß & Partner and OFB Projektentwicklung developed the seven-floor facility. 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.
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.
Over the years, Condor operated the following aircraft types:
|Aircraft||Introduced||Retired||Notes / references|
|Airbus A319-100||2011||2011||One leased from Hamburg Airways|
|Boeing 757-200||1990||2006||One Boeing 757-200 (D-ABNF) named "Rizzi Bird", carrying a special livery by artist James Rizzi phased out in 2011|
|Douglas DC-8-33||1968||1969||One DC-8 taken over from Südflug by Lufthansa and transferred to Condor|
|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|||
|Vickers VC.1 Viking||1955||Unknown|||
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.
The long-haul version (offered on all Boeing 767) offers regular economy class seats from German manufacturer ZIM with 15 centimetres (5.9 in) more legroom (1 metre (3 ft 3 in) seat pitch).
Condor's long-haul Economy Class is offered on all Boeing 767 aircraft. All seats have a 30-inch (760 mm) seat pitch with a 17-inch (430 mm) width. The middle seats are slightly wider (2-inch (51 mm)) than non-middle seats.
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.
Media related to Condor at Wikimedia Commons