German leisure airline Condor has completed a restructuring process that was in effect since its former parent company Thomas Cook went bankrupt in September 2019.
On Tuesday, December 1st, Condor announced that is has successfully left the protective shield proceedings (“Schutzschirmverfahren”, a German system similar to Chapter 11 in the United States) after 14 months. This form of insolvency protection was authorised by a Frankfurt court just two days after Thomas Cook’s liquidation.
Following the failure of its parent, the airline not only managed to free itself from creditor’s claims related to Thomas Cook but also continued operating over the entire period. In response to the liquidation of Thomas Cook, the German government quickly granted a loan amounting €380 million (US $419 million), to ensure the survival of the German airline.
In January 2020, Polish Aviation Group (PGL), the owner of LOT Polish Airlines, announced that it will acquire Condor and repay the loan issued by the German government. PGL even had plans to order new long-haul aircraft for Condor to modernise its fleet and replace the aging Boeing 757 and 767. However, this planned takeover was cancelled in early-April as the Covid-19 pandemic had started to severely affect air travel around the world.
Condor now says it has worked to make itself more efficient and create “a solid foundation for the future“. It has reached agreements with all involved trade unions which help secure the jobs of its 4,200 employees during this ongoing Coronavirus crisis until at least the end of 2021, the company claims.
The airline was founded back in 1955. It was only in 2004 that Condor was completely taken over by British-German travel company Thomas Cook AG. Before that, Condor was owned by Lufthansa for most of its history. In 2019, airline was the largest in Germany not part of Lufthansa Group.
Jakob Wert is an aviation journalist from Germany. He built up the website IFN.news and is the Editor-In-Chief of International Flight Network.