POLISH AVIATION Group (PGL), the owner of LOT Polish Airlines, has agreed to acquire German leisure carrier, Condor. PGL’s plans include an approach for Condor in becoming its main leisure arm, with an aim to grow markets in Germany and beyond. The new combined group estimate they will be flying 20m customers a year.
Ralf Teckentrup, the German carrier’s chief executive commented: “[Condor has] gained stable, experienced and dynamically developing partners who secured the future of our business. Together we will serve twice as many passengers, thus forming one of the largest aviation groups and [becoming] the leading leisure airline group in Europe. Our partners and customers can safely plan their holiday flights with Condor.”
After the demise of Thomas Cook Group, Condor’s future was thrown into doubt, as the UK company held a 49% stake in the carrier. Germany’s federal government secured the airline’s future with a €380 million bridging loan. PGL will help the leisure firm pay back the full amount after the takeover – effectively lifting them out of protective shield proceedings. The deal is expected to be complete by April this year subject to approval.
Rafał Milczarski, president of PGL’s management Board said: “The acquisition of Condor fits perfectly into PGL’s strategy. It also secures the future of Condor and offers stability and great opportunities to its employees, customers and business partners. We want to develop Condor’s iconic brand in Germany and also introduce it to other markets in Europe.”
PGL plans to replace Condor’s fleet of 16 Boeing 767-300s within two to three years. The oldest example, D-ABUZ (c/n 25209), was delivered new to the company in July 1991. As LOT Polish Airlines operates 15 787s, the Dreamliner is a likely widebody successor.