Sunday, February 26, 2017

Germany’s Condor expands US services

German leisure carrier Condor Airlines has outlined what it called the largest US expansion in its 60-year history.

The airline said it will add nonstop service from Frankfurt to San Diego (2X-weekly), Pittsburgh (2X-weekly) and New Orleans (2X-weekly). It will also add nonstop service from Munich to Seattle (2X-weekly) and Las Vegas (2X-weekly).

All routes will be operated using Boeing 767-300ERs.

Frankfurt-based Condor, part of UK-based Thomas Cook Group Airlines, currently serves the US cities of Anchorage, Alaska; Austin, Texas; Baltimore, Maryland; Fairbanks, Alaska; Las Vegas, Nevada; Minneapolis, Minneapolis; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington state.

Thomas Cook Group Airlines—which also includes UK-based Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium and Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia—has seen a surge in flights to and from North America. Passenger numbers from North America to Europe have more than doubled in the last three years, with nine routes introduced within this period. More than one million passengers used the airline’s services via the North Atlantic in 2016.

In the US, Condor partners with Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, New York-based JetBlue Airways and Minneapolis-Saint Paul-based Sun Country Airlines for connecting services.

The Condor network includes more than 75 destinations.

However, Condor has been hit by decreased demand, especially on flights to holiday destinations impacted by terrorist attacks in Europe in 2016.

According to the German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung, for 2016 Condor reported an operating loss of €16 million ($16.8 million) based on a turnover of €1.5 billion. The carrier reportedly transferred four of its 13 Boeing 757-300s to Thomas Cook Airlines.

On Feb. 9, the Thomas Cook Group presented 1Q results for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2016. Condor’s underlying EBIT fell £13 million ($16.2 million) to a loss of £7 million, as profitability was impacted by overcapacity in the short-haul market and weak demand.

Thomas Cook CEO Peter Fankhauser said, “Regarding 2017, Condor is performing in line with our expectations for the summer.”

The German airline market continues to be impacted by weak demand for Turkey and overcapacity to the Canaries. However, strong demand for Greece, together with capacity reductions on certain routes, is helping to mitigate the impact.

“Our plan of action to improve Condor’s profitability, which we announced in November, is on track and is expected to deliver positive benefits from the second half of the year,” he said.

A Condor spokesperson told ATW in Frankfurt the airline expects to return to profit in 2017.

(Kurt Hofmann - ATWOnline News)

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