Polish airline LOT acquires German carrier Condor

Jan 24, 2020

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Polish airline LOT announced Friday that the company has purchased German carrier Condor. The acquisition will bring Condor’s nearly 60 planes and 4,900 employees under the ownership of Polish Aviation Group (PGL).

Condor is a subsidiary of Thomas Cook, the British tour operator which collapsed in 2019. The German unit has continued to operate and remained profitable, according to The New York Times.

Related: Thomas Cook collapse led to “the biggest peacetime repatriation in British history”

Assuming all governing authorities grant antitrust approval, the Condor acquisition is expected to close by April 2020.

Condor CEO Ralf Teckentrup said that “our passengers have remained loyal to us” since Thomas Cook collapsed in September. Condor has maintained operations thanks to a $421 million bridging loan from the German government. Both Condor and LOT spokespeople stated Friday that “PGL’s investment will allow Condor to fully repay the loan.”

Condor will continue operating under the current brand and leadership and both airlines said that the new partnership will be beneficial thanks to “operational synergies.” Altogether, LOT and Condor expect to transport 20 million passengers a year.

Related: Here’s what to do when your airline goes belly up

“Maybe there was uncertainty about Condor’s future” in recent months, Rafal Milczarski, PGL and LOT chief executive, said at a Frankfurt news conference. “I would like to say very firmly today: There is no more uncertainty. Condor will not only survive, but it will grow very dynamically.”

Featured photo courtesy of Condor.

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