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Tuesday airline update: Condor’s €550m bailout

written by Dylan Nicholson | April 28, 2020

A file image of a Condor Airbus A321. (AviaAM Leasing)
A Condor Airbus A321. (AviaAM Leasing)

The European Commission has approved a €550 million state loan from the German government for struggling Condor.

The airline revealed that these funds would enable it to continue flying through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As an operationally healthy and profitable company, Condor has gotten into trouble for the second time in almost half a year through no fault of its own – once by Thomas Cook and then by the effects of the corona pandemic,” said Ralf Teckentrup, chief executive of Condor, in the statement.

The European Commission has approved a bailout in the form of a loan of €294 million as corona aid, and €256 million to fully refinance the bridging loan the airline received last winter following the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook.

Condor has stated that the relief package will allow the airline to secure operations after the Polish Aviation Group (PGL) pulled out of its planned acquisition of the carrier earlier this month.

The group was planning to purchase Condor for €300 million. This would have allowed the airline to repay the bridging loan provided by the federal government of Germany in the wake of the collapse of Thomas Cook in September 2019.

In other airline news:

  • The Argentinian government issued a decree banning all commercial flights in the country until 1 September 2020. This measure is the latest taken to fight back the current coronavirus pandemic but international aviation organisations are opposing it. At the time of writing, Argentina has 3,892 active cases and 192 deaths.
  • Mexican ultra-low-cost-carrier Volaris will cut capacity by 90 per cent compared with May 2019. This move comes as the pandemic continues to spread across Latin America, and countries continue to issue lockdown orders.
  • American Airlines has doubled the time that passengers should be at the gate before a domestic flight. The US carrier has introduced the new guidelines as it continues to deal with the global crisis.
  • Polish carrier LOT is in talks with Boeing to modify its 787 Dreamliner jets for cargo operations.
  • Rwanda’s flag carrier RwandAir announced it is implementing several cost-reduction measures to protect the company’s future and avoid laying off staff. These include the reduction of employees’ salaries.
  • Norwegian Air is preparing itself for various scenarios in the coming months as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of its strategy for survival and ultimate recovery will see the airline shrink its operations and focus on its ancillary revenue over the next few months.


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