LOT Polish Airlines’ owner, The Polish Aviation Group, has bought German carrier, Condor. The airline, which was owned by Thomas Cook, survived the travel company’s collapse in September last year.
Recently we’ve seen a number of Condor aircraft losing the big yellow heart on their tails. The logo of former travel giant Thomas Cook is instead being replaced with Condor’s iconic bird tail. When Thomas Cook collapsed, the German subsidiary was granted a loan by the German government. This enabled the carrier to keep operating in the interim. Now, LOT Polish Airlines has bought the German carrier, as was just announced today in Frankfurt.
The Polish Aviation Group
So, who are the Polish Aviation Group? Let us take a look! According to Condor, the Polish Aviation Group (PGL) is “the leading aviation company in Central and Eastern Europe”. The company is the owner of Poland’s flag carrier, LOT Polish Airlines. In 2019 the group generated sales equating to €1.9 billion ($2 billion).
PGL’s investment in Condor will allow the German carrier to repay the bridging loan it was granted by the German government last year. The transaction for purchasing Condor is expected to be completed in April, subject to all the usual caveats of these types of deal.
What are the airlines saying?
PGL’s CEO, Rafał Milczarski, says that the Condor if a perfect match to the Polish Aviation Group’s strategy. Additionally, it seems that Condor will keep its branding. He commented,
“The purchase secures the future of Condor and thus offers its employees, customers and partners stability and a great perspective. We want to further develop the traditional Condor brand in Germany and introduce it to other European markets.”
The deal has been welcomed by the German cabin crew union the UFO. We’ve seen a lot of negativity coming from the UFO recently, due to their fight with Lufthansa. The union’s Chairperson, Sylvia De la Cruz, commented,
“After the extreme uncertainty for Condor in recent months, it is a very good news is that now a buyer is found.”
Auf Wiedersehen Thomas Cook
The purchase of Condor by the Polish Aviation Group will hopefully mark an end to the split from Thomas Cook. Condor is currently in the process of removing all Thomas Cook branding from its aircraft. This is as the airline no longer has permission to use the trademark. As a result, the iconic bird logo, previously only seen on the tail of the airline’s retro-jet, is once again adorning the tails of the fleet.
The news is also good for the German government. In October the German Federal Government, in addition to the State of Hesse, lent the airline a loan. The bridging loan was intended to keep the carrier going in the interim following the collapse of Thomas Cook. It has now served its purpose and will be repaid using the money exchanged in the purchase.
What do you think of Condor’s new owner? Is the airline a good fit for the Polish Aviation Group? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!