German leisure airline Condor is to retire another of its aging Boeing 767s. Most of the airline’s 767s are leased, and as the lease expires, the airline has chosen not to renew. This is the second 767 to retire from Condor this year.
In January this year, Condor confirmed the first of its Boeing 767s would leave its fleet. The aircraft, registration D-ABUL, was leased to the airline in 2012. When the lease expired, Condor said it would retire the aircraft. The Boeing 767-300 is now registered as N664GT with US airline Atlas Air.
At the time, Condor had only hinted at retiring its fleet of 15 Boeing 767s, saying only D-ABUL would leave the fleet due to its lease ending. However, it seems the same fate might be on the cards for more of Condors 767s.
According to AeroTELEGRAPH, a second aircraft will leave the fleet in the fall. The airline hasn’t confirmed exactly which aircraft this will be, but with five 767s over 28 years old and another three over 27, it could be any of them.
A fleet overhaul
Although the airline hasn’t confirmed it will retire all of the type, it will likely look to replace them over the coming years. The youngest of its 767s are still over 20 years old.
Investment firm Attestor bought 51% of the airline earlier this year and immediately started talking about overhauling the airline. The airline now has a budget of €250 million ($305 million) to renew its fleet, including replacing the aging 767s. It also operates 13 Boeing 757s with an average age of 22 years; six are currently not in service. According to ch-aviation.com, the airline also operates 10 A321s and 12 A320s.
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Condor was the unlikely survivor of the Thomas Cook collapse, and now, it’s found a buyer in the middle of one of the most turbulent periods in aviation history. The airline appears to have luck on its side. However, it isn’t quite out of the woods yet.
The EU competition watchdogs still have to approve the takeover, although so far, there haven’t been any indications of it going badly for the airline. Although the airline did suffer a blow as one of Ryanair’s legal challenges was granted. An EU general court ruled the German Government’s €550 million ($670 million) loan to help the airline cope with the pandemic was unfair. The airline also received a €380 million ($454 million) loan in 2019 to keep it alive after Thomas Cook went bankrupt.
So Condor certainly has a long way to go before buying new aircraft is its top priority. But it looks like the fleet renewal process has already started. With one 767 already retired and another retiring in a few months, it’s likely more will follow. Most of the airline’s 767s are leased and will be replaced when the leases expire. So for now, the only question is, what should the airline replace the Boeing 767s with?
What aircraft do you think Condor should choose to replace its aging fleet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.