Condor Airlines has released its financial statement for the year ending 30 September 2019. The former Thomas Cook subsidiary announced improved passenger numbers as well as increased revenues and operating profits. The airline also stated it was hoping to attract a new owner in time for the 2020 summer season after the collapse of parent company Thomas Cook earlier this year.
Condor has released its financial figures for the year and they are, perhaps surprisingly given the Thomas Cook situation, pretty good. The airline saw passenger numbers rise to 9.4 million which is an increase of almost 7%. It also saw a 6% increase in revenues to €1.7 billion which was aided by an increased capacity of 4.5 percentage points and a load factor of 90%. The airline also saw profits increase to €57 million, 32% more than the previous year.
Condor was also able to find several new short and medium-haul routes to start in 2020. These include routes to Paphos in Cyprus, Tivat in Montenegro and Toulon in France. It says more destinations are being reviewed. However, it’s not all sunshine and roses. The airline had to make cost-saving changes as well. Notably, the airline reduced its number of stations from 12 to 8. It also credits “increased operational efficiency” and “optimised planning” for helping to keep the figures healthy.
The elephant in the room
The airline is no doubt thrilled by the good performance as it addressed the Thomas Cook shadow hanging over its future. Condor is hoping to attract a new buyer in the coming months after parent company Thomas Cook, which owned 49% of Condor, collapsed in September of this year. The airline is currently under a preliminary protective shield to release itself from joint liabilities.
Thomas Cook Germany customers made up 15% of the airline’s total volume, but despite this loss, Condor bosses are confident in the airline’s future. In a statement, CEO Ralf Teckentrup said that booking numbers were high and were compensating for the missing Thomas Cook demand. He clarified that,
“The current booking trend is currently exceeding expectations. This is also a clear sign of confidence on the part of tour operators, travel agencies and our direct customers.”
In his statement, he said he was “highly satisfied” with Condor’s results. “We are an operationally healthy and profitable company. Our key figures and the further increase in profit underline this. Condor is thus further expanding its market leadership in the leisure airline business.”
The results are perhaps better than some expected, given the turbulent recent months, something even the airline admitted in its statement. The airline is currently undergoing a restructuring process and hopes to be ready for a new buyer very soon. Teckentrup signaled that the airline would be presenting restructuring plans at the end of December.
With the protective shield in place, the airline has been granted full independence from the insolvent Thomas Cook Group. In addition, the German government and the government of Hesse have granted the airline a bridging loan totaling €380 million to help the airline through the normally difficult winter months.
This will allow the airline to focus on finding new buyers in the new year. Provisional administrator Lucas Flöther stated that,
“The aim is to have the protective shield procedure lifted in March or April 2020. Condor can then take off with a new investor and freed from liabilities.”
A new buyer
In terms of new buyers, it seems as though Condor already has some plans in progress. Teckentrup said that “strategic and financial investors are showing high interest” and “The aim is to complete the sale in the spring” thereby allowing time for the restructuring to take place.
The official statement ended by thanking “customers, sales and business partners and all those involved for always believing in us and supporting us, even in difficult times.”
So, with Condor management painting a hopeful picture of the airline’s future, we’d love to know what you think? Are the difficult times behind them? Will they secure a buyer in the new year? Let us know in the comments below.