German leisure airline Condor has been in operation for 65 years now, flying guests to holiday destinations in various corners of the world. With a fleet of 50 aircraft now, let’s examine which jets the airline is flying, and what we can look forward to in the near future.
The Condor fleet at a glance
First, we’ll take a look at the composition of the airline’s fleet as a whole. The aircraft types are listed below with quantities in parentheses:
- Airbus A320-200 (12)
- Airbus A321-200 (10)
- Boeing 757-300 (13)
- Boeing 767-300 (15)
As you can see from the short list above, the airline operates just four types (for now), spread across Boeing and Airbus jets. Condor’s aircraft are predominantly narrowbody jets, with the airline’s only widebody at the moment being the Boeing 767-300.
Much of this fleet is aging. The youngest jets in the fleet are Condor’s A321s, which have an average age of just seven and a half years. However, its A320s have an average age of 20 years, its 757-300s average 22 years, and the 767-300s 26 years of age. With such an old fleet, the airline will need to find replacements soon…
Coming soon: The Airbus A330neo
Very soon, Condor will be able to claim the title of “German launch customer for new Airbus A330neo.” That’s because the airline has an order for 16 of the next-generation widebody jet– the -900 variant, to be precise.
The airline says that its first aircraft is expected in autumn 2022, with the replacement of the entire long-haul fleet scheduled to be completed by mid-2024.
“[W]ith our modern long-haul fleet, we will inseparably combine sustainability and holidays with Condor in future. On board the quietest cabin in the world on an aircraft of this size, our guests can also expect the highest level of comfort in a brand new Business, Premium Economy and Economy Class,” -Ralf Teckentrup, CEO of Condor
Interestingly, AIB Family Flights, a reliable source for upcoming aircraft deliveries, shows no data when it comes to A330s destined for Condor. The reason for this lack of information is due to the fact that Condor’s first A330-900s have already been (partially) built, but were intended for another customer…
A shift from red to yellow
Although the airline’s first three A330neos will arrive brand new and painted in Condor’s yellow and grey livery, the jets were initially ordered by Asian budget airline AirAsia X according to data from Planespotters.net.
AirAsia Group, however, has struggled immensely due to the global health crisis and has had to restructure its AirAsia X subsidiary and its aircraft orders. In a 2020 affidavit filed, Airbus said its total exposure to AirAsia X was around $12 billion, or about 75% of the airline’s total debt.
“AAX has ordered, and Airbus has already built or substantially built, seven A330neo aircraft which are currently in the inventory,” said Airbus’s Asia-Pacific Head of Region Anand Stanley in the affidavit.
Thus, it looks like a win-win for Condor as it was able to pick up new A330neos with a relatively short waiting period while helping Airbus move semi-white tail inventory.
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No new narrowbodies?
While the new and exciting A330neo will have all of Condor’s attention, the airline will eventually need to modernize the smaller end of its fleet. At this time, it doesn’t look like Condor has any firm plans to acquire any new single-aisle jets, even if most of its A320s are over 20 years old.
While the airline’s two youngest A320s are just 11 years old, the other jets are 20 to 23 years of age. With this in mind, we could envision Condor eventually placing orders for the Airbus’ A320neo Family of aircraft.
Furthermore, in the absence of a Boeing replacement for the 757, the Airbus’ A321neo (including the LR and XLR) might be a semi-suitable replacement for the airline’s aging 757-300 fleet (even though some capacity would be lost).
Are you excited about Condor’s A330neo? Have you flown with the airline before? Let us know in the comments.