The vacation airline Condor, which was recently released from the protective shield proceedings, is now suffering a setback: Lufthansa has now terminated the feeder contract. In the spring, Germany's largest airline threatened to take this step, because the LOT parent company PGL was not very happy with the then planned takeover of Condor.
The crane now wants to push ahead with its own project "Ocean" and the collaboration with Condor apparently no longer fits into the concept. Lufthansa intends to expand heavily on tourist routes in the future through its own subsidiary. The result is that Ocean and Condor will become direct competitors. Lufthansa therefore obviously wants to strengthen its own project at the expense of Condor.
The holiday airline, which used to be a subsidiary of the crane itself, is currently able to market Lufthansa flights as feeders for Condor connections thanks to a contract that has existed for many years. This is considered to be particularly important for the holiday airline, as it does not have its own feeder. The “Special Pro Rate Agreement” is therefore also Condor's Achilles heel.
Kranich waives around 50 million euros per year
Lufthansa justified the decision with the fact that one should better utilize their own aircraft. The Ocean project was not specifically mentioned, but this can be easily deduced from the numerous announcements on long-haul routes that are organized via this platform. According to reports, the crane has so far earned good money with the feeder services provided for Condor. Around 50 million euros are reported every year.
With the Eurowings long-haul route, Lufthansa brought tourist destinations onto the market at great expense a few years ago. However, it was unsuccessful because the product was not accepted by consumers as expected. The wet lease construction was also plagued by various breakdowns, which led to delays that sometimes lasted for days and were published in various media. Under the project name “Ocean”, Lufthansa now wants to do everything better and, in particular, attack with lower production costs. It is considered a new prestige project by CEO Carsten Spohr. The unions, on the other hand, are in a storm, because, unlike other group members, Ocean GmbH does not have any collective agreements and the pay is well below that of Eurowings and Lufthansa.
Condor is examining legal steps
For Condor, the situation is quite complicated, because finding a serious alternative will not be easy. Lufthansa pointed out to the DPA that the holiday airline could continue to use interlining. However, there is a liability-related catch: In the event of delays, the crane cannot be held responsible. Unsurprisingly, Condor is seeing anti-competitive behavior and is currently considering taking it to court. The former Thomas Cook subsidiary is only on the market because of two state aid and does not believe in the fact that two companies that have received financial support from the Federal Republic of Germany are engaging in fierce cutthroat competition. Lufthansa wants to further expand its dominant position, bypassing existing collective bargaining agreements. Condor's criticism is extremely similar to that of the trade unions. The further development therefore remains to be seen.