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Lufthansa, the largest German airline, has made a non-biding offer for Thomas Cook’s airline Condor Germany, confirmed Lufthansa’s CEO during Lufthansa’s annual general meeting in Bonn.
During the meeting of the management board it was also decided on the option to extend this bid to the remaining airlines of the British travel group.
Thomas Cook own the Group Airline which consists of 4 airlines: Thomas Cook Airlines UK, Condor Germany, Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia and Thomas Cook Airlines Balearics. As per Group, the company operates the fleet of 103 aircraft and serves an impressive number of destinations.
In the beginning of 2019 Thomas Cook announced that it is considering the possibility of selling its airlines in order to get greater financial flexibility and invest in its focus area – own-brand hotel portfolio.
Earlier this month CEO of Thomas Cook said that their airline business is of interest to many potential buyers, while 7 May was the deadline for the expression of interest in acquiring Group Airlines.
Possibly, acquisition of Condor could help German giant to expand and strengthen its long-haul flights portfolio, but the other side of the coin is Condor’s long-haul fleet and its age.
The airline operates Boeing 767. The average age of the fleet is 23 years. Correspondingly, soon enough these planes will need to be replaced which means additional expenses.
Doubts over Acquisition
In recent years Lufthansa was highly active in consolidating its business, and not only within its home market. It was interested in Brussels Airlines, although did not succeed in acquisition. Later on, Lufthansa expressed its interest in collapsed Air Berlin in order to strengthen its budget brand Eurowings.
However, because of competition issues Lufthansa gave up the idea of acquiring more of Air Berlin. Thus, there is a possibility that it could face anti-trust scrutiny again.
Ties between Condor and Lufthansa
Condor and Lufthansa airlines are not strangers. Lufthansa had its shares in Condor since its foundation in 1955 until it sold its final stake to Thomas Cook in 2009.