Much is new at the vacation flight operator Condor: With the financial investor Attestor, a fresh majority owner has taken over 51 percent of the airline.

And the company orders 16 new aircraft to replace its aging long-haul fleet.

"With our fleet modernization, we are reaching another milestone in our company history and are taking the next step towards the future," said Condor boss Ralf Teckentrup.

Timo Kotowski

Editor in business.

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This step should be done quickly.

The supervisory board has already approved the order for 16 Airbus A330neo aircraft, said Condor.

The first aircraft is expected to join the Condor fleet in about a year, which is an unusually short period of time for new aircraft.

Two years later, the complete replacement of the previous long-haul fleet with an average age of well over 20 years should be completed.

Condor is likely to take advantage of the fact that other airlines are stretching orders in the pandemic.

Flight portals reported that some Airbus serial numbers were initially intended for AirAsia.

Condor does not comment on this.

"Incredible 22 months"

In an entry on the social network Linkedin, Condor's financial director Christoph Debus wrote that the airline had "an unbelievable 22 months" behind it - from the bankruptcy of the former parent company Thomas Cook to the corona pandemic.

There were now less than 22 hours between the reports about the restart - the majority takeover by Attestor and the ordering of new aircraft with the help of this investor.

“What a day,” wrote Debus.

The federal government and the state of Hesse had to assist the society several times.

At first, Condor threatened to run out of liquidity, as funds flowed into Cook's group coffers up until Cook's insolvency.

In the Corona crisis, the number of passengers collapsed and an agreed sale to the Polish state aviation holding PGL broke.

Investor holds 51 percent

Boss Teckentrup now said: "The future of Condor begins today: With Attestor we now have a strong majority owner who not only maintains all 4050 jobs at Condor and Condor Technik, but also sets the course financially." Previously, the EU Commission approved a restructuring plan. In addition to the majority sale, this also includes other aids, including a debt waiver of 150 million euros by the federal government and the state of Hesse for the repayment of previous aid in the pandemic.

With the purchase of 51 percent, Attestor brings in new equity capital of 200 million euros.

49 percent remain with SG Luftfahrtgesellschaft, which holds these shares as a trustee for the federal and state governments.

Attestor has the option to acquire these shares later.

The investor, who is also involved in the car rental company Europcar and its way into the Volkswagen Group, wants to contribute another 250 million euros to the fleet renewal.

Condor buys seven of the 16 new aircraft and finances the acquisition.

The other nine are leased.

Condor does not disclose financial details.

Shuffling with Lufthansa

The investor confirmed his long-term interest in Condor and sees this as evidenced by his financial contributions.

"We are thus creating the prerequisites for establishing Condor as a strong second carrier in the important German home market and as a leading holiday airline in Europe," said Attestor manager Friedrich Andreae.

Most recently, Deutsche Lufthansa, the largest local aviation group, expanded its involvement in holiday travel - especially with the Eurowings brand.

Long-distance holiday trips are offered under the name Eurowings Discover, which have long been considered Condor's domain.

The restructuring plan approved by the EU, however, stipulates that Condor will have to accept growth restrictions in the renewal phase until September 2023 and comply with a capacity cap.

Airbus instead of Boeing

When it comes to renewing its fleet, Condor relies on Airbus instead of Boeing. The company has opted for the longer A330 Version 900. Before making the decision, Condor is said to have also looked at the Boeing 787 model. So far, Condor has been using the Boeing 767 series on long-haul routes, but the passenger version is no longer being built.

The future aircraft are to come with the new engine configuration of the A330neo version, which uses less fuel. The fuel consumption per passenger and 100 kilometers will be 2.1 liters. "We are taking off with the two-liter plane and are setting new standards," said Condor boss Teckentrup. Even if he does not say it, it should be linked to a hint to Lufthansa. For Eurowings Discover, with which it is competing with Condor on long-haul tourist routes, it uses A330 aircraft with the older engine configuration.

Fleet consumption values ​​of more than 3 liters are still not uncommon in the industry.

However, holiday airlines such as Condor traditionally come up with lower values ​​for consumption per passenger - the usual higher occupancy rate on holiday flights with fewer free seats plays a major role here.

The fleet modernization had been planned by Condor for years.

It was postponed under the umbrella of the Cook Group, as the funds for the purchase of aircraft were lacking in its crisis.

PGL had also initially announced an exchange of the old aircraft, but the bursting of the takeover also meant the end of this plan.