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Polish Carrier LOT Abandons Plan to Take Over Condor
LOT’s parent company Polish Aviation Group (PGL) has decided not to buy German holiday company Condor, a move that brings no real surprise following the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had so far on the aviation industry.
The state-owned group had announced its intention to buy Condor for around €300 million ($327 million) back in January. Condor was part of the Thomas Cook Group that collapsed back in September 2019 but received around €380 million ($414 million) in credit facilities enabling the airline to remain operational.
News agency Reuters received an email confirming the news from Katarzyna Majchrzak, PGL communications director, who said: “I can confirm that PGL informed Condor today about its withdrawal from the purchase of this company.”
Although the airline’s future seemed to be secure following PGL’s intention to purchase the airline, Condor still applied for additional state aid. According to Reuters, Condor applied to the German authorities for an additional €200 million ($218 million) last month in an attempt to combat the financial hit COVID-19 has caused.
Condor began operations as Deutsche Flugdienst (German Flight Service) since 1955 but in the present day operates flights to leisure destinations in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, South Asia and North America from a number of bases across Germany. Prior to the pandemic, the airline had an active fleet of around 53 aircraft made up of Airbus A320/321s as well as Boeing 757-300s and 767-300s for transatlantic flights.
The announcement made by Polish Aviation Group now opens the possibility for the German flag carrier Lufthansa to take over, but with their own group of airlines to look after first, Condor may turn to the German government once more for financial assistance before finding a permanent owner.
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