Condor To Expand Maintenance, Pilot Recruitment In Austria

condor jet in hangar
Credit: Condor

German leisure airline Condor is planning for a comeback in Vienna next summer, as it seeks to take its share of an expected increase in demand for leisure travel. 

Vienna International Airport is slated to become a competitive market for leisure routes, with Lufthansa subsidiary Austrian Airlines and LCCs Ryanair and Wizz Air also amping up their presence.

For the summer 2022 season, Ryanair will increase its Vienna-based aircraft to 19 operating on 90 routes. Wizz Air has six aircraft based in Vienna, operates on 67 routes and has a market share of 9%.

Condor plans to introduce 4X-weekly flights from Vienna to Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Its flights to Greek islands will be 3X-weekly to Heraklion, and 2X-weekly to Kos and Rhodes. Condor said it is responding to growing demand from Austrian tour operators for customized vacation flights. “The pent-up demand for vacation travel will be huge next summer,” Condor CEO Ralf Teckentrup said. “With our flights from Vienna, we are responding to the demand for tailor-made flights from our long-standing tour operator and travel agency partners in Austria.”

He cited flights to and from Switzerland, where Condor and its partners established Zurich as a departure airport this past summer. Condor also will be expanding its commitment in Dusseldorf, Germany to 13 destinations this winter with over 40 weekly departures, including a 3X-weekly flight to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. “Condor is the first airline to reintroduce long-haul flights from Dusseldorf into its program,” Teckentrup said.

For the 2022 summer season, Condor expects to expand its network from Dusseldorf to Athens; Dubrovnik and Rijeka in Croatia; Malaga, Spain; and Nice, France.

“This is made possible not only by our close partnership with Dusseldorf Airport, but also by our own on-site maintenance operations. This will enable us to station even more aircraft in Dusseldorf,” Teckentrup explained.

With around 100 employees in Dusseldorf, Condor Technik has been responsible for the maintenance of its Airbus narrowbody fleet there of 11 A320-200s and 10 A321-200s. Seven ordered A330neos also will be maintained in Dusseldorf in the future, in addition to work at a site in Frankfurt. The facility in Dusseldorf is scheduled to add more than 30 new employees, including mechanics and engineers. 

Condor also is recruiting cockpit crews, seeking first officers with type ratings for A320s, A321s or A330s, and those qualified on the Boeing 757/767. 

In addition, experienced, German-speaking training captains with the TRI/TRE (type rating instructor/type rating examiner) qualification are being recruited for the A330neos which will begin joining the fleet next fall to gradually replace Condor’s aging Boeing 767-300ERs. “Over 60 of our first officers will become captains in the coming months. We are therefore recruiting first officers on all types,” Condor COO and Accountable Manager Christian Schmitt said. 

Kurt Hofmann

Kurt Hofmann has been writing on the airline industry for 25 years. He appears frequently on Austrian, Swiss and German television and broadcasting…