Modernizing Condor Retains MRO Unit

The German leisure carrier Condor is looking to recover post-COVID-19 crisis.
Credit: Condor

With liquidity still a pressing concern for airlines, many continue to look at divesting assets to shore up their balance sheets. 

Usually, this means selling aircraft, but many airlines that retain in-house maintenance units must have also taken a long hard look at spinning them off.

A prime candidate for such a move would have been Germany’s Condor Technik, whose parent airline faced difficulties even before the pandemic as it salvaged itself from the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook, only for the Covid-19 crisis to strike months later.

A planned purchase by LOT Polish Airlines then fell through, forcing the German carrier take a €550 million ($670 million) state loan.

About half of that sum was used to pay off a previous government loan, leaving €250 million to support the company from April 2020.

Now, however, the airline’s future and that of Condor Technik appear secure after German asset manager Attestor agreed to pump €450 million into the company for a 51% stake. This will consist of a €200 million capital injection and €250 million to modernise Condor’s fleet.

“All 4,050 jobs at the airline and the company's own maintenance subsidiary Condor Technik will be retained,” stated Condor.

Condor Technik’s base in Frankfurt provides line and base maintenance for the airline’s Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft, while its Duesseldorf facility provides the same for its Airbus A320-family fleet.

Given the new owner’s desire to upgrade the fleet, though, those facilities may now need to expand or switch their capabilities to more modern aircraft types.

“By investing in Condor, we are not only creating the foundation for a successful restart, but are also paving the way forward for the company’s long-term development into Europe’s leading charter airline.

To this end, we will invest substantially to modernize the Condor fleet,” commented Attestor’s founder, Jan-Christoph Peters. 

Alex Derber

Alex Derber, a UK-based aviation journalist, is editor of the Engine Yearbook and a contributor to Aviation Week and Inside MRO.