Condor Flugdienst

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For the 1920s transatlantic airline, see Condor Syndikat.
Condor logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1955
Commenced operations 1956
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program Miles & More
Airport lounge none (several third party)
Fleet size 49
Destinations 91
Company slogan
'Wir lieben Fliegen.' (German)
'We love flying.' (English)
Parent company Thomas Cook Group
Headquarters Frankfurt, Germany
Key people Ralf Teckentrup, CEO

Condor Flugdienst GmbH, usually shortened to Condor, is a German leisure airline based in Frankfurt. It operates scheduled flights to leisure destinations in the Mediterranean, Asia, Africa, North America, South America and the Caribbean. Its main base is at Frankfurt Airport[2] from where most of its long-haul flights depart; secondary bases for Mediterranean flights are Munich Airport which also features long-haul flights, Hamburg Airport, Hannover Airport, Düsseldorf Airport, Stuttgart Airport and Berlin Schönefeld Airport.

Condor is Germany's third largest commercial airline based on fleet size and passengers flown. It is headquartered at Gateway Gardens near Frankfurt Airport with an important branch office at Berlin Schönefeld Airport. It is a subsidiary of the British Thomas Cook Group, but still partners with its former parent the German Lufthansa Group through the use of the Lufthansa Group's Miles & More program and its business lounges at Frankfurt Airport.


A Condor Vickers Viking 1B cargo aircraft operating for Lufthansa Cargo in 1964
Condor Boeing 707-300 in 1978
Condor Boeing 747-200 in 1976
Condor Airbus A310-200 in 1987
Condor Boeing 767-300ER in 2003, featuring the Thomas Cook powered by Condor livery and titles that were introduced in the 1990s.
Condor Airbus A321-200 wearing the former Thomas Cook Group livery

1955–1959: The beginnings[edit]

The company was founded on 21 December 1955 as Deutsche Flugdienst GmbH, its ownership being split between Norddeutscher Lloyd (27.75%), Hamburg America Line (27.75%), Deutsche Lufthansa (26%) and Deutsche Bundesbahn (18.5%). The initial fleet of three 36-passenger Vickers VC.1 Viking aircraft was based at Frankfurt Airport, the Lufthansa hub. Scheduled flight operations were launched on 29 March 1956 with a pilgrimage flight to Israel. Further destinations flown to during the first year were Majorca and Tenerife. In 1959, Lufthansa took over 95.5 percent of the stake, thus creating its first post-war subsidiary.


In 1961, Deutsche Flugdienst took over its rival Condor-Luftreederei (which had been founded in 1957 by Oetker), subsequently changing its name to Condor Flugdienst GmbH, thus re-introducing the "Condor" name with Lufthansa (there was a Brazilian subsidiary named Syndicato Condor between 1928 and 1943). In 1962, Condor Flugdienst transported ca. 32,000 passengers (18,400 of which to and from Majorca) and had a market share of 63.3 percent in the German leisure air travel. In 1966, the longhaul business was launched, with flights to Thailand, Ceylon, Kenya and the Dominican Republic.

1970–1979: Leading leisure airline[edit]

In 1971, Condor became the world's first leisure airline to add the Boeing 747 (at that time the largest passenger aircraft) to its fleet. In 1973, the airline generated a revenue of 291 million DM (then equivalent to 90.8 million USD),[3] surpassing all other leisure airlines worldwide. At that time, the Condor fleet consisted of two Boeing 747-200s, two 707s and ten 727s.


This period saw the launch of the Condor Individuell system, allowing direct flight bookings by passengers without the need of a travel agency. In 1989, SunExpress was founded as a co-operation between Condor and Turkish Airlines, aiming at leisure traffic between Germany and Turkey.


Condor added Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 jets to its fleet. They are operated initially from the production workshop of Südflug, a 100% subsidiary of Condor. In 1991, as the first leisure carrier, Condor introduces a separate and more comfortable Comfort Class (Business Class) to its Boeing 767 long-haul fleet. The Südflug subsidiary is integrated into Condor in the fall of 1992. In 1995, Condor expands its shareholdings: Alpha Holding GmbH (30%), Kreutzer Touristik GmbH (37.5%), Fischer Reisen GmbH (100%) and Öger Tours GmbH, with 10%, are now all part of the Condor Tourism Group. Condor also acquires Lufthansa’s 40% holding in the Turkish charter airline SunExpress, which is later increased to 50%. In 1996, commemorating the 40th birthday of the airline, US painter James Rizzi created a special paint scheme which was applied to one of Condor's Boeing 757s. With an order for 12 aircraft, the airline became the launch customer of the enlarged Boeing 757-300. 1998, Condor Flugdienst GmbH is owned by C&N Touristic AG (later Thomas Cook AG). With the merger of Condor Flugdienst GmbH and NUR Touristic GmbH, Deutsche Lufthansa AG and KarstadtQuelle AG have created the basis for an integrated tourism group with a European format – both partners have a 50% holding in the company. In 1998, Condor Berlin GmbH was founded as a wholly owned subsidiary with headquarters at Berlin Tegel Airport (as all other German airlines, Condor was not allowed to operate into West Berlin until 1990), using Airbus A320 aircraft, which had recently been added to the fleet, replacing the Boeing 737 short-haul airliners. In the early 2000s, the Berlin business was moved to Schönefeld Airport.


From 2000 onwards, the Condor shares held by Lufthansa were gradually acquired by Thomas Cook.[4] The process of transforming Condor from a Lufthansa subsidiary to a part of Thomas Cook (along with Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines (Belgium) and Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia) began with the rebranding as Thomas Cook powered by Condor on 1 March 2003.[4] A new livery was introduced, featuring the Thomas Cook logo on the aircraft tail and the word "Condor" written in the font used by Thomas Cook Airlines. On 23 January 2004, Condor became part of Thomas Cook AG and returned to the Condor brand name.[4] By December 2006, the remaining Lufthansa shares only amounted to 24.9 percent,[4] so that the last influence (by a blocking minority) was lost.

On 20 September 2007, shortly after having taken over LTU International, Air Berlin announced its intention to acquire Condor in a share swap deal. It was intended to buy the 75.1 percent of Condor shares held by Thomas Cook, with the remaining Lufthansa assest being acquired in 2010. In return, Thomas Cook would take up 29.99 percent of the Air Berlin stock.[5] On 11 September 2008, the plan was abandoned.[4]


In December 2010, Thomas Cook Group chose the Airbus A320 family as preferred short-medium haul aircraft type for its airlines, with a review concerning the longhaul aircraft scheduled for 2011.[6]

On 17 September 2012, the airline signed a codeshare agreement with the Mexican low-cost carrier, Volaris.[7] On 12 March 2013, Condor and the Canadian airline WestJet agreed on an interline partnership which will offer customers connecting flights to/from 17 destinations in Canada. This agreement expands the network of both airlines, allowing passengers to connect beyond each airline's own network.[8]

On 4 February 2013, the Thomas Cook Group announced that Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium and Condor would be merged into a single operating segment of the Thomas Cook Group.[9] From 1 October 2013 the Thomas Cook Group will present itself under one unified brand symbol. The aircraft of the Thomas Cook Group Airlines will also obtain the Sunny Heart to their tails. They will be re-varnished in the new corporate color scheme grey, white and yellow. On the aircraft, the Sunny Heart on the tail will symbolize the unification of airline brands within the entire Thomas Cook Group.[10]

Condor currently also refurbishes the cabin on all of its Boeing 767-300 long-haul aircraft. All economy class and premium economy class seats are being replaced with new seats from ZIM FLUGSITZ GmbH. Condor is going to keep its successful Premium Economy Class with more legroom and added services.[11] The new Business Class Seats (Zodiac Aerospace) offer fully automated, angled-lie-flat seats capable of inclining to an angle of 170 degrees with a bed length of 1.80m. The airline is adding seats in its new Business Class section from 18 to 30 seats on three of its Boeing 767 aircraft. New in-flight entertainment include personal screens for all passengers throughout all three classes of service. Condor will implement the RAVE IFE technology of Zodiac In-flight Entertainment. On 27 June 2014, Condor completed the cabin refurbishment for all of its Long-haul Boeing 767 aircraft.[12][13]


Condor Boeing 767-300ER wearing interim colors with the new "Sunny Heart" on the tail

Code-share agreements[edit]

Interline agreements[edit]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Image of the head office at Gateway Gardens, with Condor employees wearing uniforms from different time periods

The company is headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Hesse.[24]

In January 2010 the airline held a groundbreaking for a new headquarters complex in Gateway Gardens, an business borough located in Flughafen, Frankfurt, across the Bundesautobahn 3 from Frankfurt Airport. Ralf Teckentrup, the CEO of Condor, said that the new headquarters would place the airline's operations closer to Frankfurt Airport. 380 ground employees will work in the building, and pre-flight briefings for about 2,000 flight attendants will be held in the building. Prior to its redevelopment, the land of Gateway Gardens housed residences of families stationed at a U.S. military base.[25]

Groß & Partner and OFB Projektentwicklung developed the seven-floor facility.[26] The 14,600-square-metre (157,000 sq ft) building is situated between the park and the central plaza, in the "Quartier Mondo" area of Gateway Gardens. It houses Condor's corporate headquarters, a training and education center with a flight simulator, and the airline's flight operations facility. 2,700 square metres (29,000 sq ft) of the facility includes small units rented to other tenants and a café and restaurant on the building's first floor. The building opened in the northern hemisphere spring of 2012.[24]

Previously, the company was headquartered in Kelsterbach, Hesse.[27][28]

Aircraft maintenance is split between two wholly owned subsidiaries: Condor Technik GmbH (based at Frankfurt Airport with 160 employees) for the medium-long haul Boeing aircraft, and Condor Berlin (based at Berlin Schönefeld Airport with 80 employees) for the short-medium haul Airbus aircraft.


Current fleet[edit]

Condor Boeing 757-300 wearing the current livery
Condor Boeing 757-300 in special livery created by James Rizzi, commemorating the airline's 50th anniversary
Condor Boeing 767-300ER in special retro livery of the 1970s
Condor Airbus A320-200 in special retro livery of the 1960s
Condor's D-ABUW during the lease to Lufthansa in Star Alliance livery at Frankfurt Airport in 2003.

As of November 2015, the Condor fleet consists of the following aircraft:[29]

Aircraft In Service Orders Notes Seats (C/Y+/Y)[30]
Airbus A320-200 11 1 in retro livery, named "Hans",[31][32] 1 in special livery Simply Saxony named "Raffael", 2 leased to Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium 180 (-/24/156)
Airbus A321-200 7 210 (-/24/186)
220 (-/24/196)
Airbus A330-200 1 operated by Hi Fly
Boeing 737-800 1 operated by SunExpress Deutschland
Boeing 757-300 13 Launch customer. 1 in special 50th anniversary livery, named "Willi"[33] 275 (-/26/249)
Boeing 767-300ER 16 3 in special liveries, named "Janosch",[34] "Ja zu FRA"[35] and retro livery "Achim"[36]
2 operated by Thomas Cook Airlines
245 (30/35/180)
259 (18/35/206)
Total 49

Historic fleet[edit]

Over the years, Condor operated the following aircraft types:

Aircraft Introduced Retired Notes
Airbus A300B2/-B4[37] 1979 1989
Airbus A310-200/-300[37] 1985 1994
Airbus A319-100[37] 2011 2011 One leased from Hamburg Airways (D-AHHB)[38]
Airbus A320-200[37] 1998
Airbus A321-200[37] 2012
Boeing 707-300B/-300C[4] 1967
Boeing 727-100/-200[4] 1965
Boeing 737-100[37] 1969 1981
Boeing 737-200[37] 1981 1988
Boeing 737-300[37] 1987 2003
Boeing 737-800[37] 2014 2014 Two leased from SunExpress Deutschland (D-ASXD & D-ASXS)[39]
Boeing 747-200[37] 1971 1980 D-ABYF and D-ABYH were both sold to Korean Air Lines, the latter being shot down on 1 September 1983 while operating Flight 007.
Boeing 747-400[37] 1993 1996 D-ABTD leased to operate flights to Taiwan for Lufthansa
Boeing 757-200[37] 1990 2006 One Boeing 757-200 called "Rizzi Bird", carrying a colorful paint scheme by artist James Rizzi (D-ABNF) retired in 2006[40]
Boeing 757-300[37] 1999 Launch customer
Boeing 767-300[37] 1991 Leased to Lufthansa from 1994-1995 (D-ABUC)[41] and 2003-2004 (D-ABUV & D-ABUW)
Convair CV-240/440[4][40] 1957
Douglas DC-8-33[4] 1968 1969 One DC-8 taken over from Südflug by Lufthansa and transferred to Condor (D-ADIM))[42]
Douglas DC-8-73CF[4] 1985 1986 Operated by Condor and German Cargo in exchange
Douglas DC-10-30[37] 1979 2000 Replacement for Boeing 747-200
Fokker F27 Friendship[4] 1965
Vickers VC.1 Viking[43] 1955
Vickers Viscount[4] 1964


Business Class[edit]

Business class seat

With the refurbishment of its Boeing 767 fleet, Condor changed the name of its upper class cabin from "Comfort Class" to Business Class in 2014.[44] Condor's Business Class is offered on all Boeing 767 aircraft. The seats (Zodiac Aerospace) convert to 170 degrees lie-flat beds with 180 cm in length and a standard seat pitch (in take off mode) of 60-inch (1,500 mm). The seats include power and USB outlets as well as a 15" screen for in-flight entertainment.[44] Condor offers separate Business Class check-in counters at all airports that Condor operates long haul flights from. Condor operates RAVE inflight entertainment throughout the whole cabin.

Premium Economy[edit]

Condor operates two different kinds of Premium Economy class products. The long-haul version (offered on all Boeing 767) offers regular economy class seats from ZIM FLUGSITZ GmbH with 6 in more legroom (36 inch seat pitch),[45] more recline, free access to the in-flight entertainment and extra service. Condor's Premium Economy Class on short- and medium-haul flights comes with a free middle seat as well as added services and free meals.

Economy Class[edit]

Condor's long-haul Economy class is offered on all Boeing 767 aircraft. All seats have a 30-inch (760 mm) seat pitch [46] with a 17-inch (430 mm) width. The middle seats are slightly wider 2-inch (51 mm) than non-middle seats.[47]

In-flight Entertainment[edit]

A personal monitor is available at every seat in all classes giving passengers access to roughly 30 movies, more than 50 TV series, 24 radio channels and hundreds of audio CDs of all genres. All entertainment content is available to passengers in Business and Premium Economy Class. However, Economy Class passengers have only limited access. They get one movie, one TV episode, and the music library.[48]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 17 October 1958, a Deutsche Flugdienst (as the airline was called at that time) Vickers VC.1 Viking (registered D-BELA) on a cargo flight had to carry out a forced landing near Zele in Belgium due to an engine fire. Upon impact, the aircraft caught fire and was destroyed, but all three crew members on board survived.[43]
  • On 31 July 1960, a Deutsche Flugdienst Convair CV-240 (registered D-BELU) en route from Frankfurt to Rimini experienced failures in both engines upon approaching Rimini Airport. The pilots had to carry out an emergency landing 1000 metres short of the runway, which resulted in the death of one passenger (out of 30, with additional four crew members on board) and the aircraft being written off.[40]
  • On 20 July 1970, a Condor Boeing 737-100 (registered D-ABEL) which was approaching Reus Airport, collided with a privately owned Piper Cherokee light aircraft (registration EC-BRU) near Tarragona, Spain. The Piper subsequently crashed, resulting in the death of the three persons on board. The Condor Boeing suffered only minor damage, and there were no injuries amongst the 95 passengers and 5 crew members.[49][50]
  • On 24 June 1992, a Condor Boeing 767-300 (registered D-ABUZ) took a wrong turn after departing Porlamar Airport in Venezuela on a charter flight back to Germany, resulting in an overflight of mountainous terrain at a low altitude. The aircraft hit a TV mast on top of El Copey (with 890 metres the second highest peak on Isla Margarita) with its left wing. The wing was substantially damaged (but could later be repaired), and the pilots managed to return to Porlamar Airport, without any of the 251 passengers and 12 crew members on board being injured.[52]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "IATA - Airline and Airport Code Search". Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 3 April 2007. p. 68. 
  3. ^ "Historical US Dollars to German Marks currency conversion". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "AeroTransport Data Bank". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  5. ^ Flightglobal: Air Berlin consolidates market position with Condor takeover. Published online on 24 September 2007.
  6. ^ Thomas Cook Group Preliminary Results 2010
  7. ^ "Condor und mexikanische Volaris schließen Partnerschaft". 17 September 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  8. ^ Condor and WestJet agree on interline partnership |url= March 2013|date=12 March 2013
  9. ^ Reuters: Thomas Cook shakes up airline business. Published online on 5 February 2013.
  10. ^ 740KVOR: The Thomas Cook Group Unites as One Team With New 'Sunny Heart' Brand Published online on 1 October 2013.
  11. ^ "Condor Premium Economy Class; Condor Air Lines". Retrieved 2013-10-15. 
  12. ^ "New Cabins for Condor's Entire Long-Haul Fleet". Marketwire. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  13. ^ - New Cabins for Condor's Entire Long-Haul Fleet
  14. ^ Condor and Mexican Airline Volaris enter Pertnership
  15. ^ Condor and WestJet agree on Interline Pertnership
  16. ^ Condor further expands route network: Seattle available from summer 2011
  17. ^ Condor enters into a marketing collaboration with Air North
  18. ^ Condor expands South America Programme
  19. ^ Condor expands partnership with Brazilian airline GOL
  20. ^ Condor and Bahamasair form partnership
  21. ^ Condor: New partnership with Air Dolomiti
  22. ^ "Condor - News". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  23. ^ Condor: Announces Interline Agreement With Sun Country Airlines®
  24. ^ a b "Condor’s headquarters"
  25. ^ "Fairplay Sustainability Report 2007." Fraport. 6. Retrieved on 28 May 2011.
  26. ^ "CONDOR FLUGDIENST GMBH." Gateway Gardens. Retrieved on 28 May 2011.
  27. ^ "How to find us." Condor Flugdienst. Retrieved on 28 May 2011. "Condor Flugdienst GmbH Am Grünen Weg 1 – 3 65451 Kelsterbach GERMANY" and "Condor Flugdienst GmbH (location Oberursel) Thomas-Cook-Platz 1 61440 Oberursel GERMANY" and "Condor Berlin GmbH Airport Berlin-Schönefeld Postfach 12521 Berlin GERMANY" and "Condor Technik GmbH Cargo City Süd, Gebäude 507 60549 Frankfurt/Airport GERMANY"
  28. ^ "How to find us in Kelsterbach."(German) Condor Flugdienst. Retrieved on 28 May 2011.
  29. ^ "Condor -". ch-aviation. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  30. ^ - Unsere Flotte Retrieved on 18 February 2015.
  31. ^ "Photos: Airbus A320-212 Aircraft Pictures -". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  32. ^ Condor Airbus gets nostalgic makeover (PDF; 26 kB)
  33. ^ "Photos: Boeing 757-330 Aircraft Pictures -". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  34. ^ "Condor Celebrates Special Janosch Themed Livery". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  35. ^ "Condor Celebrates Special Janosch Themed Livery". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  36. ^ "Photos: Boeing 767-31B/ER Aircraft Pictures -". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  37. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Condor Fleet - Airfleets aviation". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  38. ^ "Condor (Berlin) hat über den Sommerflugplan einen A319 von Hamburg Airways geleast. D-AHHB hat dadur -". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  39. ^ "Condor to wet-lease B737-800s from Sun Express Deutschland". ch-aviation. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  40. ^ a b c "Good Bye To Condor's Last B757-200 (ex-Rizzi Bird) — Civil Aviation Forum -". Retrieved 10 July 2015.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "1960_crash" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  41. ^ "'november tango'". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  42. ^ "Douglas DC-8-33, D-ADIM, Condor (DE / CFG)". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  43. ^ a b Harro Ranter (17 October 1958). "ASN Aircraft accident Vickers 610 Viking 1B D-BELA Zele". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  44. ^ a b "Flight Review: Checking Out Condor Airlines' Business Class to Frankfurt -". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  45. ^ "Condor Planes, Fleet and Seat Maps". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  46. ^ "SeatGuru Seat Map Condor Boeing 767-300ER (763) V1". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  47. ^ "Condor Gives Wider Middle Seats". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  48. ^ "SeatGuru Seat Map Condor Boeing 767-300ER (763) V2". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  49. ^ Harro Ranter (20 July 1970). "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 737-130 D-ABEL Tarragona". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  50. ^ Harro Ranter. "ASN Aircraft accident 20-JUL-1970 Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee EC-BRU". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  51. ^ Harro Ranter (2 January 1988). "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 737-230 D-ABHD Seferihisar". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  52. ^ Harro Ranter (24 June 1992). "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 767-330ER D-ABUZ Cerro Copey". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  53. ^ "Condor safety instructions feature Paris Hilton, Elvis and Michael Schumacher." Condor. 4 April 2011. Retrieved on 9 November 2011.

External links[edit]

Media related to Condor Airlines at Wikimedia Commons