German airline Condor plans to return to profitability next year

German Hobbies Airline company Condor could return to profitability from next year and aims to increase its fleet capacity as people rush to book long-awaited holidays after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

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The carrier’s announcement adds to positive news from the travel industry, including strong sales from holiday group TUI TUIGN.DE, Germany’s flag carrier Lufthansa LHAG.DE and airport operator Fraport FRAG.DE.

“I expect to Condor grow – if I succeed, significantly enough,” chief executive Ralf Teckentrup, who plans to retire at the end of 2023, told Reuters in an interview.

CondorTeckentrup’s fleet has grown to 53 planes from 61 in 2019 as part of a restructuring following the bankruptcy of its former parent company Thomas Cook, but Teckentrup aims to return to 60 planes in the medium term, which it says will would be “a good number”.

“For now, financial stability is our top priority. Once that is done, we can also grow,” he said.

Although the company will not reach profitability in the current fiscal year ending Sept. 30 due to difficulties last winter, it may stop making losses in 2022-23, Teckentrup added.

“I’m a firm believer that we can be very profitable there – assuming there’s a decent pre-corona winter followed by a decent pre-corona summer,” he said.

Competition from Lufthansa’s new low-budget long-haul flight subsidiary Eurowings Discover and the resulting price war will cost the smaller rival between 30 and 40 million euros in operating profit every year, a said Teckentrup.

He added that Condor plans to research new long-haul destinations and pay more attention to mass markets such as New York or San Francisco, where Lufthansa has higher costs.

“The flight request is uninterrupted”

“The demand for flying is uninterrupted and people are willing to pay more money for it. Because it hasn’t become cheaper,” he said, adding that fuel is 30% of a Airline companyand the war in Ukraine doubled the price of jet fuel.

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