If you’re looking for a fresh investment, you might want to consider a couple thousand litres of paint (go big on yellow and white) suitable for aircraft fuselages. Just when you thought Lufthansa couldn’t possibly digest another carrier, not to mention another domestic player of scale, CEO Carsten Spohr has announced it’s eyeing up Thomas Cook’s airline portfolio and Germany-based Condor in particular. Let the rebranding begin!
At first glance it might seem too big a challenge to bring a charter carrier into the Lufthansa family, particularly when the group is already struggling to make Eurowings work. Look a bit closer and it could solve a number of problems. First, Eurowings is not a loved brand and will forever be seen as a plaster over the high-profile Germanwings crash. Second, Eurowings has a confused strategy mixing low-cost elements with bits of premium and scraps of leisure-carrier characteristics. Third, Condor has enormous respect in its home market and was once part of the extended Lufthansa family, so it will be a homecoming of sorts.
Due to competition regulations it’s unlikely that Lufthansa will be able to snatch up all of Thomas Cook’s airlines – and nor should it. Gaining a hold of the Nordics division would be useful but given Herr Spohr’s vision of a united Europe, he’ll probably give the UK part of the group the swerve.