Condor Airbus at the airport on the Greek island of Samos
Photo: Hartmut Schwarzbach / argus
The airline Condor has to digest a heavy defeat in its dispute with competitor Lufthansa.
Both airlines have been in increased competition since Lufthansa sees its future in the holiday business due to the declining number of business travelers.
They are therefore fighting on different levels.
Condor had lodged an objection with the US authorities against an application by the Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings Discover, which has now been rejected. As planned, Eurowings Discover can now also operate flights from Europe to the United States under flight numbers with the sister companies Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines or Swiss. Condor had justified the objection to the US authorities with the fact that a permit would be anti-competitive and would harm both Condor and consumers.
The background is a fundamental dispute over the feeder flights of Lufthansa with Condor-Reisen. The group had announced that it would no longer be able to fly these flights at preferential rates in the future. Condor then lodged a complaint with the Cartel Office, and the contracting parties agreed on a compromise: Until May 2022, the feeder flights will initially be operated at the old conditions. In the United States, it is unusual to take action against an airline's routine application for approval of so-called code-share flights.
The US Department of Transportation made it clear that it had nothing to do with the disputes in Germany.
There is no "convincing basis" for refusing Eurowings Discover approval.
Lufthansa founded the group subsidiary Eurowings Discover in July.
He flies to vacation destinations that Condor also serves, such as Las Vegas.
The vacation airline Condor, which once belonged to the Lufthansa Group, went into protective shield proceedings in December 2019 after its mother Thomas Cook had to file for bankruptcy.
Initially, the mother of the Polish airline LOT was interested in Condor, but then withdrew in the wake of the corona crisis.
In July, the British investment fund Attestor took over the majority.