BERLIN (Reuters) - German charter airline Condor does not expect to find a new owner until 2022 at the earliest, its chief executive said.
The carrier had agreed a sale to Poland’s national carrier LOT for about 300 million euros ($357.7 million), but LOT’s owner, Polish Aviation Group (PGL), pulled out of the deal in April when the coronavirus crisis grounded air travel.
“I do not see that we will have an investor process in the next 12 months,” Condor’s Ralf Teckentrup told journalists, adding that he expects negotiations to take place in mid-2022 at the earliest.
Condor, a former unit of collapsed holiday company Thomas Cook, has so far survived the COVID-19 pandemic with 550 million euros of state aid, but airline industry experts expect German state lender KfW to initiate a sales process eventually.
Teckentrup said Condor was using 10-15% of its capacity at the moment but was optimistic about lifting that to 60-75% next summer, citing the potential availability of coronavirus vaccines and rapid testing.
There will be no layoffs among its 4,200 employees until the end of next year, he said, adding that Condor was checking whether it could also help with transportation of coronavirus vaccines.
($1 = 0.8386 euros)
Reporting by Klaus Lauer; Writing by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by David Goodman
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.