Monday,  January 30, 2023  7:58 pm

Thomas Cook collapse: Transat eyes winter options; Condor still flying

Thomas Cook collapse: Transat eyes winter options; Condor still flying
Blake Wolfe

Blake Wolfe is an award-winning journalist and editor, who joined PAX after nearly 10 years in Canada’s newspaper industry. In addition to PAX, his work has been featured in publications such as the Metroland Media group of newspapers and the Toronto Sun.

While the full impact of Thomas Cook’s sudden collapse this past weekend remains to be seen, Air Transat said that it still expects to receive a number of A321 aircraft from the U.K.-based tour operator this winter, part of an annual airline exchange established between the two companies in recent years.

Additionally, Thomas Cook-owned Condor Airlines remains in service, with the airline applying for a bridge loan from the German government to avoid short-term financial challenges.

On Sunday (Sept. 22), the 178-year-old tour operator suddenly declared bankruptcy amidst ongoing financial troubles, stranding thousands of travellers around the globe.

READ MORE: Thomas Cook folds, thousands left stranded

Transat: A321s still expected

Announced in 2017, the seven-year aircraft exchange program between Air Transat and Thomas Cook saw the two companies trading planes in the winter, with Transat sending part of its A330 fleet in exchange for Thomas Cook’s A321s. According to Christophe Hennebelle, Transat’s vice-president of humans resources and corporate affairs, while the airline has a contingency plan in place, it still expects to receive its A321s this winter.

“There is no immediate impact whatsoever on our operations,” Hennebelle told PAX. “For the coming months, we are currently working on making sure we will receive the planes we expect – and have a plan B if necessary – and are confident that there will be no disturbances for our clients.”

Condor: flights still operating

Germany’s Condor Airlines, a subsidiary of Thomas Cook, announced that following the collapse of its former parent company, it will continue to operate as a German business, applying for a state-guaranteed bridging loan with the German federal government, currently under review.

"I assure you that we will do everything in our power to ensure that our fleet continues to bring our guests reliably to their worldwide holiday destinations and home again safely as planned as we have for the past 64 years," said Ralf Teckentrup, Condor’s chairman of the management board, in a press statement.

Currently, Condor has approximately 240,000 guests travelling abroad and operates a fleet of 58 aircraft, including those under the Thomas Cook Aviation and Thomas Cook Balearics banners. In Canada, the airline flies to Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Whitehorse and Halifax.

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