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-   -   Thomas Cook Enters Compulsory Liquidation (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/other-european-airlines/1988392-thomas-cook-enters-compulsory-liquidation.html)

Hezu Sep 24, 19 12:47 pm


Originally Posted by iflyjetz (Post 31558402)
There may be more than one Malaysian A380 flying these flights, but I don't see that as likely.

Apparently no other MH A380s for Operation Matterhorn, but Hi-Fly's (ex-SQ) A380 has also been working for this task: according to Flightradar24 it has yesterday flow pax from DLM (Dalaman, Turkey for those of us who haven't memorized every airport code yet) to LGW and today brought back load of passangers from NBE (Enfidha, Tunisia). On the other hand these Hi-Fly planes are more usual suspects when there is sudden need for extra airplanes.

But I guess A380 might be quite effective tool for this sort of task, you can easily board more than twice as many pax than on any single aisle aircraft and those tend to be the usual choice for most shorter holiday routes.

MSPeconomist Sep 24, 19 3:19 pm


Originally Posted by irishguy28 (Post 31557240)
I think it's actually probably the truth, rather than an excuse.

The operation is quite stretched at the moment, with the need to get as many people home as quickly as possible. It's not surprising to read that, in some cases, baggage handling has not proven up to the task.

It's certainly not unusual even for mainline scheduled carriers to sometimes depart without all luggage. Keeping the plane on schedule is sometimes the lesser of the evils of waiting to get everyone's luggage on board; delays have knock-on effects. On my last KLM flight to Berlin, they announced that most luggage had been left behind and would be delivered separately from later flights.

This happened on Saturday; it wasn't a repatriation flight. I wonder whether the real problem was that Thomas Cook couldn't afford to fill the fuel tanks enough to carry the luggage too.

LiHS Sep 24, 19 3:40 pm


Originally Posted by SeattleDavid (Post 31555968)
And Condor, the German airline, is (was) owned by Thomas Cook too and so they may go down as well (they are hoping for a German government investment). Condor probably has a larger US presence.

Condor has received (pending EC approval) loan guarantees by German federal and Hesse state governments and seeks to separate itself from any fallout from Thomas Cook Group, so they should be fine at least for the time being. Link to press release (in German)

Often1 Sep 24, 19 3:43 pm


Originally Posted by LiHS (Post 31559783)
Condor has received (pending EC approval) loan guarantees by German federal and Hesse state governments and seeks to separate itself from any fallout from Thomas Cook Group, so they should be fine at least for the time being. Link to press release (in German)

That is good news for those currently traveling and those with near-term upcoming travel. I would nonetheless, not book Condor going forward. If the past few years are any indicator, there is no need of the anxiety, stress, and risk associated with flying a carrier on shaky financial underpinnings.

iflyjetz Sep 24, 19 5:21 pm


Originally Posted by MSPeconomist (Post 31559689)
This happened on Saturday; it wasn't a repatriation flight. I wonder whether the real problem was that Thomas Cook couldn't afford to fill the fuel tanks enough to carry the luggage too.

I'd tend to believe that the plane was at maximum weight and wasn't able to take additional luggage.

iflyjetz Sep 24, 19 5:35 pm


Originally Posted by irishguy28 (Post 31558508)
Besides, the A380 is only scheduled for 2 rotations per day. That probably requires only a single crew.

They had a 13hr flight from Malaysia so it would have been crewed to a minimum of 4 pilots for that flight.

So far, they've made 3 round trips PMI-MAN in 27hrs. The flight time on each round trip would be possible with two crews for a short period of time but not for very long, as they'd hit weekly and monthly duty limits.

thbe Sep 25, 19 1:12 am


Originally Posted by Often1 (Post 31559801)
That is good news for those currently traveling and those with near-term upcoming travel. I would nonetheless, not book Condor going forward. If the past few years are any indicator, there is no need of the anxiety, stress, and risk associated with flying a carrier on shaky financial underpinnings.

I agree. Even if the risk of losing money is very low, the risk of cancellations and delays is high.

It’s most likely that Condor will be sold soon and nobody knows at this moment, how the buyer will integrate Condor in its structure and fleet.

speed.skater Sep 25, 19 1:36 am


Originally Posted by thbe (Post 31561069)
Even if the risk of losing money is very low, the risk of cancellations and delays is high.

It’s most likely that Condor will be sold soon and nobody knows at this moment, how the buyer will integrate Condor in its structure and fleet.

I view it differently.

It's not just that Condor is profitable on its own, owns decent slots in FRA, and that the EUR 380 m credit takes care of the liquidity issues caused by the parent, TC. But also, Condor is an extremely strong brand.

People outside Germany might not appreciate that. (But DE's image in Germany matters most as the vast majority of its customers are based here.)

Now, I think the likeliest outcome is that DE is taken over by TUI or becomes part of a JV involving TUI. In that case, there will be smooth transition. Likely, the Condor brand will remain. Even if not, nobody will cancel flights as that would damage the reputation. But even in case an LCC like FR or U2 takes over DE, they would be very stupid to deliberately cancel flights or let operations slack in other ways. DE is not considered an LCC by its target audience, it's seen as a solid airline. Even an LCC will not lightly destroy the brand value.

tl;dr The value of DE is not just the value of its slots. It's a strong brand. I consider it highly unlikely DE will be trashed, its customers agonized in the near term.

irishguy28 Sep 25, 19 3:24 am


Originally Posted by cmtlatitudes (Post 31556009)
I was asking from the perspective of major crowds stranded at any other US airports. (Flying DCA - DFW - HNL tomorrow).

It's not so much that they are "stranded". For most US ports other than Orlando, customers are being accommodated on other scheduled BA and VS flights; from MCO, replacement aircraft are being provided.

And these passengers were originally scheduled to depart from these various airports and are therefore part of the "normal" crowds expected. It's hard to imagine that there are sufficient customers on vacation in the US now who are not aware of the change in circumstances, and who will flock together in a horde that would lead to the perception of "major crowds" at any airport.

In most cases, it was just one or two flights a day anyway. And none of your airports (DCA, DFW, HNL) was a Thomas Cook destination.

irishguy28 Sep 25, 19 3:32 am


Originally Posted by salut0 (Post 31558241)
I wonder if any Thomas Cook customers have been getting to sit in business or first class seats on the scheduled airline planes that are being used for the repatriations?

It would make sense to use all available passenger seats on each plane.

Thomas Cook UK's shorthaul A321-200s had 220 seats. 9M-MNF has 412 Y seats, with an additional 66 J and 8 F seats.

Should the 2 A321 flights being pooled into each A380 flight be completely full, there would be 28 passengers more than available Y seats.

I expect, though, that the Thomas Cook flights from PMI were not running at the 93%+ load factor that would indicate a need to use J seats, particularly as we are not currently in the high season. That said, it's also not clear how open the repatriation effort is to having people "change" their flight and come home early and/or "swap" to different flights and destinations.

I can't imagine, though, that opening up the J cabin would be easily done as that would have implications for the number of cabin crew required.

tuonopepper Sep 25, 19 4:01 am

Just an FYI for anyone interested, I believe FlyBe has arranged an engineering recruitment day for TCX engineers at MAN, details were on their Twitter feed this morning.

notquiteaff Sep 25, 19 6:19 am


Originally Posted by speed.skater (Post 31561102)
I view it differently.

It's not just that Condor is profitable on its own, owns decent slots in FRA, and that the EUR 380 m credit takes care of the liquidity issues caused by the parent, TC. But also, Condor is an extremely strong brand.

People outside Germany might not appreciate that. (But DE's image in Germany matters most as the vast majority of its customers are based here.)

Now, I think the likeliest outcome is that DE is taken over by TUI or becomes part of a JV involving TUI. In that case, there will be smooth transition. Likely, the Condor brand will remain. Even if not, nobody will cancel flights as that would damage the reputation. But even in case an LCC like FR or U2 takes over DE, they would be very stupid to deliberately cancel flights or let operations slack in other ways. DE is not considered an LCC by its target audience, it's seen as a solid airline. Even an LCC will not lightly destroy the brand value.

tl;dr The value of DE is not just the value of its slots. It's a strong brand. I consider it highly unlikely DE will be trashed, its customers agonized in the near term.

+1

There have been stories in German media that TUI was interested in combining their TUIfly operation with Condor. The latter has, I think, a much stronger brand. Just need to paint over the “Part of Thomas Cook” on the back of the aircraft ASAP. :)

I have been on two DE flights recently. SEA-FRA earlier in September and FRA-HER just yesterday. And I may need another round trip to Europe in November. I am seriously considering, given the bridge loan and Condor’s overall situation, to book another DE ticket. The business class fares tend to be a good deal for my needs, and should the situation change and the flight gets cancelled, it wouldn’t be difficult to either get a last minute coach or premium econ ticket on another carrier or even a premium award (my travel schedule is flexible). And the DE fare would be protected by US credit card law.

Often1 Sep 25, 19 6:49 am


Originally Posted by speed.skater (Post 31561102)
I view it differently.

It's not just that Condor is profitable on its own, owns decent slots in FRA, and that the EUR 380 m credit takes care of the liquidity issues caused by the parent, TC. But also, Condor is an extremely strong brand.

People outside Germany might not appreciate that. (But DE's image in Germany matters most as the vast majority of its customers are based here.)

Now, I think the likeliest outcome is that DE is taken over by TUI or becomes part of a JV involving TUI. In that case, there will be smooth transition. Likely, the Condor brand will remain. Even if not, nobody will cancel flights as that would damage the reputation. But even in case an LCC like FR or U2 takes over DE, they would be very stupid to deliberately cancel flights or let operations slack in other ways. DE is not considered an LCC by its target audience, it's seen as a solid airline. Even an LCC will not lightly destroy the brand value.

tl;dr The value of DE is not just the value of its slots. It's a strong brand. I consider it highly unlikely DE will be trashed, its customers agonized in the near term.

Falling victim to marketing / brand hype is what gets people into trouble.

Thomas Cook was the oldest travel provider in the UK. Both Pan Am and TWA were storied and Monarch was well thought of too.

The mere fact that Condor requires loan guarantees and is considering selling itself would give a reasonable person pause to book.

irishguy28 Sep 25, 19 7:40 am


Originally Posted by Often1 (Post 31561655)
The mere fact that Condor requires loan guarantees and is considering selling itself would give a reasonable person pause to book.

Then I would advise you, as a reasonable person, to go and look.

You will find that, unlike its parent and former owner, it is a profitable business. With Thomas Cook's collapse - taking Condor's profit with it - Condor finds itself with the rug pulled from under its feet, and would struggle to survive the lean winter period. Many airlines - particularly those that are highly seasonal, such as holiday charters - make their profit in the high (summer) season.

To condemn Condor to face the winter alone, having had its circumstances so brutally altered just now, through no fault of its own, just as it faces into the tough part of the year, appears quite vindictive. That Condor, like many other airlines, has a seasonal business model is not one that means it is inherently unprofitable. That it should now, with its profit-making season just completed - and those profits ripped away - somehow be expected to survive the lean winter months, unaided, is not something that appears fair.

Should all businesses that seek credit be denied and then pushed to failure?

Note that Thomas Cook was in the same boat last week - but no-one was prepared to stump up the credit there, as it was clear that it would not be enough to get them through the winter.

No point in sending a good airline after a bad one!

speed.skater Sep 25, 19 7:52 am


Originally Posted by irishguy28 (Post 31561817)
No point in sending a good airline after a bad one!

I agree.

In fact, it looks as if the entire TC Airlines division is profitable, not just the part Condor. (However, one might argue Condor is the cherry on the cake.)

But yeah, as previous posters have pointed out, TC's problem is its biggest division, package tours. Not the airlines. I'm sure there will be a solution for Condor, perhaps even a solution for the entire TC Airlines group. And there's also a good chance the Condor brand with its high recognition in Germany will live on for some time.


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