Lufthansa approaches Condor: Airlines agree after dispute over feeder flights

Lufthansa approaches Condor
Airlines agree after dispute over feeder flights

For months there has been a crash between Lufthansa and Condor: After the crane airline had denied the holiday airline the opportunity to market Lufthansa feeder flights through its own sales channels, Condor complained to the cartel office. Now both agree for the time being – but the peace is fragile.

In the dispute between Lufthansa and Condor over feeder flights, the two airlines have reached a temporary agreement. You are now extending an initially canceled agreement for all flights until May 10, 2022, as Lufthansa announced. The Cartel Office in Bonn stated that it could now suspend its urgent proceedings.

The commercial agreement between Lufthansa and Condor, the so-called Special Prorate Agreement, allows Condor to market Lufthansa feeder flights through its own sales channels and thus to offer a non-stop vacation trip. Travel agencies can offer the entire vacation trip as a package and market it early on. Condor relies on a feeder network to fill its own long-haul aircraft.

In June 2021, however, the agreement was terminated by Lufthansa – this justified the step with the aim of using its own jets to capacity in the current Corona crisis. The vacation airline Condor then lodged a complaint with the Cartel Office and accused Lufthansa of abuse of its dominant position. The provisional extension of the agreement took place against the background of the “expected duration of the main proceedings at the Federal Cartel Office,” said Lufthansa. Until then, “security” should be created for customers and partners.

Cartel office examines market dominance

The Cartel Office stated that the main proceedings were examining whether the agreement would have to be maintained beyond the next twelve months. According to the authority’s preliminary opinion, Lufthansa is “dominant” in the offer of feeder flights to the major German airports. Therefore, “further antitrust issues” would have to be examined.

A spokesman for the Cartel Office added that it is now being carefully examined whether there is market dominance and whether it is being abused. In addition, the authority will look at the power relationship between Lufthansa and Condor.

The EU Commission had also put pressure on so that Lufthansa would not make business difficult for its smaller competitor. Both airlines are supported with government financial aid in the Corona crisis and are tough rivals in the fight to restart the flight business, which has been hard hit by the pandemic. Despite the truce over the next twelve months, the actual conflict continues to smolder. The crux of the matter is that Lufthansa wants to fly more tourist routes in the future, as business travel traffic is likely to weaken for longer due to the virus crisis.