Condor Orders Airbus A320neo & A321neo Aircraft

Condor Orders Airbus A320neo & A321neo Aircraft

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German leisure airline Condor is going all-in on refreshing its fleet.

Condor refreshes narrow body fleet with A320neo family

Condor has just placed an order for up to 41 Airbus A320neo family aircraft, in order to refresh its short and medium haul fleet. Condor is placing a firm order for 13 Airbus A320neos and 28 Airbus A321neos, plus additional purchase rights. These planes will be delivered to the airline starting in the spring of 2024.

For context, Condor’s narrow body fleet currently consists of 16 Airbus A320s, 10 Airbus A321s, and 13 Boeing 757-300s. So we’re seeing a more than 1:1 replacement, and by my math we’ll even see a slight capacity increase. The new A320neo family aircraft have 20% less fuel consumption, 50% less noise, and better range, than the planes Condor is replacing.

Condor is replacing its Airbus A321s

This development follows Condor announcing in mid-2021 that it would order 16 Airbus A330-900neos, which will join the carrier’s fleet in the coming months. These planes will even feature some impressive interiors, which put Lufthansa to shame. Those A330-900neos will replace the carrier’s aging fleet of Boeing 767s.

Condor has also ordered Airbus A330-900neos
Condor’s Airbus A330-900neo business class

It’s simply incredible to see how Condor is reinventing itself. In a few years, Condor will have one of the youngest all-Airbus fleets in the world.

Could Condor make its narrow body aircraft more premium?

Condor is increasingly going head-to-head against Lufthansa in more markets, rather than focusing exclusively on leisure routes. That’s why it’s so awesome to see that Condor is taking delivery of A330-900neos that will have a competitive product in all cabins.

That brings me to the question of what Condor will do with its A320neo aircraft interiors. Admittedly short haul planes in Europe are among the most bare bones out there, but I still hope we see some significant upgrades over Condor’s current interiors.

I recently reviewed Condor’s A321 business class, and it was a particularly bare bones business class experience (though was priced accordingly). Condor really has the opportunity to offer a superior onboard product to Lufthansa here. So here’s to hoping that we see Condor install a divider between economy and business, add power outlets to seats, introduce Wi-Fi, and ideally have a bit more legroom than short haul planes currently have.

Condor’s A321 seating

Bottom line

Condor has placed an order for 41 Airbus A320neo and A321neo aircraft, which will be used to replace the carrier’s A320, A321, and 757 fleet. Between this and the A330-900neo order, Condor will be a completely new airline in three years.

I’m so happy to see Germany getting an airline that can compete with Lufthansa in more markets, as Lufthansa sure could use some competition.

What do you make of Condor’s Airbus order?

Conversations (6)
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  1. Brianair Guest

    Sadly, I'm not sure Condor would be interested in putting in a more premium product on their A320 family planes, simply because they're a leisure airline. It feels like Lufthansa should be the one doing it, but they obviously aren't and seem to be content with how it is.

    Speaking of which, Condor should focus on taking advantage of something that Lufthansa (the airline) does that bothers me (and probably many Germans), which is that...

    Sadly, I'm not sure Condor would be interested in putting in a more premium product on their A320 family planes, simply because they're a leisure airline. It feels like Lufthansa should be the one doing it, but they obviously aren't and seem to be content with how it is.

    Speaking of which, Condor should focus on taking advantage of something that Lufthansa (the airline) does that bothers me (and probably many Germans), which is that literally every single route they operate starts or ends in Frankfurt and Munich (save for like one odd triangle route in the Middle East I think). This includes domestic routes within Germany, so you cannot fly them from Berlin to Dusseldorf nonstop without a connection in FRA or MUC. Eurowings does not count. In contrast, Air France runs domestic routes between cities in France, and I think some short-haul international routes, that don't involve CDG or ORY at all (e.g. Nice to Lyon). Condor should do something similar and tell Lufthansa to "suck it" for neglecting these routes. They have far more operating bases than Lufthansa, so I imagine it wouldn't be too hard for them to set up routes like Berlin-Dusseldorf or Stuttgart-Leipzig or Hamburg-Cologne Bonn.

  2. snic Diamond

    Someone is going to get a seizure watching a Condor plane take off:

    "Photosensitive epilepsy is when seizures are triggered by flashing lights *or contrasting light and dark patterns*."

    https://epilepsysociety.org.uk/about-epilepsy/epileptic-seizures/seizure-triggers/photosensitive-epilepsy

  3. Andy Diamond

    Some more competition for LH is definitely needed, their shorthaul product is the one of a ULCC at a price level of a legacy carrier.

    Unfortunately, Condor is also aiming at the ULCC corner, probably because they figure charging a premium over the already high Lh fare would not work. I agree that it will not fill the entire plane, but I think there is some space for a more premium product upfront and perhaps...

    Some more competition for LH is definitely needed, their shorthaul product is the one of a ULCC at a price level of a legacy carrier.

    Unfortunately, Condor is also aiming at the ULCC corner, probably because they figure charging a premium over the already high Lh fare would not work. I agree that it will not fill the entire plane, but I think there is some space for a more premium product upfront and perhaps even directly behind the curtain. I really like KL’s eco comfort seats with more pitch but standard eco service.

  4. ConcordeBoy Diamond

    "I’m so happy to see Germany getting an airline that can compete with Lufthansa in more markets, as Lufthansa sure could use some competition."

    The long-term question will always be though: can Condor ever create a business model where it's capable of surviving without the Lufthansa interline? How long do they think courts will side with them on that?

    1. mdande7 Gold

      I was curious about that, too. I wonder how long LH will allow the interline (or how long the contract is for).

  5. Willmo Guest

    Top tip. Condor are flying a lot of A330s to Palma de Mallorca right now. I saw 2 parked next to each other there last week.
    Seem to be pretty regularly scheduled. Good to know.

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ConcordeBoy Diamond

"I’m so happy to see Germany getting an airline that can compete with Lufthansa in more markets, as Lufthansa sure could use some competition." The long-term question will always be though: can Condor ever create a business model where it's capable of surviving without the Lufthansa interline? How long do they think courts will side with them on that?

1
Brianair Guest

Sadly, I'm not sure Condor would be interested in putting in a more premium product on their A320 family planes, simply because they're a leisure airline. It feels like Lufthansa should be the one doing it, but they obviously aren't and seem to be content with how it is. Speaking of which, Condor should focus on taking advantage of something that Lufthansa (the airline) does that bothers me (and probably many Germans), which is that literally every single route they operate starts or ends in Frankfurt and Munich (save for like one odd triangle route in the Middle East I think). This includes domestic routes within Germany, so you cannot fly them from Berlin to Dusseldorf nonstop without a connection in FRA or MUC. Eurowings does not count. In contrast, Air France runs domestic routes between cities in France, and I think some short-haul international routes, that don't involve CDG or ORY at all (e.g. Nice to Lyon). Condor should do something similar and tell Lufthansa to "suck it" for neglecting these routes. They have far more operating bases than Lufthansa, so I imagine it wouldn't be too hard for them to set up routes like Berlin-Dusseldorf or Stuttgart-Leipzig or Hamburg-Cologne Bonn.

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mdande7 Gold

I was curious about that, too. I wonder how long LH will allow the interline (or how long the contract is for).

0
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