Condor Launching Frankfurt To San Antonio Flights

Condor Launching Frankfurt To San Antonio Flights

32

It’s official — Condor will be adding flights to San Antonio, and tickets are already on sale!

Condor adding San Antonio flights as of May 2024

German leisure airline Condor will be launching nonstop flights between Frankfurt (FRA) and San Antonio (SAT). This seasonal service will operate from May 17 through September 6, 2024. Flights will be offered 3x weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) with the following schedule:

DE2136 Frankfurt to San Antonio departing 2:00PM arriving 6:25PM [Wed, Fri]
DE2136 Frankfurt to San Antonio departing 3:40PM arriving 8:50PM [Mon]
DE2137 San Antonio to Frankfurt departing 8:25PM arriving 1:40PM [Wed, Fri]
DE2137 San Antonio to Frankfurt departing 10:05PM arriving 3:20PM (+1 day) [Mon]

Condor is launching Frankfurt to San Antonio flights

The 5,376-mile flight is blocked at 12hr10min to 12hr25min westbound and 10hr15min eastbound. Condor will operate the flight with an Airbus A330-900neo, featuring 310 seats. This includes 30 business class seats, 64 extra legroom economy seats, and 216 economy seats. Read my review of Condor’s excellent business class.

This new route was first discovered by Twitter/X user @IshrionA, who does an amazing job getting scoops on new airline routes. I’m amazed by how he’s able to get these — while there are some tools out there that might provide clues, I suspect he’s just awesomely geeky, and constantly checking the websites of airlines for various updates. He had been hinting that a new long haul route would be coming soon. While he wouldn’t say what the route is, he did give some hints, and it’s clear he was correct.

This is a big win for San Antonio, but…

San Antonio Airport currently has no long haul service, so suffice it to say that a nonstop link between San Antonio and Europe is major:

  • Currently the airport’s only international service is to Mexico, on Aeromexico, VivaAerobus, and Volaris; the airport hasn’t even been able to sustain a link to Toronto on Air Canada
  • Southwest has a pretty decent point-to-point network from San Antonio, but other than that, most airlines just serve San Antonio from their hubs and focus cities

San Antonio is providing major incentives to any airline willing to add transatlantic service to the airport, including a minimum revenue guarantee. The airport in particular has been targeting a nonstop flight to Frankfurt and London. One has to assume that this is a major factor in Condor deciding to introduce this service. These incentives don’t just come from the airport and government, but also from local businesses.

To me, these kinds of incentives always seem rather questionable:

  • More long haul air service does contribute to economic growth over time, so there’s value to seeing more visitors, and having more direct links
  • In some cases, airlines take a chance on serving an airport they wouldn’t have otherwise historically considered, and it works out great; for example, take a look at the increase in long haul service to markets like Austin (AUS) and San Diego (SAN) in the past decade
  • Unfortunately more often than not, these routes last for as long as the incentives do, and then they’re cut, so the local government and local businesses are essentially just subsidizing tickets for a limited time; I know every airport thinks that airlines would benefit greatly from flying to said airport, but ultimately passenger numbers and demand don’t lie
  • This is only a seasonal service, and the airline isn’t even operating this route with a particularly long season
Condor is expected to launch flights to San Antonio

Bottom line

German leisure carrier Condor will launch seasonal 3x weekly nonstop flights between Frankfurt and San Antonio as of May 2024. This will be San Antonio Airport’s first long haul service, so that’s pretty major. I’m not surprised to see Condor launching this flight, given the incentives being offered. However, one has to wonder if this route will return after 2024 without further incentives.

What do you make of Condor launching Frankfurt to San Antonio flights?

Conversations (32)
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  1. InternationalTraveler Gold

    Condor used to offer cheap one way business class fares for 2023. This seem a to have changed. I have been looking at one way SFO-FRA for 2024 and is $3600 and up.

  2. Christian Guest

    SAT to FRA flights kind of make sense to me based on the fact that SAT has a big military presence and a lot of them were stationed in Germany as well as a large German population in and around New Braunfels.

    1. Leigh Diamond

      Agreed re military traffic, though I'm dubious that the US Govt would contract with a foreign airline. As for the German heritage in the Hill Country...it's exactly that, it's a heritage presence as opposed to an active VFR market, so I don't think it will contribute to the flight loads.

    2. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      Christian & Leigh:

      The US Govt won't contract with Condor for a single seat.

      The Military already has it's own flights directly to the bases where staff/supplies are needed.

      The ENTIRE Hill Country region has German descendants, as well as much of Texas. Not just New Braunfels. Ever heard of Fredericksburg, Boerne, Luckenbach, Gruene, Schulenburg, Muenster, Walburg, New Ulm, Oldenburg, Frelsburg, Weimar, and Pflugerville. Even Tomball, Comfort, & Castroville are very Germanic.

      ...

      Christian & Leigh:

      The US Govt won't contract with Condor for a single seat.

      The Military already has it's own flights directly to the bases where staff/supplies are needed.

      The ENTIRE Hill Country region has German descendants, as well as much of Texas. Not just New Braunfels. Ever heard of Fredericksburg, Boerne, Luckenbach, Gruene, Schulenburg, Muenster, Walburg, New Ulm, Oldenburg, Frelsburg, Weimar, and Pflugerville. Even Tomball, Comfort, & Castroville are very Germanic.

      Lastly, the majority of these descendants don't have a immediate connections to Deutschland. So they won't be traveling "Home for Christmas".

      This flight is likely for prestige, to get the ball rolling on SAT's planned expansion, increase tourism both ways, etc.

  3. Lu_B New Member

    I was caught of guard by Condor being the airline to take advantage of these subsidies, but I guess with the heavy LH/UA and AA/BA concentration in other Texas metros to Europe it makes sense

  4. RF Diamond

    I hope this route works out for SAT. Great to have more TATL routes.

    1. Leigh Diamond

      Agreed, it's sweet to see SAT getting some love....viable? probably not:(

  5. Jon Guest

    "Unfortunately more often than not, these routes last for as long as the incentives do, and then they’re cut"

    I feel like this is a common line that really isn't true. Besides covid cuts and WOW going under I would say most of these routes have stuck lately past incentives.

    1. simmonad Guest

      I'm keeping my eye on Tenerife Sur-EWR (run by UA) which definitely falls into this category.

    2. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      Jon: You are completely wrong. There are "a few" bright spots out there (San Diego & Austin). But in general, if market doesn't have long haul,l: it's for a reason. I'm sure Kansas City to Iceland and Indianapolis to Paris made complete sense. Alot of these cities are using Covid Rescue funds for this BS as well. Complete & utter travesty for taxpayers.

    3. grichard Guest

      Waving at you from St. Louis. We'll see what happens when our subsidies to Lufthansa run out. Sure hope you're right.

  6. Jim Lajuene Guest

    Flight starts next May, it isbookable on Condor's site. There is demand, even Uncle Sam flies it daily from Randolph/Kelly Field via Space A, but without a US codeshare official government travel cannot use the flight which will hurt some possibilities for travel. Good for SAT.

    1. deltahater Guest

      Are you sure it is bookable? All I see are connections via SEA on AS.

  7. San Antonio raised, Austin Dazed Guest

    On a macro scale, San Antonio and Austin are so close, the two Airports serve the same region, so if the prices are competitive with Austin's 3 longhauls (KLM, Luft, BA), a lot of the traffic could potentionally come from the north. I'd definitely drive down from Austin if the price was 200+ cheaper.

    Perhaps there will also be an uptick in French citizens coming to San Antonio with Wembayama? Haha

    1. deltahater Guest

      SAT has never been competitive with AUS. We travel extensively internationally, and we stopped checking fares out of SAT 4 years ago. It is so much cheaper, even with two one way rentals (or parking) to fly out of AUS, IAH, DFW, especially when you are a family or a group

    2. Lu_B New Member

      Flights to Mexico are significantly cheaper out of SAT vs AUS

    3. Teutonic Texan Guest

      That's not true. The past two years, I've traveled to Germany (BER and FRA) and both times flights from SAT were cheaper than those from AUS for my dates.

    4. Leigh Guest

      You forgot VS flies to AUS

    5. Leigh Diamond

      PS - In general, I think Austin peeps won't drive to catch a flight at SAT given the large airline ops at AUS airport...but San Antonio peeps will drive north to AUS airport for the same reason. Lived and still commute monthly to AUS from LAX, and family in SAT...so, it is what it is. But I hope it works for SAT! Hope they're putting some tourism marketing $$ into Frankfurt and surrounds!

  8. XPL Diamond

    This couldn't have come at a a better time for SAT, because AMLO's strangulation of MEX means that secondary markets such as SAT are fast losing their flights. Mexico's own goal is Germany's gain I guess.

  9. Thomas Guest

    A large part of Austin's population is within an hour drive of SAT. Given the right pricing, it's an alternative to LH. Condor is an Alaska Airlines partner, and AS miles can readily be used for J. It's a relative steal at 55k miles one way.

  10. Dave Guest

    Long time reader ... excited to see SAT featured here, my base. I think this is a great opportunity for all parties involved. Air Canada never promoted their service here. If the marketing is done right, this route could work. As I've gotten run off other online boards explaining the potential of San Antonio to support transatlantic service, I will simply say I believe San Antonio has enough industry and wealth to make this flight work. Congratulations SAT!

  11. AnishReddi Gold

    Why doesn’t Condor join an alliance, I’m sure OneWorld or SkyTeam would be happy to have them. Especially confiscating their change in direction to more business routes over recent years. Or would jointing a alliance put their LH short-haul feed in jeopardy.

  12. AnishReddi Gold

    Why doesn’t Condor join an alliance, I’m sure OneWorld or SkyTeam would be happy to have them. Especially confiscating their change in direction to more business routes over recent years. Or would jointing a alliance put their LH short-haul feed in jeopardy.

  13. Deltahater Guest

    Minor typo in article. it says the airline hasn't be able to sustain, when it should say the "airport" Service will be 3x a week on a 339

  14. Chris W Guest

    I assume their other target was BA on a 3/4-weekly, 3-cabin 787-8?

  15. Jromi New Member

    If the flight can be ticketed by Alaskan or another US airline via a codeshare arrangement, that would be great for government travel. There's a lot of back and forth between the US German bases and Joint Base San Antonio. For example, you can book a LH flight via an approved government travel agency as long as it's tickets by United.

    1. JetAway Guest

      @Jromi-You make a key point. San Antonio is packed with military, government and contractor business and this alone will make the route a success for Condor. Tourists, both directions, will be icing on the cake. San Antonio is a huge tourist city.

    2. deltahater Guest

      Also don't forget SAT has a large German population

    3. Leigh Diamond

      Do you think the US govt is going to contract with a foreign airline for military, other govt and related contractor travel? Nope! And SAT is a nice tourism destination for the domestic market, but do people know about it Germany and travel for a vacation? Nope! And the German population that referenced isn't recent generation immigrants, it's a heritage group that isn't actually even that large, so will it generate profitable VFR traffic? Nope!

    4. JS Guest

      Does Condor have any codeshare arrangements with a U.S. flag carrier? Otherwise, there’s no means through which a U.S. military traveler would be able to fly these while on business. (Fly America Act)

      Might this route take business away from Lufthansa’s AUS-FRA flight?

    5. Kevin King Guest

      Condor is an alliance / codeshare partner with Alaska. I just checked the Alaska website and you can book a flight from SAT to FRA, but only vis SEA. I don't think Alaska has updated their booking yet. So, I'm very hopeful this will permit military to book the new SAT -- FRA route. The days of travel and time of arrival seem to be aimed a bit a business travelers, even though business travelers...

      Condor is an alliance / codeshare partner with Alaska. I just checked the Alaska website and you can book a flight from SAT to FRA, but only vis SEA. I don't think Alaska has updated their booking yet. So, I'm very hopeful this will permit military to book the new SAT -- FRA route. The days of travel and time of arrival seem to be aimed a bit a business travelers, even though business travelers are not a core market for Condor.

      Don't forget, Condor did have seasonal service to AUS as well, but it looks like that is now gone. AUS started with just BA and Condor, so I'm hopeful for SAT!

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BenjaminGuttery Diamond

Jon: You are completely wrong. There are "a few" bright spots out there (San Diego & Austin). But in general, if market doesn't have long haul,l: it's for a reason. I'm sure Kansas City to Iceland and Indianapolis to Paris made complete sense. Alot of these cities are using Covid Rescue funds for this BS as well. Complete & utter travesty for taxpayers.

1
grichard Guest

Waving at you from St. Louis. We'll see what happens when our subsidies to Lufthansa run out. Sure hope you're right.

1
Dave Guest

Long time reader ... excited to see SAT featured here, my base. I think this is a great opportunity for all parties involved. Air Canada never promoted their service here. If the marketing is done right, this route could work. As I've gotten run off other online boards explaining the potential of San Antonio to support transatlantic service, I will simply say I believe San Antonio has enough industry and wealth to make this flight work. Congratulations SAT!

1
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