April 9, 2018 / 4:00 PM / 2 years ago

Condor grounds Laudamotion deal after Ryanair takeover

A Ryanair Boeing 737 aircraft is parked at Boryspil International Airport outside Kiev, Ukraine March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

BERLIN (Reuters) - German airline Condor said it will end its sales partnership with Laudamotion this month, after the Austrian airline agreed to be bought by Ryanair (RYA.I).

Condor, part of the Thomas Cook Group TCG.L, signed a deal in February to help the new airline, which mostly comprises the former Niki operations of insolvent Air Berlin, get up and running plus offering its own customers greater choice.

But in a surprise move last month, Laudamotion owner Niki Lauda, the former motor racing champion, agreed to sell a majority stake to Irish low cost carrier Ryanair.

That prompted Condor to renegotiate the partnership, while Thomas Cook, as tour operator, started looking for alternatives to the Laudamotion flights for its own guests.

“We will continue with the sales partnership until the end of the month in the interests of our customers. After that, we will focus on growing Condor and the Thomas Cook Group Airlines, especially in Germany,” Christoph Debus, chief airline officer of the Thomas Cook Group, said in a statement on Monday.

Thomas Cook said customers who were booked onto a Laudamotion flight would now be switched onto an alternative with Condor or another carrier.

Separately, Laudamotion said its flights were now available on Ryanair’s website and thanked Condor for its help.

Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Additional reporting by Kirsi Knolle in Vienna; Editing by Douglas Busvine and Alexander Smith

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