Established on 21 December 1955, as Deutsche Flugdienst GmbH, today’s Condor Flugdienst started operations on the 28th of March, 1956.
On the 25th of October 1961, Deutsche Flugdienst GmbH was taken over by Lufthansa, and its name changed to Condor Flugdienst.
From 1965 to 1969, Condor replaced its old Vickers Viscounts and Fokker F27s with jets, like the Boeing 727s.
In 1981, first Airbus A300 planes were added to the fleet.
During the early 1990s, Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 aircraft joined the fleet, helping enforce the position of the airline as a major charter operator that was serving 65 exotic destinations and major cities worldwide.
Since 1992, Condor changed ownership a few times, being absorbed into Thomas Cook AG in 2003 and getting its identity back one year later.
In 2008, it was confirmed that Thomas Cook would buy Lufthansa’s 24.9% stake in Condor, becoming the sole owner of the airline.
In 2009, Condor was the first German airline to fit the newly developed aerodynamic winglets to its Boeing long-haul aircraft, in order to reduce fuel consumption, as well as emission levels (for example, 1,300 metric tons of fuel are saved per aircraft in one year). The first aircraft with the new aerodynamic winglets took off in May 2009. The Boeing 757-300 aircraft were also fitted with winglets.
In 2010, the Airbus A320 aircraft was fitted with a new cabin interior designed not only for maximum passenger comfort, but also for more fuel-efficient flying.
In June 2010, Condor entered into a partnership with the relief agency “Wings of Help”, having already successfully transported relief aid in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January.
In October 2010, Condor started its Facebook page, with travel tips, the latest news, surveys and more besides, giving fans and passengers the opportunity to find out more about Condor.
From November 2010, thanks to its collaboration with GOL and Copa Airlines, Condor has been able to operate services to many additional destinations on the continent of South America.
In 2011, the Thomas Cook Group decided to renew the short-haul and long-haul fleets of all the airlines in the group. For Condor’s fleet, the existing Boeing 757 and Airbus A320 aircraft are to be replaced with around 30 new Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft. More Boeing 767s will also be added to the long-haul fleet during the expansion.
In December 2011, the Airbus A320 with registration D-AICA was given a nostalgic sixties paint job and christened “Hans”, in honor of travel entrepreneur Hans Geisler.
In spring 2012, Condor moved into the newly-built company HQ in the Gateway Gardens district of Frankfurt, Germany.
In May 2012, the first Airbus A321-200 joined the company fleet. Condor was still on course for growth and added to the long-haul fleet two Boeing 767s, bringing the total number of aircraft to 12.
Also in 2012, Condor was the first airline to start trialing an entertainment program called BoardConnect that can be directly transmitted to mobile terminals in the aircraft via WLAN. Along with Frankfurt, Vienna was established as an additional departure airport for flights to Varadero (Cuba) and Punta Cana (Dominican Republic).
In December 2012, Condor came out on top in a passenger satisfaction survey run by the Deutsches Institut für Servicequalität (DISQ) and was the only airline rated “very good”. Condor became the most popular airline in Germany.
Since October 1, 2013, the Sunny Heart appears on the tails of the aircraft of all the companies in the Thomas Cook Group in order to express their common identity. Thomas Cook Group Airlines is made up of Condor and the airlines Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium, Thomas Cook Airlines UK and Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia.
By June 2014, Condor’s entire long-haul fleet has been fitted with a new cabin, with fully-automatic, comfortable reclining seats in the new Condor Business Class, and in-seat entertainment in all classes. The first Boeing 767-300 with a completely refurbished cabin was integrated in flight operations in October 2013.
In 2016, Germany’s most popular leisure airline celebrated its 60th anniversary since operations commenced on March 29th, 1956, with the first Condor plane flying from Frankfurt to Jerusalem. Since then, Condor has transported 214 million passengers on their vacations.
In the summer of 2017, Condor continued its US expansion with new direct flights to San Diego, New Orleans, and Pittsburgh. Condor‘s summer flight schedule offers a total of 16 destinations in North America with non-stop service from Frankfurt, and partly also from Munich.
There have been recorded no incidents involving Condor aircraft so far.