German carrier Condor is to add flights to Portland, Oregon and Providence, Rhode Island to its summer network from Frankfurt next year. The airline will offer twice weekly peak season flights to each destination from mid-June 2015 until the first week of September 2015.
The new routes are part of Condor’s plan to expand away from the core markets in the US and will see it offer the only non-stop flights to these two destinations. "The USA has so much more to offer than just California, New York and Florida,” said Jens Boyd, head of long-haul, Thomas Cook Group Airlines.
Although initially founded as an independent business in the 1950s, Condor is now part of the Thomas Cook Group Airlines to which the Thomas Cook Airlines UK, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium and Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia also belong as the partners work to maximise synergies between the businesses. Together the airlines operate a fleet of 88 aircraft, 40 of which are dedicated to the Condor fleet: 12 Airbus A320s, 3 A321s, 13 757-300s and 12 767-300s.
Condor will provide 518 seats per week to Portland and Providence including a Business Class offering using a Boeing 767-300 configured in three-class with 18 Business Class, 35 Premium Economy and 206 Economy seats. The Portland service will mark the return of flights to Oregon’s largest city from Frankfurt, a route previously served by Lufthansa up until September 2009.
“The USA has so much more to offer than just California, New York and Florida.'”Jens Boyd
Head of Long-Haul, Thomas Cook Group Airlines.
The Frankfurt – Providence service will commence on June 18, 2015 and operate every Monday and Thursday through to September 3, 2015 and will serve Theodore Francis Green Memorial State Airport, named after the former Rhode Island governor and long-time senator, and is better known as TF Green Airport. This will be the first transatlantic link to the facility which has undergone runway renovation and extension work over the last decade in preparation for the establishment of direct flights to Europe.
Kelly Fredericks, president and chief executive officer of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, that manages and operates TF Green Airport was naturally in high spirits upon confirmation of the new Condor link to the facility. “Today marks a milestone for the airport as this is the first time we are able to offer non-stop scheduled international service to Greater Europe and connecting destinations,” she said.
The direct connectivity into New England, the historic heart of the USA, will have a significant impact with regard to inbound tourism and business development not only on the airport, but to the state and wider region. “Rhode Island is a very special destination for our customers,” said Boyd. “The new Condor flights offer the best access to New England's tourist highlights such as the beaches of Cape Cod, Martha‘s Vineyard and Nantucket. The metropolis of Boston is less than an hour's drive away."
The Frankfurt – Portland service will commence on June 19, 2015 and operate every Tuesday and Friday through to September 4, 2015. It will be Portland International Airport’s second direct European link alongside the scheduled offering of Delta Air Lines to Amsterdam. Last year upwards of 250,000 O&D passengers flew between Europe and Portland and Lufthansa was carrying up to 38,000 annual O&D passengers when it previously served the Frankfurt – Portland market: even without a direct service between 10,000 and 15,000 O&D passengers a year still fly on this route.
According to Jens Boyd, the new link will not only support the point-to-point demand but provide additional connection opportunities into the Seattle market via Alaska Airlines, which is the prominent carrier in both cities. Condor already operates flights to Seattle four times weekly and will now open up the potential for a six times weekly services, albeit with a one-stop offering on these two flights.
"Condor flies non-stop to Seattle on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays," explained Boyd. "Starting in summer 2015, there will also be convenient connections between Portland and Seattle on Tuesdays and Fridays. With more than 20 Alaska Airlines flights a day, easy travelling with short waiting times is guaranteed."
The new Oregon and Rhode Island connections add to Condor’s USA network map which already includes direct flights to Anchorage, Baltimore, Fairbanks, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Minneapolis and Seattle. They all support a growing focus on promoting the US market to European market from Condor’s parent, Thomas Cook Group.
The tour operator recently announced an extension of its major cooperative marketing agreement with Brand USA, the destination marketing organisation for the USA, aimed at promoting the USA as the world’s leading destination for European visitors. The campaign will extend from its original markets of Germany, UK, Belgium and Netherlands to include France, Sweden, Austria and Switzerland. The partnership will see Thomas Cook and Brand USA embark on a high-profile, multi-media campaign promoting America’s ‘Great Outdoors’ as well as Thomas Cook Airlines new US routes from Germany and the UK.
In our analysis, below, we highlight the growth of Condor’s network capacity across the Atlantic over the past ten years. The carrier has boosted its available seats from Germany to destinations across the Americas from 384,000 seats in 2004 to just under 600,000 seats in 2013. This year capacity is due to rise 6.6 per cent versus last year to 638,000 seats, based on published timetables. The North American share of this capacity has remained around the 25 per cent mark for the past four years.