British travel company, Thomas Cook seeks to expand in Germany

British travel company, Thomas Cook

British travel company Thomas Cook and its German subsidiary Condor plan to boost the number of flights to and from Germany following the collapse of budget carrier Air Berlin.

Across the company as a whole the expansion would reach 10 per cent in the summer, a company spokesman said on Thursday.

Condor, which specialises in German holidaymakers, is to increase its aircraft to 37 from 26 last year through two new subsidiaries.

One is Air Berlin Aviation, which it has taken over, with six medium-range aircraft, and the other is the recently founded Thomas Cook Airlines Balearics on Mallorca with five aircraft.

Thomas Cook – which also owns the German operator Neckermann Reisen – is in talks with Niki Lauda regarding cooperation in the air travel sector.

Lauda is taking over at the Air Berlin subsidiary Niki, which he founded before selling it on, and plans to have it flying by the summer under the name Lauda Motion.

The talks with Thomas Cook concern the marketing of tickets and block booking for package travel deals.

In the quarter to the end of December, Thomas Cook was able to contain the losses typical of this time of the year, posting an operating loss without special items of 42 million pounds (59 million dollars), almost a fifth less than in the same period last year.

Turnover was up 7 per cent at 1.75 billion pounds on increased customers and higher rates.

Travel companies frequently book winter losses as a result of being unable to cover fixed costs, compensating for this with profits in the summer.

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