Germanwings eyes up Condor website partnership

27 Oct 2009 by AndrewGough

Germanwings is in talks with Condor over a deal similar to its partnership with Bmibaby, its CEO Thomas Winkelmann revealed today (October 27).

The German low-cost carrier, which earlier this month announced it and fellow Lufthansa-owned airline Bmibaby would advertise their flights on each other’s websites (see online news October 15), said Condor was next on its list of possible internet partners.

Condor, a German airline mainly serving leisure destinations, could soon add Germanwings’ more business-orientated routes to its website and vice versa.

“We have completely different networks out of Germany. Our top target group is business travellers, like on the Manchester and Stansted routes, so why not link with Condor,” Winkelmann said.

“If somebody flies to Palma on Germanwings one way and with Condor on the way back, why not, it keeps things simple. It allows both airlines to keep distribution costs down.”

Winkelmann said the main aim of teaming-up with other smaller players such as Bmibaby and Condor in this way was to “create new low cost ways of distributing tickets” while avoiding messy code share situations.

Winkelmann also denied that Germanwings’ owner Lufthansa, which up until last year owned a stake in Condor, had exercised any influence in which airlines it looked to partner with.

“We do the same with Clickair, the Iberia subsidiary [which has recently undergone a merger with Vueling], it’s basically a low cost method of distribution,” Winkelmann said.

“It’s nothing more than linking websites. If you’re a customer on Bmi’s website and looking to fly out of Manchester, all of a sudden Cologne appears as a destination.”

Germanwings’ deal with Bmibaby coincides with the launch of its new Manchester to Cologne service, a route not currently offered by the British regional airline. The website partnership also boosts Germanwings’ presence in the UK and at Manchester Airport where Bmi is well established.

“Partnering with Bmibaby in this way is like listing our products in a different supermarket. And as we are very small in the UK this helps us, in the same way as in Spain with Clickair.”

Germanwings’ first flight between Manchester and Cologne this week proved popular with all 150 seats sold, Winkelmann said.

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Report by Andrew Gough

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