With A Colorful New Look And Identity, Condor Airlines Reopens Routes To U.S.

When trying to seperate yourself from the crowd, having a keen sense of fashion doesn’t hurt. It appears Condor Airlines found theirs, as a rebranding created a buzz just when traveling is becoming the norm again.

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With traveling once again become viable for many after a long two years of COVID-19 restrictions, airlines have begun to increase their options for flights. Condor Airlines, Germany’s leading leisure airline, has added and restored non-stop flights to the U.S. for the first time since the pandemic began.

Conder will fly from 12 U.S. cities, such as Boston, Portland, and Phoenix, with connections throughout Europe. This also includes new additions like New York’s JFK, San Francisco, and Los Angeles set to begin in May. It marks the largest U.S. summer schedule in the airline’s history.

“Due to the pandemic, travel to Europe from the U.S. was only accessible to a limited extent for the past two summers. As a result, we are seeing an unpresented amount of pent-up demand from Americans who are now eager to visit Europe,” Condor’s North America vice president and area manager Mathias Friess said in a statement.

“We are pleased to offer Germany’s most popular, affordable and award-winning service to more Americans this summer with our expanded route network — including some of the most significant Trans-Atlantic gateways of New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, along with secondary and under-served cities across the U.S.”

Condor noted that it offers business class and premium economy products with fares that are up to 50 percent less than other airlines, while its business class features lie-flat seats, premium touch screen entertainment, power ports, and five-course meals with complimentary beer, wine, and cocktails.

“Competition in this industry is tough, it’s good to stand out. With the engagement in social media, one can assume that Condor has increased its level of awareness. And all this without paying for advertising.”

Of course, there’s one more part of the company’s identity that has many talking, and it certainly isn’t the food or technology. If you were to look up in the sky and see a Condor flight, you might have to do a double check. After all, one could only described the plane designs they unveiled in early April as eye-catching: huge stripes in a myriad of colors — “island green,” “blue sea,” “beige beach,” “passion red,” and “yellow sunshine” — wrap around from end to end, making it more like a zebra that got into a bucket of paint than an aircraft.

The style goes far beyond just the outside, however. Crew members of flights will don striped scarves, while striped towels will be available to passengers. Suffice to say, the overall look of the Condor’s new Airbus A330neo (which sits at around 196 feet long and is set to launch this fall) certainly separates itself from other airlines in terms of branding, and that’s exactly what the company was hoping to achieve.

“Our new trademark are stripes, our figurative mark stands for our origin and the colors for diversity. This triad is new, what remains is our passion. It has always made Condor unique and is therefore also reflected in our claim: Passion is our compass,” CEO Ralf Teckentrup noted in a press release. The majority of Condor’s fleet won’t be painted until 2024, though six will have the design this summer on flights to destinations like Greece and the Canary Islands.

Condor was first established back in 1955 in Frankfurt, Germany, though originally known as a slightly more complicated name (“Deutsche Flugdienst GmbH” certainly rolls right off the tongue). Condor was eventually owned by the British holiday company Thomas Cook, which collapsed in 2019.

Condor’s brand vision started two years before that happened, however, and was working with creative agency Vision Alphabet to make it a reality. When Thomas Cook went under, asset management company Attestor stepped in as the owner and spent $270 million to rehaul the airline’s fleet of 50 aircrafts. “Attestor created the conditions for a cleanup at the brand level,” Vision Alphabet founder Remo Masala said.

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“Our goal was to endow Condor with a special visual independence, the rationale of which is united in Condor’s brand essence: the invention of the vacation flight, and the effective vacation code, the stripes of summer, joy and freedom.”

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For Masala, the design creation was a delicate interplay that was “based on respect for its origins and requirements for the future.” As Fast Company notes, Condor went all-in on their rebranding. While most airlines focus their branding on the tail (such as Delta Airlines’ giant red logo amidst a sea of blue on its aircrafts), Condor opted for only a small version of their logo in that section, instead focusing the majority of their work on the stripes.

Of course, the look certainly wasn’t random. Stripes have a long history in design, from being the classic uniform of French sailors in the 1800s to being touted by stylers like Tommy Hilfiger, Adidas, and Sir Paul Smith. They’ve also become synonymous with vacations and the beach, a particularly important factor with the airline noting they were inspired by “parasols, bath towels and beach chairs.”

Condor additionally added the stripes help to show “the diversity of Condor’s guests, employees and the multitude of opportunities to discover the world with Condor.”

Masala stated the design won’t drive an increase in ticket prices, as media exposure clearly seems to be the play here. With 71% of Americans saying they’re likely to travel for leisure in 2022 (up 8% from 2019) in a Tripadvisor survey, the company’s rebranding comes at a time when many are re-introducing themselves to airlines – and might just stop to consider hopping on one as expressive as Condor’s.