In terms of the Condor feeder flights, Lufthansa suffered a defeat before the German Federal Cartel Office. The authority's decision even expands the leisure airline's scope. However, the Kranich Group can still appeal against the decision.
Some time ago, Lufthansa terminated the long-term contract for feeder services. Condor took action against this and lodged a complaint with the Federal Cartel Office. The Kranich Group then extended the cooperation several times, albeit for a limited period. Now the authority has decided in the main thing.
Lufthansa was prohibited from terminating the so-called Special Prorate Agreement. The authority also ordered that Condor be granted access to other feeders to Munich, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf. Due to the decision of the competition authorities, the holiday airline is also entitled to additional booking classes.
In its decision, the Bundeskartellamt also took into account that Lufthansa has a particularly dense feeder network and, given the fact that this carrier occupies the vast majority of slots, it would be almost impossible for Condor to set up its own feeders. Accordingly, Lufthansa has a dominant position in the market and "is subject to antitrust abuse control and therefore has special obligations towards other market participants".
The decision of the German authorities goes well beyond the mere continuation of the contract, because "Condor will have access to more booking classes than before. In addition, Condor will always be able to book seats as long as the feeder flights still have considerable free capacity. In the future, Lufthansa will no longer be allowed to make any specifications that “restrict booking and price control for Condor”.
Behind the dispute, which now appears to have been resolved for the time being by an order from the Federal Cartel Office, is the fact that Lufthansa has brought a competitor onto the market with the new Eurowings Discover, which operates in the same business field as Condor. By terminating the contract for feeder flights, the aim was to ensure that the competitor no longer had to be fed.
Lufthansa can contest the decision of the Federal Cartel Office with an appeal. Should one decide to do so, it would be up to the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court. This week, the crane group suffered another defeat, because in the struggle for Ita Airways you didn't get to the train.