Condor executive cites Kuala Lumpur’s “melting pot” of cultures and high quality of life as reasons for adding destination
“An inaugural flight – the first flight ever from an airline to a new destination is always a special event. Today, Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia adds another dimension, as the 90th Condor destination from Frankfurt”, explained Christian Schmitt, Director Group Airlines Aircraft & Ground Operations, and Managing Director Condor Flight Services.
Condor’s inaugural flight to Kuala Lumpur departed from Frankfurt Airport on November 1, utilising a Boeing 767-300 with a capacity of 245 seats (30 Business, 35 Premium and 180 Economy). The almost fully booked inaugural flight was celebrated at the gate by Christian Schmitt, Managing Director & Accountable Manager Condor, Dr. Pierre Dominique Prümm, General Manager Aviation at Fraport AG, H.E. Datin Sarah Nava Rani Al Bakri Devadason, Ambassador of Malaysia to Germany, and 241 guests on board. Kuala Lumpur is the 90th destination that the German leisure carrier flies to from Frankfurt Airport. Through the interline agreement between Condor and Malaysia Airlines, Kuala Lumpur also offers a variety of connecting flights to destinations in Australia, New Zealand, Bali and Singapore.
Thomas Cook Group Airline, part of Thomas Cook Group, is one of Europe’s leading leisure airlines, operating from the three source markets Germany, UK and the Nordic countries. Under the brand Condor Flugdienst GmbH, the company has been flying its guests to holiday destinations around the world since 1956. With a fleet of 100 aircraft, the airline carries 18.5m customers per year to more than 130 destinations, generating revenues of £3.2bn.
The new flights put South East Asia on back the map for Condor, situating KL as a hub, with an inter-airline agreement with a local airline in Malaysia assures the German tourists easy accessibility around Malaysia
Dr Prümm explained: “With flying to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Condor is not only contributing a new destination to our flight schedule, it’s their 90th destination from Frankfurt. This gives Condor over 30% of all destinations from Frankfurt airport.”
“This flight contributes to our traffic to Southeast Asia, and Malaysia’s vibrant tourism industry will also benefit from this new connection to Kuala Lumpur. We hope that this flight will also be helpful for passengers flying to Langkawi and Penang islands”, added Dr Prümm, concluding, “At Frankfurt Airport, we particularly value our own carrier, Condor, as a long-lasting loyal business partner to Fraport for over 60 years, and we look forward to continuing our trusting partnership for many, many years to come.”
As Condor’s 90th destination from Frankfurt, Christian Schmitt says the “round number appropriately stands for a destination that expands our range of services – and literally ‘rounds our network’.”
“It’s our first destination to Southeast Asia, which is a milestone that will offer travellers from all over Europe the opportunity to discover Kuala Lumpur and the wonderful country of Malaysia. This is fantastic because cultural exchange is very important for us as an airline. Since 1956, more than 60 years, Condor has been flying our guests to the most beautiful destinations – most holiday destinations in the world, where they have the chance to get to know other cultures and exchange ideas with other people. This is what Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur stands for. The Southeast Asian economic metropolis – by the way, the city in Southeast Asia with the highest quality of life – is regarded as a cultural melting pot. But Kuala Lumpur doesn’t only have culture to offer. The region is highlighted by great nature, impressive skyscrapers… there is something for every taste.”
“We are very proud to be the only airline operating direct flights between Germany and Malaysia. Thanks to our inter-line agreement with Malaysia Airlines, our guests can conveniently travel from Kuala Lumpur and discover other destinations such as Bali, Australia, and also New Zealand.”
H.E. Sarah Al Bakri Devadason, Ambassador of Malaysia to Germany, took the flight, and stated, just before the flight’s departure, “This is indeed a great opportunity for Malaysia. Today, for the first time since May 2016, we will have a direct flight connection between Malaysia and Germany. We are very pleased that Condor Airlines has agreed to add Kuala Lumpur as one of its destinations, presenting us with a direct gateway between Malaysia and Germany.
Much effort has been put by both Tourism Malaysia and Condor Airlines, in making this new route possible. Indeed, intensive promotional campaigns have been made to make this route visible. We are very proud that Kuala Lumpur is the first and only Southeast Asian destination served by Condor Airlines. Therefore, similarly, this connection offers German travellers greater connectivity to the rest of Southeast Asia – a region that is unique and rapidly growing.
The direct connection will bring Germany and Malaysia closer. Initially announced as a thrice-weekly winter 2018/19 service, we are very happy that Condor Airlines has decided to continue this service twice weekly in summer 2019. We believe it will contribute to enhancing the whole spectrum of Malaysia/Germany relations, including people-to-people connectivity. Malaysia is a multi-racial, multicultural society which offers every visitor the experience of an interesting history, a melting-pot of cultures and an exceptional variety of cuisines. It offers the opportunity to be pampered with relaxing activities including beaches and nature encounters, visits to historical sites, and city entertainment. Malaysians, as I am sure you will soon get to know, are known for their friendliness, and I hope the passengers travelling today will have a most enjoyable stay in Malaysia. As we are about to embark on this special flight, I would also like to acknowledge the special presence of the media representatives who will spend a few days in Malaysia, and later share their experience through the media.”
The metropolis Kuala Lumpur offers travellers a multitude of sights and a varied cityscape. Historic buildings are only a stone’s throw away from modern skyscrapers. From the sky bridge of the Petronas Twin Towers, the highest twin towers in the world (452m), visitors have a fascinating view of the metropolis, which is widely regarded as a melting pot of different cultures. But Kuala Lumpur does not only have big city flair to offer: In the midst of the skyscrapers, visitors will find the “KL Forest Eco-Park”, a rainforest that breaks up the cityscape and invites them to relax. Kuala Lumpur is also a shopping Eldorado and offers a wide range of culinary delights.
Arrival on time to great fanfare
The aircraft arrived on time at Kuala Lumpur International Airport just after 6:00 am on November 2, saluted by a traditional fire-engine shower, and greeted by a crowd of dignitaries at the arrival area, including Malaysia’s Deputy Minister for Transport, as well as the Deputy Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Germany’s Chargé d’Affaires in Kuala Lumpur, and senior officers of Malaysia Airports.
Azli Mohamed, Chief Strategy Officer of Malaysia Airports, welcomed the VIP guests stepping of the inaugural flight, saying, “This year is a very interesting year for Malaysia airports. Yesterday we celebrated Malaysia Airport’s 26th anniversary, and in June it was the 20th anniversary of KLIA. It’s the main gateway to the country. This airport has had so many memorable events, and today we add one more to the list as we welcome Condor Airlines for the first time to KLIA. Condor is the 58th passenger airline to arrive in KLIA, and this year we have noted good growth. As of September, we noted 3.2% PAX growth, and we are currently the 12th busiest airport in the world in terms of international PAX movements.”
He continued, “Malaysia has been Germany’s primary trading partner among ASEAN countries, and with this frequency of three times a week, this will help further enable connections.”
Muhammad Bakhtiar Bin Wan Chik, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia stated, “I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the Ministry of Transport, Malaysia Airports Holding and Condor Air, for making this flight a reality. This marks a very important initiative to boost travel and tourism between Malaysia and Germany and also means a reconnection between Malaysia and the rest of Europe. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is no secret that the German market has always been an important market for Malaysia. Last year, a total of 109,000 German tourists came to visit our country, indicating a decrease of 15.7% over the same period in 2016, perhaps due to the withdrawal of Lufthansa from the route in 2016. Up until August 2018, we have received 88,307 German tourists to our shores. This year, the target is to have 133,000 German tourists, and I believe the establishment of Condor Air’s Frankfurt-Kuala Lumpur route will certainly help with increasing tourist arrivals from this region. The flight couldn’t have come at a better time, as we are also aggressively promoting Malaysia in Germany next year, especially during ITB Berlin. This will come through our ITB Partner Country status, which will bring us wide publicity and opportunities for connecting with top tour operators from Europe. Ladies and gentlemen, this is merely the turning point to better relationships between Germany and Malaysia. I look forward to seeing a greater collaboration by the tour operators and travel professionals in Europe and Malaysia, in developing attractive tourism packages to promote the flow of tourists between the two countries. In line with this, I am pleased that on this inaugural flight from Frankfurt, we have brought a group of media and travel agents under the Tourism Malaysia MegaFAM programme. They will be travelling around KL, Malacca and Sarawak to get a first-hand experience of what our country has to offer. We look forward to the media publicity and package development as a result of this trip. We hope such an effort will increase awareness and demand for Malaysia as a destination of choice.”
Malaysia’s Deputy Minister of Transport, Yang Berhormat Tuan Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik, underlined the importance given by the Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Deputy Minister concerning Malaysia’s Official Partner Country status with ITB Berlin 2019: “Such a development is timely, especially in the run up to our Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign. This itself also indicates the government’s high interest to strengthen the country’s presence in the German market. With the new route offering, I hope it will serve our partners from both countries a better and more complete assurance of our commitment to tourism growth. Ladies and gentlemen, I am happy to see this strategic collaboration between all the aviation players and stakeholders in this country, working together with airlines from all over the world in the building of conducive growth through attractive incentive offerings for airlines to increase their flight frequencies. This in turn will help boost the tourism industry. As the school holidays are approaching, as your winter months are also approaching, this is the perfect time for new airlines to operate to and from KLIA.”
About the flights:
Condor flies to the Malaysian capital on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays in the 2018/19 winter flight schedule. Cheap flights from Frankfurt to Kuala Lumpur are available from 249.99 euros in Economy Class, 349.99 euros in Premium Class and 749.99 euros in Business Class (full price, one-way). They can be booked online at www.condor.com or through travel agencies. Kuala Lumpur is also represented in the Condor 2019 summer flight schedule and is served twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays.