Pilots in the UK have outraged the rescue of the German government by Condor. Is this a case of jealousy or do pilots have a point?
The British Airlines Pilot Association (BALPA) is the umbrella union representing pilots in the United Kingdom.
BALPA Secretary General, Brian Struton issued a statement:  Success to Condor staff and customers. But with UK vacationers and 9,000 jobless staff, Thomas Cook's directors have to explain why the British airline should be closed, but the German is allowed to continue operating. How was it funded because it appeared that there was nothing left for the UK's staff? And why couldn't the UK government give the same kind of bridge support as the German government when it was well known that Thomas Cook had a Chinese buyer? This is a national scandal.
The question is fair enough. If Condor was Thomas Cook's winning hand, why couldn't money be withdrawn from this division to keep the whole company afloat?
The answer is because Condor, formally Condor Flugdienst GmbH, is an independent subsidiary. Thanks to the swift action and protection of German bankruptcy law, creditors were prevented from seizing Condor's assets to satisfy Thomas Cook's debts.
Also, note that Condor is not a wholly-owned subsidiary of Thomas Cook. Instead, Thomas Cook holds a 49% stake.
So while it is understood that British pilots are outraged, their immediate anger is best directed at the British government, which decides not to save Thomas Cook, not Thomas Cook himself, and especially Condor. In the long run, however, Thomas Cook's ill-fated 2007 merger with MyTravel eventually doomed him.
The age of high street travel agencies seems to be such a relic of the past. What Thomas Cook held for so long is a testament to the strength of his brand. But the shocking debt service of a poor investment choice ultimately doomed the airline and not Condor spread its wings.
image: Thomas Cook