Photos

Transport : Airlines

In this trip report I review Condor B767-300ER Business Class from Frankfurt (Germany) to Mahe (Seychelles). For those who have not heard of Condor Airlines, Condor Flugdienst GmbH, branded as Condor, is a German leisure airline based in Frankfurt. It operates scheduled flights to leisure destinations in the Mediterranean, Asia, Africa, North America, South America and the Caribbean. This was my first flight in on Condor and you can read about my second flight in my Condor Business Class Flight reviews.

On October 22nd 2016, I flew Business Class in a Boeing 767-300ER of Condor Flugdienst from Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) in Germany to Seychelles International Airport (SEZ) in the Seychelles. Condor is Germany’s third largest airline based on fleet size and passengers flown. It is a subsidiary of the British Thomas Cook Group, but still partners with its former parent Lufthansa through the use of the Lufthansa Group’s Miles & More program (the flight earned me 3000 miles) and its business lounges at Frankfurt Airport. Since Condor has a reputation for offering European holiday makers inexpensive vacation packages to long-haul destinations, I did not expect a lot. But I was pleasantly surprised by the overall experience, especially the food, which was among the best I ever had in a plane.

I paid 950 euros for a one-way ticket from Brussels to the Seychelles via Frankfurt (the return flight was with Emirates and Qantas). Condor is one of the few airlines that allows you to book online one-way journeys for half the price of a return ticket. The flight from Frankfurt to Seychelles was in Business Class, although the Brussels-Frankfurt leg (operated by Lufthansa) was in Economy. Condor still partners with its former mother company Lufthansa to transfer passengers to its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich, but when you book an intercontinental Business Class ticket with Condor from a connecting point in Europe, you will always end up in Lufthansa’s Economy Class for the intra-European leg.

950 euros for a one way ticket in Business from Europe to the Seychelles is not a bad deal. Only a few airlines serve the Seychelles which include Emirates, Etihad Airways, Air Seychelles which I have reviewed, Air Austral, SriLankan, Ethiopian Airlines, and Kenya Airways. New airlines are launching flights to the islands. Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines have recently started flights from Doha and Istanbul respectively, and Austrian Airlines will offer weekly direct flights from Vienna from autumn next year. In addition, Air Seychelles, the nation’s national carrier, is launching a new route to Düsseldorf.

Condor does not have its own lounge at Frankfurt International Airport but its Business Class passengers have access to the business lounges of its former parent Lufthansa. Lufthansa has more than 10 lounges at its hub. You can read my review for the Lufthansa Busines lounge near gate B24 in Terminal 1 (non-Schengen area), which is close to the Condor boarding gates.

Condor Boeing B767 Business Class Cabin

Condor’s Boeing B767 comes in two versions. The most common version has a total of 214 seats – 30 in Business Class, 35 in Premium Economy, and 180 in Economy. These aircraft are mostly deployed on routes where demand for Business Class seats is high as those serving the Maldives, Mauritius and the Seychelles. The less common B767 variant features a higher density 259 seat configuration, with 18 seats in Business Class, 35 in Premium Economy, and 206 in Economy.

No matter what version you fly in, the Business Class seats in Condor’s B767s are always located in one single cabin in the front of the plane. Although they don’t have the youngest fleet in the industry, Condor completed a fleet-wide refurbishment of its Business Class cabins a couple of years ago and it shows: the B767 Business Class was bright, airy and modern. During the retrofit, the cabins were equipped with LED mood lighting, which is similar to what you experience on modern planes such as the B787 and A350. It create nice effects in a wide range of colours.

The seats, placed in 2-2-2 seat configuration all face forward. All seats offer aisle access, except for the window seats where you will have to crawl over the legs of your neighbour if you want to reach the aisle. See seat map of Condor’s B767.

The Best Business Class Seat On Condor Planes
Although comfortable, the Business Class seats on Condor’s B767 represent a dated product. While many airlines now offer flatbeds, Condor opts for angled lie-flat seats with a 170 degree incline. This is probably due to the fact that Condor mainly caters to holiday destinations and therefore somewhat lacks steep competitions from other airlines, hence allowing them to maintain a somewhat inferior Business Class seat product.

The seat has a 152 cm (60 inch) pitch and is 48 cm (19 inch) wide. The seat layout is quite simple, with the seat and entertainment system controls located in one arm rest, while the moderately sized tray table is located in the other arm rest and needs to be pulled out for any use. In front of the seat is the entertainment screen which offers around 30 movies, 50 TV series and documentaries, and a good selection of music. There was storage space on top of the screen and a large compartment below for your feet. If you wish to use your own electronic devices rather than the seat built-in complete system, the seat has USB ports and electrical outlets.

With a press of the button, the seat reclines to an angle of 170 degrees, hereby creating a bed of 180 cm (70 inch) long, whereby your legs disappear in the box below the entertainment screen.

All seats in the cabin, except for the first and last row, are quiet good, especially for couples. Make sure to prebook your seat online since Condor flights are often fully packed.

The 2-2-2 Business Class layout does not make the cabin very attractive for solo travelers, since you will always end up sitting next to a stranger. There is a small screen though between seats that can be raised for added privacy.

Window seats don’t offer direct aisle access and passengers seated in the first row may be bothered by the noise of the galley and passengers going to or returning from the lavatories. I suggest avoiding the last row of Business Class, which is close to Premium Economy bassinet seats. Window seats in the last row are missing a window.

Amenities

Upon boarding, your find a comfortable blanket and pillow on your seat to enhance your sleeping comfort. Before takeoff, the crew also hands out amenity kits, which come in the form of an etui, a small ornamental case featuring a map of the globe. The content was rather disappointing and not different from the essentials that you get in Economy Class on many airlines. I have reviewed the best First & Business Class airline amenity kits in the world (Condor definitely does not feature in this list!).

Food

Upon boarding, I was offered the choice between a glass of Champagne, water, or orange juice. I received a refreshing hot towel to wipe my hands and face. I was also served a soft drink (with ice and lemon) and a small bag containing an assortment of cold nuts.

Soon thereafter, dinner was offered, all served on a single tray. Food was terrific and among the best I ever enjoyed on a flight, including First Class. The quality, quantity, presentation, and service were all top-notch. The Condor in-flight menu read as follows:

Starter: mixed platter with
creamy cheese and herb dip
chicken breast with herb crust, bulgur & mango salad, and curried crème fraiche
avocado parsley mousse , quinoa salad, scampi skewer, and smoked salmon filet
seasonal leafy green salad with thousand island dressing
Main course: Red snapper with mustard sauce, grilled vegetables, and potato mash with chives
Dessert: Passionfruit champagne tartlet on peach ragout
90 minutes prior to landing, breakfast was served. It featured:

Freshly sliced fruits
Beef salami, turkey ham, Emmentaler, and rocket cream cheese
Frittata with cheese and parsley
Bircher muesli
Bread roll – croissant – chocolate Danish pastry
Butter – jam – Nutella – honey

It is worth noting that the Condor B767 does not have a walk-up bar in Business Class or WiFi on their planes.

Review by my friends at Luxury Travel Expert

Condor Airlines