The German holiday airline Condor faces some criticism for its Smart Lynx flights. On board, passengers had to clean the plane themselves. What is known about the airline.

Defective seats, no entertainment program, communication difficulties with the cabin crew – these were some of the points of criticism with which passengers from Condor to Punta Cana turned to aeroTELEGRAPH last week. However, the flight was not operated by the holiday airline itself. Smart Lynx flew with an Airbus A330 for Condor.

Since then, other passengers have come forward with criticism. One writes: “The inside of the plane was extremely dirty. We cleaned the armrests (which were already damaged) with a damp cloth – it turned black afterwards.”

Another passenger previously shared: “Seats that don’t move, even in expensive business class – not one in 18, but three. Also, no screens for movies, entertainment or any other information.”

Many also turned to aeroTELEGRAPH with questions about Smart Lynx. We answer the most important ones:

Smart Lynx hails from Latvia and specializes in the wet lease business, also known as ACMI in the industry.

The abbreviation stands for Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance and means that Smart Lynx leases aircraft complete with crew, maintenance and insurance to other airlines.

Most of the fleet consists of Airbus aircraft: A320-200, A321-200, A321F and A330-300. There are also Boeing 737 Max 8s.

Two Airbus A330-300 are currently in use for the German leisure airline. They are marked 9H-SMD and 9H-SMF. A third A330-300 is also available as a reserve (9H-SMG). The planes are between eight and a half and ten years old. For comparison: Condor’s remaining Boeing 767s have an average of almost 29 years under their belts.

The country code 9H stands for Malta. The reason: Smart Lynx has branches in different countries. The main company in Latvia has registered Airbus A320s and A321s with the country code YL. Smart Lynx Estonia in Estonia has other A320s registered with ES registrations.

The A330 – along with other A320s and A321s and the Boeing 737 Max 8 – belong to Smart Lynx Malta. A particularly large number of aircraft are generally registered on the Mediterranean island because it is easy to administer and is worthwhile from a tax point of view. And another country comes into play, albeit not in the registration of aircraft. Like Avion Express, Smart Lynx belongs to the Avia Solutions Group – and it comes from Lithuania.

In general, airlines use wet lease partners when their own capacity is temporarily insufficient – for example during the summer holidays, or when their own aircraft are canceled. However, the Cockpit Association criticizes an “increasing expansion of wet leasing as a permanent means of reducing costs”. In the current case of Condor, the German airline is currently converting its long-haul fleet from Boeing 767 to Airbus A330. During the upheaval, she gets reinforcements from Smart Lynx.

The Airbus A330 from Smart Lynx are not old, but that says nothing about the age and condition of the installed seats. The planes are divided as follows: The 9H-SMD, which flies to New York and Toronto for Condor, has a higher proportion of business travelers and therefore has 30 business class seats in addition to 255 economy seats – a total of 285 seats. The 9H-SMF flies to Punta Cana with tourists – with 18 seats in business class, 33 in premium economy and 312 in economy. Most of the criticism that has now arisen referred to this plane. The reserve aircraft The 9H-SMG has twelve seats in business class and 365 in economy.

Yes, because although Condor rents aircraft and crew members from Smart Lynx, the entire crew is not made up of Smart Lynx employees. There are also Condor flight attendants on board the aircraft.

no Smart Lynx currently flies in Germany for travel companies such as Tui, FTI Reisen and Schauinsland Reisen with bases in Saarbrücken, Nuremberg, Berlin and Münster/Osnabrück.

This article was written by Timo Nowack

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The original of this article “Airline has to save money and causes passenger frustration after disgusting flight in the Caribbean” comes from aeroTelegraph.