This article first appeared on RTL.de
The start of the new Mallorca airline Marabu, a sister company of Condor, is somehow reminiscent of the clumsy albatross Orville from Disney's "Bernhard und Bianca". He wants to fly - but only manages it with great difficulty.
Only three weeks ago there were massive problems: The return flight from La Palma to Munich must be canceled on June 6th because of a violent storm. But what then follows is a whole cascade of communication failures. In the end, some guests only reached their return destination Munich after a week.
A 58-year-old wheelchair user from the Allgäu was also affected by the chaos, as the "Mallorca Zeitung" now reports. The man, who asked not to be named, has been in a wheelchair since an accident 41 years ago. He, too, should fly on June 6th with Marabu Airlines from the Canary Island of La Palma to Munich.
The fact that the flight cannot take place is "understandable" for him at this point in time. But then the chaos begins: For four hours, the passengers were not informed about the flight cancellation.
The next day (June 7th) the passengers come back to the airport. The weather has improved and flight operations have resumed. But new information? none. In the afternoon a Marabu machine starts from Tenerife. The passengers assume that she has La Palma as a destination in order to fly her home from there. But far from it: This flight goes directly from Tenerife to Munich.
On the third day (June 8), the flight will be canceled without replacement. A plane is said to be chartered for the next day. That doesn't work either. Again, the passengers are put off for hours. Then it is clear: there will be no flight for them.
"After all, (...) the guests were neither offered accommodation nor was it possible to transfer to the next scheduled flight of this company," writes the 58-year-old in the Mallorca Zeitung. Other guests then organize alternative return travel options with their tour operators. No option for the wheelchair user: As a paraplegic, he is not allowed to sit for so many hours a day.
Only on June 13th, a whole week later than planned, can the man from the Allgäu finally start his journey home. What was going on? In response to an RTL request, Marabu reported: Customer service had been trying for days to reach him or the person who made the booking by phone.
"This was unsuccessful, which is why Marabu sent him a letter by post. At the same time, our customer service initiated the reimbursement and compensation payment - via the tour operator through whom this flight had been booked," a company spokesman tells us.
Nevertheless, the company concedes in a statement on June 12: "However, the current performance does not yet meet the requirements that Marabu makes of itself." A task force was set up to stabilize flight operations. And some measures have probably already been implemented: "Flight plans are straightened out so that delays and diversions are reduced. We are confident that we will soon have overcome our starting difficulties."