Startup Carrier Marabu Secures AOC, Launches First Flights

Credit: Marabu Airlines

Startup Marabu Airlines has received its air operator’s certificate and operating license from the Estonian Transport Administration, clearing the way for the start of its first commercial routes.

The carrier took delivery of an Airbus A320neo aircraft on April 12 and launch its inaugural commercial flight three days later, connecting Munich with Palma de Mallorca. The service will be daily.

Marabu is planning to launch two more routes in the coming weeks, linking Munich to Estonia’s capital Tallinn from May 21, followed by service from Hamburg to Tallinn on June 16. Ticket sales have already started through Condor, the German leisure airline. According to Condor’s booking system, both routes will operate twice a week.

Marabu is backed by investment firm Attestor, which owns 51% of Condor. The airline also has a long-term service agreement with Estonia’s Nordic Aviation Group, which operates under the brands Nordica and Xfly. Nordica is providing three initial wet-leased A320neos to Marabu.

“We are extremely grateful to the Estonian authorities for great cooperation that allowed us to establish and set up Marabu in four months,” Marabu CEO Paul Schwaiger said.

Schwaiger spent 15 years as MD of Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa joint-venture leisure carrier SunExpress. He has also held executive roles at Condor.

Marabu intends to operate up to six A320s to more than 20 leisure destinations from Munich and Hamburg. A proposed route map on the company’s website shows planned destinations in the Balearic Islands, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, Portugal, Sardinia and Spain. 

According to data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser, four carriers serve Munich-Palma de Mallorca at present, with Eurowings flying 23X-weekly, Lufthansa 10X-weekly, Vueling 6X-weekly and TUIfly 1X-weekly.

Between Munich and Tallinn, Marabu will compete with airBaltic and Lufthansa—which provide 3X-weekly and 4X-weekly flights respectively—but the startup will be the sole operator of Hamburg-Tallinn flights.

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.