Startup Marabu Eyes Over 20 Routes

The carrier revealed more details of its plans 

Credit: Nordic Aviation Group

New European leisure airline Marabu will start selling tickets through German leisure carrier Condor on Dec. 14, with plans to eventually operate up to six Airbus A320s on more than 20 routes between Germany and Mediterranean leisure destinations.

Marabu is a new airline from UK-based investment firm Attestor, which already owns 51% of Condor. Marabu will launch in spring 2023 as a partner airline to Condor, but it is positioned as an independent scheduled leisure airline, with its own brand identity.

Marabu plans to operate from Hamburg (HAM) and Munich (MUC) to leisure and beach destinations in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands, the Red Sea, the Portuguese and Spanish Atlantic coasts.

“With the travel and tourism sector recovering much faster than expected after the corona pandemic and demand continuing to rise, Attestor, as a long-term investor, is launching Marabu, another airline under its own flag,” Attestor said in a statement announcing the new airline.

Nordic Aviation Group, which operates under the brands Nordica and Xfly, has set up an Estonian air operator’s certificate (AOC) for Marabu and will be providing three initial wet leased A320neos. Nordica has already recruited more than 100 flight attendants and pilots for the new airline. 

“Marabu is also expected to operate its own aircraft before the end of summer 2023,” Attestor said, adding that the Marabu fleet will eventually comprise six A320 family aircraft.

Condor will be the exclusive general sales agent for Marabu flights. 

“Overall, more than 20 destinations are planned,” Attestor said.

Marabu’s website shows planned destinations in the Balearic islands, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, Portugal, Spain and Sardinia.

Marabu will be led by Paul Schwaiger, who spent 15 years as managing director of Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa joint-venture leisure carrier SunExpress. Schwaiger has also held senior executive roles at German leisure carrier Condor.

He will be joined by COO Tony Larsson, who is currently managing director of West Air Sweden and was previously COO of Nordica, Marabu’s wet lease partner.

Attestor is a long-term asset manager, specializing in turnaround investments. The fund was founded in 2012 by German investor Jan-Christoph Peters and currently oversees assets of around €6 billion ($6.3 billion). Attestor’s capital comes mainly from university endowments and family offices. The portfolio includes a stake in Austrian bank Kommunalkredit Austria and car rental company Europcar, as well as a number of hotels in Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands.