Ever since its first took off, Flybondi, the first low-cost airline to operate in the country, seemed to be facing one problem after another. To such an extent that every time that the company made the headlines, it was because of some sort of new incident that sparked another PR nightmare.
This week was no different.
The first one took place on Monday night, after the airline had to cancel a flight due to “technical issues.” The plane was scheduled to go from Iguazú, Misiones, to Córdoba and from there to Buenos Aires.
While Flybondi assured in a press release that the plane had experienced a malfunction in its “hydraulic system,” one of the 200 passengers that were left stranded assured that, in fact, a part of the left
phalange (sorry, I had to) engine had “fallen off.”
The passenger in question was actually Carlos Telleldín, who was accused and later acquitted in the 1994 AMIA Jewish Center attack case.
In an interview with Perfil, Flybondi emphatically denied this was the case, but conceded that the aircraft experience a technical failure that forced them to cancel the flights.
Regardless, the cancellation caused tension between passengers and company employees. Telleldín assured that the Córdoba police had to intervene so employees wouldn’t get beat up by the angry mob.
Pasajeros varados en aeropuerto de Córdoba desde las 19hs fallas en el motor izquierdo de un avión de flybondi.. Tuvo que intervenir la policía para que la gente no le pegue al personal pic.twitter.com/QUKWHddtm1
— diego ciafardini (@eltanomdp) March 13, 2018
Flybondi representatives didn’t deny that either, arguing that it happened because “a family had to urgently travel to Buenos Aires,” and their reaction to the news caused the situation to escalate.
However, they assured they were able to find an alternative solution so they could make it to Buenos Aires that night. The other passengers only made it to the City one day later. And yet again, the company had to issue a press release in an effort to “convey peace of mind to our passengers about our safety conditions.”
Not even a day passed until the company had to face another big inconvenience, although this time it was of a legal nature: a group of El Palomar residents requested through their lawyers that the eponymous airport located in their neighborhood – from which Flybondi operates – be closed, accusing the company of violating an injunction that only allowed it to operate three flights a day there.
“It does not meet safety or environmental protocols,” assured the lawyer in a radio interview. Moreover, he recalled that due to problems with the landing strip, “the airport can’t be used on rainy days.”
“It is a military base that is surrounded by houses, and it has a school inside. That is why flights are 70 percent cheaper and Flybondi insists on operating from there,” he added.
I’m sure Flybondi was bracing for a rocky takeoff, but this is some violently turbulent start.
Pun totally intended.