CONDOR is a German charter airline based in Frankfurt/Main. It operates a fleet of Airbus A320, Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft. According to passenger figures it is the fourth largest airline in Germany. Since 1997 it belongs to Thomas Cook. In 2013 the British Thomas Cook Airlines UK and Condor share a common branding.
In 2009 when journalists from ARD German public broadcast network conducted initial research and took wipe samples from Condor aircraft it turned out that CONDOR had the highest readings for TCP (tri-cresylphosphate) or the TOCP (tri-ortho-cresylphosphate isomer) respectively, a toxic organ phosphate compound. But apparently the implication of these findings were only reduced to this compound which was regarded as the only substance of concern. This is misleading as TCP was the only compound that the journalists asked the laboratory to analyze because of budget reasons (other standards of compounds would have be either bought or derived first, before they could be found in gas-chromatopraphy). Also research has shown that the assumptions raised for the defense of the airline by their experts are highly questionable.
In order to counter the allegations CONDOR did ask the Fresenius institute to conduct a study and test their aircraft. Strangely the findings of these test were kept under lock and key with the CONDOR management and were not disclosed to the employees. But crews were highly alerted and CONDOR encountered numerous fume/smell events in the following years. Always in the focus: the Boeing 757 aircraft of CONDORS’s fleet, equipped with Rolls-Royce RB 211 engines.
The situation peaked when at Las Palmas airport on the Canary Islands three flight attendants became injured after a fume event during approach and a subsequent engine test run on the ground. Although the cabin crew had expressed to leave the aircraft prior to the test-run the captain started the engine test with the flight attendants on their stations. Subsequently two flight attendants became immediately injured and were transported off-board by paramedics. A day later also the chief flight attendant suffered neurological symptoms.
The incident became categorized an accident according to ICAO annex 13 and is investigated by the Spanish authorities. The final report is expected to be released by the end of Summer 2016 but only reflecting the status of research and investigation conducted until October 2015. But vital and very important findings in regards to the effects of the compounds involved in this accident were only gained in Spring 2016.
One of the injured flight attendants from this flight is baroness Freya von der Ropp who appears in the film. She is medically unfit to fly ever since and became ill health retired without any compensation or injury pension. She will now have to sue in Court.
In the aftermath of the accident CONDOR claimed that the smell was traced back to de-icing fluid which would be non-toxic. This has meanwhile proven to be wrong by new research and analysis conducted at the Medical University of Göttingen.
CONDOR declined all requests for an interview on camera by Tim van Beveren.
- Wipe sample results ARD 2009
- Statement_Condor 2010
- Condor Antrag EV
- Minutes Condor Crisis team-DABOC-LPA-2013-03-23
- Protokoll D-ABOC_130325_ 17_30 UTC highlighted
- Protokoll Status D-ABOC_280313_11_30
- Maintenance Records D-ABOC
- Interim Report on Accident with D-ABOC, 2014
- Final Report on Accident with D-ABOC, 2016
- PV Info 2014-01
- Statement_Condor 2010
- Condor zusätzliche Unfallversicherung AXA Gase und Dämpfe seit 2009(!)
- condor pv 042010