Air Plus cancels inaugural flight
Despite previous denials that Swift Air wouldn’t cancel its inaugural flight from Chicago to Belgrade via Zagreb, it indeed did so last night, leaving 221 passengers stranded at Rockford Airport. According to one EX-YU aviation news visitor who was at the scene, the operator told passengers the flight was cancelled as the Federal Aviation Administartion (FAA) did not allow the aircraft to depart. Passengers were informed of this after 21.00 local time when the flight was scheduled to leave. Air Plus, the tour operator behind the service, said all planned flights, which were to run until mid September, have been cancelled. "We are all shocked with these circumstances, and will do our best to refund all funds to passengers as soon as possible to allow them to still book their flights on other airlines", Air Plus said on its website.
The Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate said it had not been notified as to why the flight was cancelled. It was supposed to be welcomed at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport by the authority of the City of Belgrade, the Ministry for Infrastructure and the Ambassador of the United States in Serbia. Amongst the passengers on the cancelled Swift Air flight was the Consulate General of Serbia in Chicago as well as the local authorities from the City of Chicago.
Only 2 days ago Zagreb Airport CEO, Tonči Peović, said the inaugural would be cancelled and moved by a week which led to vehement denials by Air Plus, the tour operator organising the service. Today, after 19 years, flights from Chicago to Belgrade and Zagreb were to resume. It seems that potential passengers will now have to wait a while longer until flights to the United States resume.
This post will be updated when more news comes to light.