Croatia Airlines stands by Dash 8 aircraft
Croatia Airlines says its fleet of six Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft are safe and they will remain an essential part of the carrier’s fleet. It comes after one of its aircraft landed without its nose gear in Zurich on Friday night. “A total of 600 aircraft of this type fly around the world for various renowned airlines and no one has claimed the aircraft is less safe than others or has more mechanical problems”, Zlatko Širac, member of the Managing Board and Chief Operating Officer at Croatia Airlines says. The Croatian carrier is due to pay off the aircraft in 2018.
On Saturday afternoon another Croatia Airlines Dash 8 aircraft travelling to Rome from Dubrovnik landed in Split after an emergency light indicated problems with one of its engines. After the aircraft was inspected and cleared in Split it continued its journey with all seventy passengers onboard to the Italian capital, with a delay of several hours. Croatia Airlines’ spokesperson, Davor Janušić, says the incident cannot be related to the one which occurred on Friday evening in Switzerland. Croatia Airlines has seen a total of sixteen incidents on the Dash 8 in connection to their landing near, though none have been serious. According to sources within the airline, most landing gear related problems on their Dash 8s included gear blockage though these have usually lasted only a few seconds.
Meanwhile, the crew of Croatia Airlines flight OU464 from Zagreb to Zurich, headed by captain Zvonko Šitum and co-pilot Ivan Ivanković, have received a heroes’ welcome back home for their professionalism and handling of the emergency. Mr. Šitum says the Dash aircraft are safe and passengers have no need to worry, “There have been minor incidents but it happens to every aircraft and airline around the world”. He added that at no point was there panic inside the passenger cabin or on the flight deck during the emergency landing and that crew followed regular procedure in such events.