Sarajevo management under investigation

Police looking into dealings of Sarajevo Airport’s managment

The federal police in Bosnia and Herzegovina is investigating various business dealings made by the management of Sarajevo Airport, headed by CEO Ivica Veličan, involving unlawful employment, acquisition of goods without necessary tender procedures, opening of new duty free areas without permits and nepotism. The Prime Minister of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nermin Nikšić, admits there is an ongoing investigation linked to both Mr. Veličan and his son, Darjan Veličan, who is also employed at the airport. “I have been asked by the police to hand over documents regarding the airport’s business operations”, the Prime Minister said.

Mr. Veličan, who is a member of the ruling Social Democratic Party (SDP), was named as Sarajevo Airport’s CEO in the summer of 2011 while he was still Croatia Airlines’ country manager for Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, Mr. Veličan served at both positions for several months leading to a direct conflict of interest. In addition, the CEO did not meet the needed requirements for the position since he does not possess a university degree. This saw the airport’s Board of Directors swiftly adjust the requirements needed for the top job. Mr. Veličan’s son, Darjan, who was working at the airport’s cargo centre when his father was appointed CEO, is now the airport’s head of marketing. Darjan Veličan is under investigation for his involvement in the robbery of the airport’s cargo facilities and has been linked to several other criminal investigations.

The family way - Ivica Veličan (left) with son Darjan

Police is also looking into the purchase of airport vehicles without necessary tender procedures which are required by law. During Mr. Veličan’s two and a half year reign, an additional fifty staff members have been employed, many of which are members of the SDP, including a close relative of Damir Hadžić who is the Minister for Communications and Transport. While the airport has seen its passenger numbers surge over the past few years its revenue has declined despite the opening of new duty free areas and even a betting booth in the middle of the passenger terminal. The current management has cancelled the expansion of Sarajevo Airport’s terminal, deciding not to use up a 25 million euro loan, provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. At the time, Mr. Veličan said the loan was taken out by the former management with the aim to destroy the airport.


  1. Anonymous09:04

    They openned a betting booth at the airport? :D

    1. Anonymous09:14

      Yes it's horrible. It's on the ground floor in the middle of the building with big screens giving you the latest betting odds. Who on earth opens something like that at an airport!?!?

  2. Anonymous09:05


  3. Anonymous09:06

    Why am I not surprised?

  4. Anonymous09:12

    The other "criminal investigations" Darjan Velican is involved in is attempted murder! He stabbed a guard at a club... and now he is director of marketing :(

  5. Anonymous09:23

    Ovo je Balkan!

  6. Anonymous09:25

    Glad this site from time to time reports on these issues of corruption at airlines and airports. This one probably tops it. Still can’t decide who is more corrupt. Sarajevo Airport, Podgorica Airport, Montenegro Airlines or former JAT management.

  7. Anonymous10:54

    Disgusting. Fuj!

  8. Anonymous10:55

    The worst thing is all of this in the open and no one seems to care ... and then people scratch their heads and wonder about the recent protests in Bosnia.

  9. Anonymous15:11

    And their counter argument is; We're not any more corrupt than other government agencies, why are you picking on us?

    -- Charlie

    1. Anonymous15:34

      The problem is they have the support of the government.

  10. Anonymous15:45

    Of course there is corruption and nepotism in Croatia and Slovenia as well (there is no single country in the World without it) but there police and courts work, and even highest officials, PM's, ministers, MP's, are not "untouchable", and some of them are in jail already for their criminal acts.

    Despite such environment, we have here all the time information about possible corruption in Adria Airways, new Zagreb Airport company etc etc

    Even Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is far far far from an ideal, functional and organized country, and EU standards, as we can see from this article, is investigating possible criminal acts of some relatively highly positioned officials in the airline industry.

    I'll not even comment Montenegro, as 90% of people here would swear that corruption is the only "modus vivendi" there, including civil aviation.

    But when Serbia is in question, there is no topic on this blog, or anywhere else in public, two months ago, a week ago, yesterday or tomorrow, with the headline : "Suspicious and highly likely harmful contract with Etihad under investigation"

    I wonder why? Of course, this is retorical question; namely I know why is it so, but just want to see reactions to my post (providing it's not erased within seconds)

    Best regards from ex-JAT lazy communist chauvinist superhater troll who doesn't even speak english :)

    1. Anonymous15:56

      Get over it are boring!

    2. Anonymous16:37

      Probably because there is no investigation into EY deal. Because for there to be a headline "Suspicious and highly likely harmful contract with Etihad under investigation" you actually need an investigation. But I remember this blog has written a lot about corruption in aviation in Serbia and parts of the EY deal revealed by BIRN a few days ago were already well known and published here in August last year!

    3. Anonymous22:06

      Doctor prescribed him to write one hateful comment against JU/BEG a day to feel better. Well, do you feel better now?

  11. OT: Etihad regional to lease 4 ATR 72-500 for short term.

  12. Anonymous13:56

    Secondo me l'aeroporto di Sarajevo ha delle grandi potenzialità se fosse gestito in maniera diversa. Dovrebbero introdurre le compagnie low cost e più collegamenti con le grandi città europee come Roma, Londra, Parigi, Amsterdam... in modo da aumentare il traffico e le entrate.

  13. Anonymous10:41

    In my view Sarajevo airport has great potential if it were managed in a different way. Should introduce low cost airlines and more connections with the major European cities such as Rome, London, Paris, Amsterdam ... in order to increase traffic and revenue.


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