State probes Zagreb Airport mishap


Zagreb Airport's operational hours and practices have has been put under the spotlight after the airport refused to handle an aircraft past midnight due to a lack of staff, forcing it to divert to Rome instead. Last Friday night, a Croatia Airlines flight between Zagreb and Dubrovnik with 124 passengers on board was unable to land in Dubrovnik due to high wind. The captain requested to turn back to Zagreb but was denied landing. With all commercial airports in the country closed at the time, the aircraft diverted to Rome, landing in the Italian capital at one in the morning on Saturday. The airline incurred additional costs by having to put up passengers in hotels for the night. The crew then requested to return to Zagreb empty but were again denied approval by Zagreb Airport.

The Croatian Ministry for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure said it is investigating the matter but noted that under the concession agreement with the French-led consortium, Zagreb Airport must be operational 24/7 throughout the duration of the concession. The union representing airport employees in Croatia said the incident is a result of cost cutting by the concessionaire which has an insufficient number of emergency staff, namely fire fighters, on hand to handle larger aircraft during late night/early morning hours. For its part, the airport said on Saturday it would issue a statement on the matter today. At the time of publication, the airport is yet to release a statement.


  1. This is not a problem with ZAG only, but any airport in that situation. They operate with a service level agreement and have to make sure that they operate within the minimum required operations. I would say that they have been within their agreement and wouldn't have broken any contractual obligation either.

    1. Anonymous12:55

      I don't agree with you. If there is a clause that obliges them to be operational 24/7 then it means that they must be able to handle aicraft at all times.

      To me this looks more like a scenario where ZAG's new management tried to save some money.

  2. Anonymous13:36

    Theoretically an airport cannot reject a diverting aircraft, if it declared itself operational 7/24 in AIP. But its specifications are mentioned in the very same AIP too, including the fire fighting category. Then it's up to the airline to decide whether to land there or somewhere else, based on the declared firefighting category.

    The article itself is also quite confusing. First paragraph has very clear accusations on the airport but there's no reference or resource. Is this Croatia Airlines' statement or Civil Aviation's investigation result or airport's statement? Are there any communication records exyuavation has witnessed or what?

  3. Anonymous13:43

    I agree with anon 12:55 .... totally irresponsible new management ... my only question is: why didn't croatia diverted it's plane to SJJ, it is also operational 24/7 troughout the year...and it is waaaay closer than Rome

    1. Anonymous13:46

      SJJ works only until 11pm.

      06:00-23:00 po lokalnom vremenu
      Registracija putnika (Check-In): od 05:00 do zatvaranja šaltera na zadnjem letu

    2. Anonymous13:53

      Or Skopje, Sofia, Belgrade, Ljubljana, Tirana or Thessaloniki. All of these places are H24 and a lot closer than Rome.

    3. Anonymous13:55

      SJJ works 0-24 with the begining of summer timetable ... i know because my sis is working there and also there is a departing Istanbul flight at 23:50 three time per week

  4. Anonymous14:11

    How embarrassing.

  5. Anonymous14:06

    They should have diverted to BEG, to see how a real airport works.

  6. Dragi nasi,

    da je se ovako nesto desilo u Srbiji, Makedoniji ili Bosni, citav globus bi znao i na sva zvona bi se pricalo kako tamo nema standarda EU i kako su nesposobni svi.
    Medjutim ovakve stvari se desavaju i u SAD, u Francuskoj, Italiji idt...
    Na srecu niko nije stradao i sve je proslo dobro. Steta jedino sto su putnici malo duze putovali, ali ipak mislim da jedna fina noc u Rimu (koja je placena od strane kompanije) nije za baciti...


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