Passengers on Albanian flight to Bologna forced to spend a night in Bratislava

Passengers on an Albanian Airlines flight from Tirana bound for Bologna, operated by Air Slovakia, left Bratislava airport on Monday, January 18 on an Amsterdam Airlines plane after an unexpected, forced one-day stop in Slovakia’s capital, the SITA newswire wrote.

Passengers on an Albanian Airlines flight from Tirana bound for Bologna, operated by Air Slovakia, left Bratislava airport on Monday, January 18 on an Amsterdam Airlines plane after an unexpected, forced one-day stop in Slovakia’s capital, the SITA newswire wrote.

The Boeing 737 with 110 passengers landed in Bratislava Sunday evening. Albanian Airlines had rented the airplane and crew from Air Slovakia, SITA reported. According to passengers, the crew informed them that the unscheduled landing in Bratislava was due to unpaid wages.

Air Slovakia, however, said that the pilots had received their wages on time and that the plane landed in Bratislava due to technical problems. The company has its technical maintenance centre in Bratislava. Albanian Airlines, however, said it knows of no technical problems. The spokeswoman for the Bratislava airport, Dana Madunická, said that as far as she knows, the plane landed due to a technical problem, which had not yet been fixed.

The daily Sme wrote that while the airplane was landed in Bratislava, another Air Slovakia plane with eleven crew members was held at an Albanian airport. Until the Slovak Foreign Ministry started investigating the case, they were treated like hostages, Sme wrote.

They were in regular contact with Slovak official representation in Tirana. The Sme daily found out that Air Slovakia has debts for social contributions and health insurance for its employees and allegedly owes them wages for three to four months. The causes of the landing are being investigated by the Slovak Aviation Office. SITA, Sme

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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