At least 42 Croatia Airline staff said they were too ill to fly on Thursday, just before they were due to leave Kassel-Calden airport for Spilt, Croatia. It was to be the first flight leaving from the new airport.
Officials from flag-carrying Croatia Airlines, which is facing bankruptcy, said on Friday they suspected that the third of the firm’s entire staff who suddenly fell ill were faking in protest against the company making budget cuts. News broke recently that it was looking to get rid of a fifth of its staff.
The state health insurance office confirmed on Friday that it check out the doctors who had provided the staff with sick notes.
Thursday’s cancellation was not the first grounding to hit the much-criticised airport. Costing €271 million to build, bosses had to cancel charter flights due to a lack of passengers. The airport is in the north of central German state Hesse. Frankfurt, one of Europe’s largest flight hubs, is in the same state.