President's plane turns back due to engine failure
The airplane President Tomislav Nikolic was traveling on early on Friday has had to return to Belgrade due to the failure of one of its engines.Source: Tanjug
Nikolic was on his way to the Vatican for an official visit, which has now been canceled, Tanjug is reporting.
Nikolic, who was to meet with Roman Catholic Pope Francis, spoke with Serbian Patriarch Irinej ahead of the trip, announcing that he would inform his host of "some stances of the Serbian Orthodox Church that are of mutual interest."
Nikolic's Stanislava Pak told Tanjug that the visit has been delayed until further notice, adding that a new visit is expected to be scheduled.
"We hope that this will happen soon", Pak said.
The Serbian media are reporting on Friday that the engine failed above the Adriatic when the aircraft was at an altitude of 10,000 meters.
The engine failure occurred on the Serbian government's Falcon, and this is just one of many incidents involving this aircraft.
Due to various malfunctions of the Falcon 50, made in 1981, and the government's other aircraft, a Learjet 31a made in 1991, Serbian officials encountered problems on a number of occasions.
In 2012 then Prime Minister Ivica Dacic had to delay his trip to Cyprus, while his first deputy at the time, Aleksandar Vucic could not return from a visit to the United Arab Emirates. The aircraft also run into problems while carrying former officials Vuk Jeremic, Mirko Cvetkovic and Dragan Sutanovac.