ETF Airways (2F, Zagreb Franjo Tuđman) is threatening to sue Bremen Hans Koschnick Airport over EUR1 million euros (USD1.1 million) worth of engine damage caused when one of its B737-800s, 9A-LAB (msn 30882), hit a rabbit in August this year, according to Chief Executive Officer Stjepan Bedic.

In a statement on LinkedIn, Bedic said the aircraft was grounded for 12 days as it needed a new CFM International CFM56-7B27 engine. “It caused around a million euro damage to us, and now we are preparing for a lawsuit,” he said.

Bedic said he had documented holes in the airport fence. “I walked five hours around the airport, taking pictures of holes in the fence. They send security to (try) chase me away ("Go away! No rabbits here!") even though they knew very well what I was doing, as it was announced and documented.”

He said the airport had denied liability for the damage to the aircraft. “They tried intimidation as well, but they don't understand: you can't scare a team of people who spent a better part of their childhoods in bomb shelters," he said.

Bremen Airport declined to comment when approached by ch-aviation.

Bedic said the incident, which took place on August 2, had been a setback for the airline. As reported, ETF Airways completed certification in late May 2021 and has been using two B737-800s - 9A-LAB (msn 30882) and 9A-ABC (msn 30667) - both on operating leases from AerCap to destinations in Kosovo, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, and Sweden.

He said the company has gotten back on its feet now and is looking for a third and possibly a fourth B737-800 for 2022. It flew 135,000 passengers and about 1,500 flights in the first five months of operations.