Airbus face Croatian opponents in Europa League

AIRBUS will face opponents from Croatia in the first qualifying round of the Europa League.

The Wingmakers were paired with NK Lokomotiva Zagreb when the draw was made in Nyon, Switzerland this lunchtime.

Currently competing in the Prva HNL, the country's top division, Lokomotiva were founded in 1914.

But the club's only real period of success came in the late 1940s and early 1950s before spending most of the following five decades as lower-level minnows.

In the mid-2000s, Lokomotiva was turned into Dinamo Zagreb's feeder team and between 2007 and 2009 they won three consecutive promotions which saw them rise from fourth level to first level in the Croatian football league system. 

In their first ever European encounter, the side faced FC Dinamo Minsk in 2013, losing on the away goals rule after winning 2-1 away from home but losing 3-2 at home. 

The side enjoyed another strong showing in the league, which was reduced to 10 teams for the following season, finishing in fifth place.

Due to rules against second sides being in the same division, they legally split their connection to Dinamo, but the clubs continue good relations with a number of Dinamo's players coming to Lokomotiva on loan every season. 

To meet the criteria for the top flight, Lokomotiva host their home matches at NK Zagreb Stadion Kranjceviceva, as their own ground in the Novi Zagreb's Kajzerica neighbourhood is unsuitable for top level football.

Should Airbus win through to the second qualifying round, their opponents would be PAOK of Greece.