After aviation history in Europe was made this week with the launch of the first scheduled hydroplane service in Europe in the modern era
, Digital Journal took to the skies on August 30, 2014, to experience the first route from Split Airport to Jelsa on the island of Hvar.
The flight, which takes just 13 minutes, is the start of a revolution in tourism travel in Croatia, finally affording tourists and locals the opportunity to island-hop, having been forced to rely until now on slower and poorly timetabled ferries.
The initial reaction to the new service has been overwhelmingly positive, with the promotional tickets at 99 kuna (US$ 17) selling quickly, and seats at the regular price of 299 kuna also selling well.
The initial expectation was that many would use the service as a transit to the popular destination of Hvar Town, but the opposite in fact has so far been true, with many people flying to experience a novelty in aviation, as well as the chance to enjoy panoramic flights and have a day trip to Jelsa.
Digital Journal booked the flight on August 30, a few days after the service started. The story of booking to disembarking at final destination is told below with commentary.