The rise in trans-continental flights to Croatia took another step forward on March 1, 2015, as Qatar Airways increased its weekly service from Doha to the Croatian capital of Zagreb to five rotations a week, according to a press release from the world's 5-star airline.
In it, Qatar Airways Commercial Manager for Croatia, Barbara Iva Selendic said: “Qatar Airways is expanding rapidly, not only in terms of new destinations and our network offering, but also with the service we offer. Complementing our five-star service in the skies are our transfer facilities at the newly unveiled state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport, coupled with the experience of flying on board one of the youngest fleets in the industry.”
The increase in direct flights from the previous three weekly direct flights introduced in October
is a sign of Qatari confidence in the route, as Doha and Zagreb had been connected via Budapest until just five months ago.
With Croatian airports mostly served by flights from European destinations, the increased interest of Qatar Airways is being mirrored elsewhere. Minister of Tourism Darko Lorencin and Croatia National Tourist Board director Ratomir Ivcic were in Toronto earlier this week for a ceremony to unveil direct flights from Toronto to Zagreb on June 22 with Skygreece Airlines, as previously reported by Digital Journal
. Ticket sales are due to start later this month.
Another significant development will take place in May at the Dalmatian coastal town of Zadar, where the first direct charters from China
and the city of Chongqing are due to take place.
The long distance flights are good news for tourism in Croatia, which is looking to expand its markets beyond Europe. Croatia has seen a notable rise in tourists from Asia in recent years, particularly from South Korea (up fro 16,000 in 2010 to 221,000 last year, according to official statistics), as South Koreans have flocked to Croatia made popular by a television show back home (see video), and the increased connections offered by Qatar Airways will offer an attractive option to reach their destination. With the seaplane service of European Coastal Airlines offering connections from Zagreb to various coastal and island destinations, tourism in Croatia has never been better connected.