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article imageModern European hydroplane history as ECA touches down in Jelsa

By Paul Bradbury     Aug 27, 2014 in Travel
Jelsa - Aviation history is made as the first scheduled commercial sea plane flight lands on the island of Hvar from Split Airport.
It is the moment that many doubted would ever happen, but shortly before 09:30 on August 27, 2014, a European Coastal Airlines hydroplane docked at the small sea terminal in Jelsa on the island of Hvar, completing a 13-minute journey from near Split Airport, thereby ended a marathon 13-year battle with Croatian bureaucracy, an event witnessed by Digital Journal via web-cam.
Shortly before 09:30  the first scheduled hydroplane in modern European aviation history touched dow...
Shortly before 09:30, the first scheduled hydroplane in modern European aviation history touched down in Jelsa on Hvar.
The Twin Otter hydroplane, flown by Captain Mark Poppleton, landed out at sea and then taxied in to the pretty harbour of Jelsa, as a curious and expectant crowd had gathered to witness the historic event in modern European aviation history, where Jelsa's mayor Niksa Peronja was on hand to welcome the first passengers.
Initial flights will be sold at a promotional price of just 99 kuna (US$ 17), with the price then increasing to 190 kuna for the short flight. In the coming days, additional locations of Pula, the island of Rab and Zadar and Zagreb airports will be added to the network, which is looking to expand rapidly to connect more islands in the mainland, thereby providing both a convenient island-hopping experience and a useful lifeline for islanders; contrary to all other tourist airlines, ECA will fly throughout the year.
The welcoming committee in Jelsa for the first flight
The welcoming committee in Jelsa for the first flight
Dragan Misolic
The first flight marks the end of one of the longest battles of foreign investment in Croatia, dating back thirteen years. Having managed to finally begin operations, albeit at the end of the tourist season, it is hoped that progressing and building up the network will now become easier, so that the islands will be at least as well connected by hydroplanes as they were some 70 years ago.
Jelsa  mayor Niksa Peronja was on hand to welcome the first passengers
Jelsa mayor Niksa Peronja was on hand to welcome the first passengers
Vivian Grisogono
More about hvar, jelsa, Croatia, european coastal airlines, hydroplanes croatia
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