As Croatia gears up for another bumper tourist season, there was an intriguing development in the inter-continental expansion of its flight network. American Ambassador to Croatia Kenneth Merten hinted that efforts are being made to introduce a direct route from New York to Dubrovnik, according to the reliable aviation news portal Ex-Yu Aviation on March 19, 2015.
The Ambassador was quoted on a tour of Dubrovnik: “I am happy to see that arrivals by American citizens to the Dubrovnik County are growing, and by 20 percent. I hope this year there will be even more visitors. It is good to see progress here at Dubrovnik Airport. For Croatia it is important to plan for growth.” He also confirmed that he was working to put the foundation in place for a direct connection, with US charter company National Airlines interested in initiating a twice-weekly service between the two cities in 2016.
If successful, the launch of the route would be the latest addition to long-haul flights to Croatia, which has up until recently focused on direct flights to Europe. As previously reported, the first direct flight from Toronto to Zagreb is due to start on June 22, while Asia and the Middle East has become a lot more accessible with direct flights to the Croatian capital from Doha (Qatar Airways) and Dubai (with Air Dubai). Direct flights to the Serbian capital of Belgrade have also started again, while the first direct flights to the Dalmatian coastal town of Zadar from Chongqing, China are also imminent.
As Ambassador Merten, Croatia becoming increasingly popular with North American tourists, the introduction of a direct connection, coupled with the flexibility and comfort of the expanding European Coastal Airlines seaplane network, will ensure that American tourists to Croatia will have increasing travel options.
Direct flights between Chicago and New York to Zagreb used to take place, but they ceased with the regional conflict in the 1990s.