Are Zagreb – Tokyo Flights on the Horizon?

Daniela Rogulj

Could we soon see the two capital cities connect?

Did you know that in 2017, a total of 142,043 travelers from Japan visited Croatia, which is a 17% increase on 2016? This year alone, Croatia has already welcomed 23,000 Japanese visitors in the first four months, which is 29% up from last year. The majority of Japanese tourists stays in Dubrovnik, Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes, Split, and Opatija – so wouldn’t it make sense for Croatia’s capital to connect to Japan’s capital?

Oleg Butković, Croatia’s Minister of Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure, has been authorized by the Croatian government to begin talks with his Japanese counterpart for the potential of flights between Zagreb and Tokyo. Since a Bilateral Air Service Agreement has already been drafted and is pending signatures, Butković hopes for seamless negotiations and that this new connection could see the light of day as soon as possible, reports Ex Yu Aviation on May 14, 2018.

Minister of Tourism, Gari Cappelli, has stated numerous times that reaching the Far East Asia market is a must to harness the growing number of tourists from the region. South Korea, Japan and China are the key markets Croatia is after, and Korean Air has already been granted permits to operate flights between Seoul and Zagreb up to five times a week. “The Ministry’s strategic goal is to develop Croatia as a destination which is accessible to various airlines, particularly before and after the height of the summer season. That is why we are turning towards the Asian market, primarily Korea, Japan and China, where we are concentrating a lot of our efforts,” said Cappelli on Ex Yu Aviation

All Nippon Airways (ANA), known as Japan’s largest airline, operates summer charters from several cities to Dubrovnik, and Zagreb also once had charters from Tokyo. Emirates, which kicked off their flights between Dubai and Zagreb in 2017, is also responsible for bringing a significant amount of Japanese tourists to Croatia. 

A large Japanese business delegation including airline representatives will visit Croatia next month to discuss the possibility of connecting Zagreb and Tokyo. 

Source: Ex Yu Aviation


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