Croatia and Japan Continue Discussion on Introducing Direct Flight Service

Daniela Rogulj

September 14, 2019 – Japanese tourists are increasingly visiting Croatia – and especially the hotspots of Dubrovnik, Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes, Split, and Opatija. Last year, 159,574 Japanese travelers were recorded in the country, which saw a 12% increase compared to 2017. But the Japanese aren’t just choosing Croatia for their holidays.

Namely, 24 Japanese companies also operate in the country, making it pretty clear that the need for a direct flight between the two countries is more than desired. 

Back in May, TCN announced that Croatia and Japan would continue their discussions of introducing direct flights connecting the two countries. However, as a precondition for establishing nonstop flights, Croatia and Japan must adopt an Air Service Agreement. 

“Discussions between the aeronautical authorities of Japan and the Republic of Croatia are continuing. A tentative framework has been reached until the conclusion of an Air Services Agreement between the two countries. Considering the possibility and forecasts, there is sufficient air traffic demand for scheduled air services between Japan and the Republic of Croatia in the future,” the Japanese Ministry for Foreign Affairs said back in November 2018 when talks were first held. 

Ex Yu Aviation reported on Thursday that the second round of discussions between Croatia and Japan has been held in Zagreb, and that the two countries will continue negotiations regarding the Air Service Agreement. However, a date for the meeting is yet to be set. 

The Croatian Ministry of Tourism considers the Japanese market a priority. 

“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,” the Ministry said.

Recall, All Nippon Airlines (ANA), which is Japan’s largest airlines, currently runs summer charter flights to Dubrovnik, and Zagreb once operated charter flights from Tokyo. 

Japan Airlines (JAL) has also said they are considering operating to Eastern Europe thanks to its low-cost airline Zipair. 

Japan allegedly initiated talks with Croatia about introducing regular flights between the two countries, and Oleg Butković, Croatia’s Minister for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, hopes that we’ll see a route connecting Tokyo and Zagreb soon. 

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


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