Nonstop Flights to USA in Near Future? Croatia Intensifies Talks with Airlines and Tour Operators in America

Daniela Rogulj

Croatia and the USA may not be so far away in the near future.

Coming from the United States, I think I have a pretty good idea of how much of a pain it can be traveling to and from Croatia. Lucky for me, since my trusted airports were either San Francisco or Los Angeles International, it was never too hard to find a direct flight to London, with a quick trip over to either Split, Dubrovnik, or Zagreb Airport. But wouldn’t this all be easier if Zagreb, at the very least, connected with a single major city in the United States? It looks like others may have finally latched on to the idea.

According to EX-YU Aviation News on December 20, 2017, Croatia has intensified talks with airlines and tour operators in America regarding nonstop flights to the USA. To make the news even more believable, the head of the Croatian National Tourist Board, Kristjan Stančić, also held meetings with critical influencers in the US travel industry earlier this month in New York. 

“One of the more important topics we discussed with several major partners was the introduction of nonstop services between Croatia and the United States. I am delighted to note that our colleagues on the US market have offered us strong support for the establishment of these flights, which would be of great importance to Croatia, and not just for the tourism sector. I am optimistic concerning this matter, and I believe that Croatia will have nonstop flights to this important market in the near future,” said Stančić. The Croatia Tourist Board also plans to open offices in New York City in 2018.

If you recall, the Ministry of Tourism announced seasonal flights between the US and Croatia beginning next year, with the plan to initiate year-round operations the following year. Tourism Minister Gari Capelli was noted saying that the Ministry was in serious negations regarding year-round flights from Croatia to New York which would see takeoffs in either Zagreb or Dubrovnik – and maybe even Split. 

So, what do the largest airlines in the US have to stay?

The United States’ largest airline by fleet size, American Airlines already connects their travelers to Croatia through joint businesses and alliances like British Airways, and those who are Oneworld members are also “seamlessly connected to Croatia”. 

United Airlines, which currently has a codeshare agreement with Croatia Airlines, has said they are always looking for new opportunities – though they have made no announcements about this particular market. 

Delta Airlines is also happy with their connection to Croatia because, through their codeshare agreements with Air France, KLM, and Czech Airlines, they can reach the Croatian capital. That said, none of the most prominent airlines in the US seem to be jumping on the opportunity. 

The General Manager of Zagreb Airport, Jacques Feron, believes that directly connecting the Croatian capital to the US would be a smart move, stating that New York would be a particularly “excellent destination”. 

Frano Luetić, Deputy General Manager of Dubrovnik Airport, even told EX-YU Aviation back in August that the USA and South Korea are the most critical markets for Dubrovnik.

Will we see direct flights to the land of the free and the home of the brave? Hang tight. 


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