Flights Between Croatia and Japan on the Horizon

Daniela Rogulj

Croatia and China aren’t the only two Asian countries talking, as relations between Croatia and Japan continue.

Namely, Ex Yu Aviation reports on May 16, 2019, that Croatia and Japan should continue their discussion of introducing 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. 

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,” said the Ministry.

And it’s no wonder why. 

A total of 159,574 tourists from Japan visited Croatia in 2018, which is an increase of 12.3% compared to 2017. Japanese tourists visit mostly Dubrovnik, Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes, Split, and Opatija. 

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. 

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