The Catholic destination of Medjugorje is made more accessible to its large number of Italian pilgrims.
Just over a week after the first scheduled international seaplane flight in modern European history, Croatian carrier European Coastal Airlines has added the religious tourism destination of Medjugorje to its growing network of locations, the company announced on its Facebook page on November 20, 2015.
The transfer service from Ancona airport will land on the water at the ECA seaport in downtown Split, before continuing by shuttle to Medjugorje. Total travel time will be just under 3.5 hours at a cost of 152 euro one way.
Medjugorje is one of the leading Catholic destinations in the world, attracting more than 1.5 million pilgrims from all over the world all year, and Italy’s large Catholic community make us a significant part of arrivals. Access to Medjurorje has been an issue in recent times, after the busy commercial traffic at nearby Mostar Airport all but stopped in the 1990s due to the regional conflict, and only recently have more charter flights once more begun using the airport.
A much more accepted way of reaching Medjugorje has been by bus from either Split or Dubrovnik airports, and recent additions to the Zagreb to Dubrovnik motorway have almost reached Medjugorje, thereby slashing driving times.
The new service will be welcome to Italian pilgrims wanting to visit outside the peak tourist seasons. Unlike most commercial airlines flying to Split, ECA runs a 12-month service, and the early response of the Ancona to Split route – which operates three times a week – has been excellent, with the airline reporting load factors of 90%, a number that looks set to increase with the Medjugorje connection.