Sunday, August 3, 2014

European Coastal Airlines to launch flights

Europe’s first commercial seaplane service to launch from Split

Europe’s first scheduled and commercial seaplane service, European Coastal Airlines (ECA), is set to launch flights in two weeks time from the Croatian coast. The airline will operate both domestic and international flights with its fleet of DeHavilland DHC-6 and the Grumman G-21 Goose aircraft. ECA CEO, Klaus Dieter Martin, has said the airline’s inaugural service will take place in mid-August from Split Airport to the resort town of Jelsa on the island of Hvar. Journey time is estimated at only thirteen minutes. The new airline will also operate flights from Pula, Zagreb, Split Airport, Zadar Airport, Jelsa and the island of Rab, while its first international service will be a 66-minute hop from Jelsa to Ancona Airport in Italy.

The official launch of the airline brings to an end a thirteen year old battle with bureaucracy and red tape. The airline is in the process of setting up sea ports at the abovementioned locations, with work at Jelsa starting a few days ago as well as in Resnik, close to Split Airport. ECA is expected to revolutionise coastal travel in Croatia. The 66-minute flight to Ancona will substitute a nine hour overnight ferry from Split to the city on Italy’s eastern coast. Furthermore, the thirteen minute flight between Split and Jelsa will serve as an alternative to the two hour ferry ride. Ticket sales are expected to begin within days with prices between Split Airport and Jelsa tipped to be some forty euros.

Inside ECA aircraft

ECA’s CEO recently said, “Initially we will connect Split Airport with Jelsa/Hvar at least four times daily. Jelsa will be connected directly with Ancona twice daily. The northern network will connect Zadar (initially Zadar Airport), Rab, Pula, Zagreb Airport and Ancona. As soon as possible we will add further destinations, such as Lastovo, Rijeka, Dubrovnik, Korčula, Mljet and many more. We are receiving frequent requests from authorities directly to fly to their locations and we will develop the destination network accordingly". The DHC-6 has the capacity to seat nineteen passengers while the Goose can seat seven passengers. Both aircraft, registered in Croatia, have been parked at various airports across the country for over a decade in anticipation of the airline's launch. They can land both on water and paved runways.

23 comments:

  1. On the topic of the Grumman G-21 Goose, my flight instructor's father used to fly those birds up in Alaska. He had over 18.000 hours on the type.

    Ex-Yu, are you sure that ECA has the DHC-3 Otter? My understanding is that they operate the Twin Otter, which is the DHC-6. Both are wonderful planes. I used to live very near to the Viking Air Factory in British Columbia, which continues to produce the Beaver and Twin Otter.

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    1. Koliko je Srbija vremenski daleko do pocetka uspostavljanja Comuter avio kompanije. Slicno ovoj u susednoj drzavi. Prirodno ne sa sea plane, jer Srbija nema more. Raspolaze bar sa 10 do 12 aerodrome sa kojih bi se odvijao dodatni mali avio saobracaj u privatnom vlasnistvu... Saobracaj bi trebao da obuhvata i aerodrome u okolnim drzavama slicne namene. Kao i obicno mnogi ce me ismejavati zbog ovoga... Odmah ce reci da Srbiji netreba comuter avio saobracaj, jer ima autobuse (mnogi jos iz moje "mladosti"valjaju se uzanim putevima od Sapca do Vranja...)koji su dori za lokalno stanovnistvo koje nema potrebe da ima mogucnost za izbor... Problem u osnovi jeste neznanje, nehtenje upravljackog politickog sloja koji upravljjaju po ovim krajevima. Tek sada se nagovestava privatna inicijativ i Vlada moze pomoci da se odstrani "kvaran zub" tipicnog "naseg" menaliteta. "To nama netreba, koce putovati, odakle novac, kako su nasi stari... sa svim ostalim atributima svojstvenim juzno od Save i Dunava, gde sam rodjen. Srbija ce se promeniti na bolje a za koliko dugo? Neko ko ima pregled kapaciteta mogucnosti promena moze reci nesto.
      Sa pozdravom Radovan, Sydney Australia.

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    2. Potpuno podržavam ideju, mada bi realno mogli da se ukljuce samo Ponikve, Morava i Niš (u SR) pošto ostali aerodromi nemaju PSS sa čvrstom podlogom. Sjenica i Sombor su sruseni. Berane u CG bi mogla da dodje u obzir

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    3. Radovan,
      I don't think the circumstances are right for commuter air service in Serbia right now. If you are thinking of something like the commuter airlines that are common in America, almost all of those are very heavily subsidized under the EAS (essential air service) program.
      Cheers from California

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    4. Ivan,
      What plane do you have in mind? B1900D, Saab 340, EMB 120, ATR 42?

      In America, some commuter airlines have started using the Pilatus PC-12 configured in 9 seats. The plane has special FAA approval because all other planes must have two engines for airline service.

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    5. Su-80, Do328 or Let 410. BTW does anyone knows why Angel Airlines from Romania went out of business? Their business plan was to develop commuter air service

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    6. SU-80, and Let 410 fit better in the utility and cargo capacity than airliners. Airliners need to be pressurized so they can fly above bad weather.

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    7. SU-80 has pressurised cabin, ceiling 8000 meters

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  2. lovely news from Split. Can't wait to have a ride with one of those amphibian planes

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  3. Wow, this is excellent news! Congrats from SLO.

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  4. Interesting and refreshing news today, good luck to ECA...
    Would be interesting to see more commuter airlines in ex-yu region in the future.
    Regards from BEG

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  5. Well you can(Serbia) develop commuter airlines,a couple of 20-30 seaters flying kraljevo and nis area for the beginning up to 3 daily to beg, and to other parts in the balkans ex nis-thessaloniki, nis-tivat/tgd nis-banja luka,plovdiv istanbul etc

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  6. Great job, Croatia! Like the interior of the planes!

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  7. I have booked a flight to Tel Aviv on the August 8 a while back. Due to the ongoing situation in Israel can somebody familiar with Air Serbia tell me what my options are. Are people still going to Israel. Is the flight full?

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    1. Air serbia have normal flights to tlv so there is no problem for you

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    2. Yes I know, but are people massively trying to cancel their trip to Israel? Can somebody give us just the loads to there so I can see

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    3. today around 90 to tlv, 77 back

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    4. ^ I will be travelling to Tel Aviv on August 8 and coming back on August 11. Can you tell me the loads for that flights

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    5. still early for loads on these days

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    6. so when should I ask again

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  8. Jel zna neko dali ce A350 dolaziti u Srbiju posto mu je sledeca destinacija Perth na Worldtour :)

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    1. Pomojem saznanju Airbus A350 letece na liniji Toulouse-Doha-Perth-Hong Kong-Moscow-Helsinki-Toulouse. Pozdrav sa Sydney-skog aerodrome gde ce ujutru 05/08/14 sleteti u 06.00 ova najnovija lepotica neba. Ujutri cekam ga sa velikim zadovoljstvom. Odavde iz Sydney-a sutra posle pdne uzlece za Auclnd, NZ, da bi kasnije nastavio svoju misiju za Santjago- Sao Paolo pa ponovo sletanje u "Rodney" Toulouse.
      Tople pozdrave iz toplog zimskog Sydney-a. Iskreno vas Rodney Marinkovic, AME. Sydney /// K raljevo.

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  9. Postovani Gospodine Aco Stojanovicu, hvala vam na vasim zapazanjima i iznosenja argumenata. Commuter kompanije ima vise zemalja, kao i Australia, Novi Zeland... Slazem se sa Vama da Srbija nema moci da sama razvija, finansira bilo kakav biznis... Ali je duzna da menja, liberalizuje pravno-politicki system kome se do sada opako opirali "samoupravljaci" poreza od bankrotiranih potrosaca sa drzavom koja je kao sirce sirota ostala... Vreme pocinje ocigledno da radi protiv proslosti. To I jeste nada da pocinje novo vreme preporoda pod uslovom da onaj ko ulaze novac i upravlja pod transparentnim zakonima. Verujem da ce se mnogi principi biznisa primenivati u buducoj Evropi koji odavno postoje u "overseas country's. Zbog toga verujem u razvoj malih avio prevoznika na Evropskom nish marcetu. Srdacne pozdrave Vama u LA, gdesam do sada 21 put sletao. Iz zimskog toplog Sydneya, Rod.

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