|Hainan Airlines from Chongqing to Zadar from May 1|
Hainan Airlines will introduce charter flights from Chongqing, in China’s south-west, to Zadar from May 1. The service will operate once per week with the exact aircraft type and fares to be determined in the coming weeks. The CEO of Zadar Airport, Irena Ćosić, finalised the details of the new year-long service in Beijing recently where the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) issued necessary permits for the new route. In the future, Hainan will consider adding Zadar to its scheduled destination network by introducing the city as a stopover on its two weekly service from Chongqing to Rome, which will launch on April 27.
Speaking at a press conference in Zadar yesterday, Ms. Ćosić said, “I cannot stress enough how important this development is for our airport. We now have a year-long route and will need to employ additional staff”. The CEO adds that Zadar will hold talks with Hainan at the end of March regarding the introduction of scheduled services from Chongqing. “According to our information, Hainan Airlines is not satisfied with loads on its Rome service so we see an opportunity here for the airline to improve its numbers if flights were to operate via Zadar”, Ms. Ćosić said.
An estimated 25.000 Chinese tourists will use the new charter service to Zadar. The flights have been initiated by the Chinese Southeast Europe Business Association (CSEBA). According to Ms. Ćosić, Zadar’s position on the Adriatic coast will give Chinese tourists an opportunity to make a quick visit to Italy as well. Charters between China and Croatia would mark the first air link between the two countries. Chinese tourists will be offered holiday packages in Croatia which will include cruising and tours as well as winter sports during the season. Far off markets hold huge potential for Croatia's tourism industry. Zadar Airport handled some 495.000 passengers in 2014, an improvement of 5% compared to the year before. Hainan Airlines is China’s largest privately owned carrier and the fourth busiest Chinese airline.