|National Airlines eyes New York - Dubrovnik flights|
The Ambassador of the United States to Croatia, Kenneth Merten, has said his country is working towards establishing flights to Croatia, adding that the foundations for such services are currently being put in place. The comments were made as Mr. Merten toured the construction site of Dubrovnik Airport’s new terminal building. “I am happy to see that arrivals by American citizens to the Dubrovnik County are growing, and by 20%. I hope this year there will be even more visitors. It is good to see progress here at Dubrovnik Airport. For Croatia it is important to plan for growth”, the Ambassador said. This year, the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) will host its annual gathering at Dubrovnik Airport, between October 19 and 21. The conference will include time for one-on-one business development meetings between US airport officials and commercial service officers with other airport officials from the region.
US charter carrier National Airlines has expressed interest to launch two weekly seasonal flights from New York to Dubrovnik in 2016. The airline has two Boeing 757-200s in its fleet, which have the capacity to seat 239 passengers. US tourists now rank fifth by visits to Dubrovnik and future flights from the United States could prove popular. In an interview to EX-YU Aviation News last year, Dubrovnik Airport’s Commercial Manager and Deputy Director, Frano Luetić, said that all conditions must be met in order for regular seasonal long haul flights to Dubrovnik to be launched. In 2014, American Airlines began codesharing on Iberia flights from Madrid to Dubrovnik while US Airways added its codes on British Airways flights from London. On the other hand, Zagreb Airport’s operator noted that one of its main tasks will be connecting the Croatian capital to the United States and is said to be negotiating with potential carriers.
The last time Croatia had scheduled nonstop flights to the United States was prior to its independence. JAT Yugoslav Airlines maintained services from Zagreb to New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. During its last year of normal operations, prior to the country’s break-up, Yugoslav Airlines operated four weekly flights from Zagreb to both New York and Chicago and two weekly services to Los Angeles with its DC-10 aircraft during the 1990/91 winter season. During that same season, the carrier maintained a one weekly flight from Dubrovnik to the Big Apple as well. Previously, during the 1980s, Pan Am operated summer services from the States to Dubrovnik and maintained flights to Zagreb until 1991.