|Croatia and South Korea sign Bilateral Air Service Agreement|
Croatia and South Korea have signed a Bilateral Air Service Agreement, paving the way for potential scheduled flights between the two countries. The Korea Office of Civil Aviation initiated the Service Agreement late last year in order to regulate frequencies, designated airlines of the two signing countries, origin and intermediate points, traffic rights, type of aircraft and tax issues. The proposal is said to have come after Korean Air expressed interest in launching scheduled services to Zagreb. The airline has operated charter flights between Seoul and the Croatian capital for several years. Under the agreement, the designated carriers from each country will be able to operate up to seven weekly flights between the two states.
Following the signing of the Bilateral Air Service Agreement in Dubrovnik last Thursday, the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it hoped the agreement can help increase bilateral trade and investment and facilitate people-to-people exchanges between the two countries. The Croatian government said, “By concluding this agreement, the primary assumption is that regular nonstop flights between our two countries will be established”. In 2013, some 75.000 Koreans travelled to Croatia. This number tripled last year, adding up to some 240.000 Korean tourists. The Croatian Minister for Tourism, Darko Lorencin, has said that his country wants to set up scheduled flights to South Korea. “We are seeking to establish regular flights to Korea to cater to a surging number of Korean tourists visiting Croatia”. He added, “Korea is the most important market for us in Asia”.
Last month, Korean Air resumed seasonal summer charters between Seoul and Zagreb. A total of fifteen flights are planned until August 22. The number of services offered has been extended compared to last year, when a total of seven rotations were performed. Croatia has become hugely popular in Korea thanks to a reality show featuring Koreans in their 20s and 30s visiting Croatia’s hotspots. South Korean TV then produced another hit travel-reality show in which several well-known Korean actresses backpacked their way through the country. Korean Air operates flights to a range of European destinations including Prague, Frankfurt, Milan, Rome, Vienna, Paris, Moscow, Madrid and London. Furthermore, the SkyTeam alliance member also has a 44% stake in ČSA Czech Airlines through holding company Hanjin.