Flights between New York and Dubrovnik could launch next year with local authorities seeking a partner for the service. On Friday, the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Andro Vlahušić, said the city expects for the route to be maintained twice per week throughout the year. "The number of visitors from the United States to Dubrovnik has tripled over the past five years, which is why we want to establish direct flights between New York and Dubrovnik. It is unacceptable that Americans visiting Dubrovnik have to fly via Belgrade, instead of nonstop", Mr Vlahušić said. He added that the service should be maintained throughout the year with a wide-body aircraft.
The Dubrovnik Tourist Board and the Dubrovnik Association of Trade and Crafts will jointly carry out an analysis of the US market, from 2010 onwards, and will contact potential carriers and tour operators. On the other hand, Mr Vlahušić noted that Dubrovnik will be linked to the Far East with Turkish Airlines, which recently launched flights from Istanbul. The Mayor added that Asian tourists will primarily use the service during the winter months. Meanwhile, Japan's largest airline, All Nippon Airways (ANA), will operate four charter flights from to Dubrovnik in August and early September. Dubrovnik Airport has confirmed that services will run with a Boeing 777 aircraft.
US tourists now rank fifth by visits to Dubrovnik and future flights from the United States could prove popular. Charter carrier National Airlines has previously expressed interest in launching two weekly seasonal flights from New York to Dubrovnik. In 2014, American Airlines began codesharing on Iberia flights from Madrid to the Croatian city, while US Airways added its codes onto British Airways' flights from London. Earlier this year, the Croatian Ambassador to the United States said the Embassy has resumed discussions with various stakeholders in order to explore all possibilities for the establishment of direct flights to Croatia. "We will do all we can to spearhead and facilitate this effort, and achieve direct flights as soon as it is economically possible", the Ambassador said.