Zagreb Airport hopes to offer direct flights to New York in the near future, following the success of the recently launched service from Toronto. Speaking to the "Večer" daily, the General Manager of Zagreb Airport, Jacques Feron, said it would be "fantastic" for the Croatian capital to be linked with nonstop flights to the United States. "In the US, New York would be an excellent destination, although it is true that this metropolis is well connected to all major European airports", Mr Feron said. Late last year, Sani Sener, the CEO and founder of TAV Airports Holding and TAV Construction, which forms part of the consortium running Zagreb Airport, said the most desired route from the Croatian capital would be New York.
Commenting on Air Transat's recently launched seasonal service from Toronto to Zagreb, Mr Feron said there is no reason for the route not to be extended. "On the first flight there were 140 passengers flying from Toronto to Zagreb and 280 passengers back". The inaugural service was operated with the 345-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft. "It should be noted that many Croats live in Canada, as well as some half a million people from the former Yugoslavia. However, the final decision on extending the service will be up to the operating carrier", Mr Feron added. Earlier this week, Air Transat said it is considering extending its operations to the Croatian capital next year and adding extra frequencies. Last year the route was operated by start-up SkyGreece Airlines which declared bankruptcy half-way through the summer season. "SkyGreece was successful in filling up aircraft between Toronto and Zagreb but they experienced liquidity issues and went bankrupt. However, this should not be associated with the Zagreb route which showed potential. The figures were presented to Air Transat and we managed to convince them to cooperate with us".
Earlier this year, the Croatian Ambassador to the United States announced that the Embassy had 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. Last month, Dubrovnik Airport noted it too was seeking direct links to the Big Apple. The Mayor of Dubrovnik, Andro Vlahušić, said the city expects for the route to be maintained twice per week throughout the year as of 2017. At this point, a partner is being sought out to maintain the route.