The Croatian Ministry for Tourism has announced that talks concerning the introduction of nonstop flights to the United States are ongoing. Minister Gari Cappelli said on Friday, "We are in serious negotiations over the introduction of year-long flights from Croatia to New York, most likely from Zagreb and Dubrovnik, even from Split". Mr Cappelli noted that the Croatian embassy in Washington has taken upon itself to seek out potential operators and that talks regarding the introduction of flights should continue over the summer during his official visit to the States. According to the Minister, all signs are pointing towards the introduction of seasonal flights during the high season in 2018 and year-long services in 2019.
Late last year, Zagreb Airport confirmed it was close to securing services to New York, which, if launched, would mark the resumption of flights between the two countries after 22 years. However, it is unclear whether the talks are being coordinated with the Croatian embassy in the US and the Ministry for Tourism. Last year, the embassy said it had resumed discussions with various stakeholders in order to explore all possibilities for the establishment of direct services 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 embassy noted. For its part, Dubrovnik Airport recently said there was no progress in the establishment of transatlantic flights nor are there any indications that services to New York could commence soon.
It has been speculated that both European leisure carriers and US-based airlines have been approached to launch services between New York and Zagreb. In a statement, Star Alliance-member United said, "We have not announced anything about this market [Croatia], but we’re always looking for new opportunities", while Delta and American Airlines said they have no plans to launch operations to Zagreb. The last time Croatia had scheduled flights to the United States was during the summer of 1991, when Pan Am maintained four weekly nonstop roundtrips from New York to Zagreb with its Airbus A310 aircraft. Prior to that, JAT Yugoslav Airlines operated services from Zagreb to New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.