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Sunday, 14 December 2014

Seaplane Traveling In Croatia Makes A Return After 90 Year Haitus

I'm not gonna add too much here, the short articles below pretty well explains it all, and I already touched up this topic last year at my post hydroplane-island-hopping-now-option-in-croatia. This is NOT any sort of tourism post, they have plenty of people working on that, I just basically really like this concept and might as well finish the story off.  I still think this is a really great idea because like I said before, this will save so much time if one is doing a Croatian coastal tour in the summer. No busy bus and train terminals, no highways, no tolls, no ferries to the islands or anything. You can catch a flight from the capital city of Zagreb, (the planes have wheels also) and choose your coastal destination, no driving or trains/buses involved.

This new hydroplane service will take you from it's major city and town stops to the islands in the blink of an eye practically, no need to look for parking or directions from the bus station to the beach or whatever. It lands you right there. And then the bonus of the scenic views while up in the air. It's just a fantastic idea is all I can say. More destinations to other European cities are also planned, so again you can go straight to the coast from those locations and avoid busy airports again. Just a really great idea that will save tons of time when traveling, oh...they will also be operating all-year round. Like I said, fantastic. I really wish this seaplane service was up and running during my last Croatian coast tour, because I would have taken a flight from Split and gone to check out Dubrovnik for at least a day. So it's good to know, maybe next time.


It looks as if 2014 could finally be the year that connections to Croatia’s spectacular islands are revolutionised. After talk for more than a decade that seaplanes would be making an appearance on the Croatian coast, European Coastal Airlines (ECA) marketing director Jan Albers has revealed in a recent interview with Digital Journal, that the game changing addition to Croatia’s tourism infrastructure is set to become a reality.

“From our side all necessary paperwork has been submitted and we are waiting for the location permits and concessions for Split – Matejuska, Split – Resnik, Hvar, Korcula, Vis and Lastovo.

We have support from various ministries of Croatia and even the German Chancellor is involved in the project. Our project is a role model for European investors in Croatia. Nothing can stop us now,” Albers said, before going into detail about ECA’s planned services.

“The arriving traveller has either booked his flight with us already online via (booking system will be launched on 01.03.2014) or will simply walk into our ticket office in Split airport – from there we are shuttling our passengers by bus 500m to our terminal at the sea.

A ten-minute flight and you are in Hvar. Counting getting a ticket, luggage handling etc. the entire procedure from Split Airport to Hvar will hardly take you more than 20 – 30min. Basically by literally not spending a cent more than a combination of taxi and ferry costs from Split Airport to Hvar, you cut down your transfer time easily by 4 to 5 hours.

No one can compete with our short flying time. Split – Korcula in 22min, Split Airport – Hvar in 10min. etc. Besides all this advantages we will make special offers, which basically means the more flights and destinations you book with us, the cheaper the fares become.”

Albers says ECA will make island hopping as easy as it can get, with its goal to keep fares at an affordable price for everyone.

“The ticket prices must be kept affordable for ALL Croatian citizens, islanders etc. It can’t be that the Croatian Airlines flight from Zagreb to Split does cost less than the seaplane flight from Split airport to Korcula. The ticket price for Split to Korcula will initially be below 300,- kuna (40 EUR).”

ECA will also operate in the winter months, stressing that its main focus is on the people living on the islands and for making it to them easier to access it.

“Our entire project is developed to operate all year around, we are creating sustainable jobs on the islands, being part of responsible business programs and focusing on the environment, too. It is a new era in Croatian transportation. And we are delighted to support the islands and their inhabitants in their development. Croatia needs a new tourism lifestyle and to stop thinking that tourists come and go with the temperature of the water,” said Albers.

Previous post: hydroplane-island-hopping-now-option-in-croatia


European Coastal Airlines CEO Klaus-Dieter Martin and Hajduk Split President Marin Brbić recently also signed a 2-year sponsorship deal which will see ECA inject over 3 million kunas (400,000 euros) into the club. ECA seaplanes will be a regular fixture above Split skies. Image:

Footage from the sponsorship announcement press conference.

One of the seaplanes painted with the Hajduk Split logo.

Official first flight of the seaplane service last September near Rijeka.

Boarding all in Split.

One of the island location stops.


By Jasmina Kuzmanovic

European Coastal Airlines plans to start Croatia’s first hydroplane service this summer and connect cities on the coast to some of the Adriatic country’s top island tourist destinations.

The Croatian company with German and Malaysian owners earlier this month won a concession for a seaplane terminal next to the airport in Split, according to Jan Albers, the company’s marketing director.

Using the second-biggest Croatian city as its coastal hub, the company expects to start operations on Aug. 1 with flights to Jelsa on the island of Hvar. Connections to the Korcula, Rab and Lastovo islands, as well as the coastal towns of Zadar, Rijeka and Pula, will follow later in the summer, Albers said.

“Having a fast, reliable and safe connection to Croatia’s beautiful islands will no longer be a dream,” Albers said in an interview in Zagreb. “We strongly believe a scheduled seaplane operation will give a boost to Croatia’s tourism and help the islands’ development.”

The European Union’s newest nation is counting on the bloc’s membership to lure more visitors to its beaches, vineyards and national parks that have made summer tourism an annual 7 billion-euro ($9.6 billion) business. About 10 million tourists visit Croatia each year and tourism makes up about 20 percent of the country’s economy.

Croatia has a 5,800-kilometer coastline and a chain of more than 1,000 islands, within driving distance of much of central and eastern Europe. A state-owned company, Jadrolinija d.d. is the main ferry and passenger service to the islands.

Jadrolinija typically offers two ferry connections a day to bigger islands such as Hvar, Korcula and Vis, lasting up to five hours and charging up to 60 kuna ($11) per person.

Using two Twin-Otters, 19-seat amphibian aircraft, European Coastal Airlines plans to cut travel time. Prices are expected to be as high as 350 kuna ($63) for the most-remote Korcula. Service is expected to last throughout the year, with a minimum of two flights a day to each location.

The company later this year also plans to offer flights to Ancona in Italy, across the 200-kilometer-wide Adriatic Sea. Tourists from Italy make up about 10 percent of total arrivals in Croatia, according to the statistics office.

“Croatia is changing from value tourism to quality tourism, and Italy would be a great feeder market for us,” Albers said.

The operation is expected to add about 400 jobs on the islands and the mainland within the first two years, according to Albers.

Read more Articles from Bloomberg News

At the city of Rijeka waterfront this past fall, the maiden seaplane flight.

Plans for departures/arrivals include various other European locations. More info:

Taking off from the city of Split.

Waterport planned for Split. More information at

Similar waterports planned for other locations along the coast. 

This is a perfect example of what I'm talking about, avoiding the busy summer train and bus stations and highways, and then landing practically right at the closest swimming area, you can even start putting your suntan lotion on in the plane.

A short 15 minute flight from Resnik to Jelsa that would usually take over 2 hours. Full filght cockpit view.

Come to think of it, after arriving in Split on the seaplane, you can then even go and have dinner in the sky.

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