Korean Air is set to launch a direct scheduled service between Seoul, South Korea and Zagreb, the capital of Croatia in two weeks.
Starting from September 1, 2018, Korean Air will commence the direct service three times a week (Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday), flying between Seoul/Incheon to Zagreb. The flight from Seoul/Incheon to Zagreb (flight number KE919) will depart Seoul/Incheon at 11:05 and arrive in Zagreb at 15:45 the same day. On the return from Zagreb to Seoul/Incheon (KE920), it will depart from Zagreb at 17:20 and arrive in Seoul/Incheon at 11:30 the next day. Korean Air’s new Seoul/Incheon-Zagreb route will be operated with an Airbus 330-200, seating 218 passengers.
The launch of the new Korean Air route is the first regular service connecting Croatia and Asia directly and Korean Air say they considering flying to further destinations in Croatia.
“Ticket sales and advanced booking numbers are in line with our expectations for this route and we are satisfied with its performance. We continue to promote Zagreb as our newest European gateway and are entirely focusing on commencing scheduled flights in September. After the route stabilises, we may consider to fly to destinations in Croatia other than Zagreb,” the airline said in a statement to EX-YU Aviation News.
The Korean carrier is still negotiating an expansion of its interline agreement with Croatia Airlines in hope of securing a codeshare agreement
Korean Air will operate the return service from Zagreb to Seoul via Zurich over the winter months, however, the airline has not secured rights to sell tickets on the intra-European sector. “For the time being, it is impossible to purchase tickets from Zagreb to Zurich. However, we will consider ways to make it work in the future”, Korean Air told EX-YU Aviation News.
In the first six months of 2014, tourism from South Korea rose by a massive 250%. The number of tourists to Croatia from South Korea has grown from just a few thousand annually to over 440,000 in just a few years.
The interest in Croatia as a tourist destination for Koreans was largely due to the popular reality TV series ‘The Romantic’ which was filmed in Croatia in 2012.