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 ec-air.eu (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.
To read Digital Journal’s interview with Albers in full click here.