It’s finally happening! Although I’ve written about it here and expressed pessimism about the prospects for this service, European Coastal Airways is finally airborne making it the first commercial seaplane service in Europe. The company has been crawling through the Croatian bureaucracy for years, more than a decade to be exact, but now the papers are in order and the planes are aloft. The first route links Split airport with Jelsa on Hvar island four times a day in a 13-minute flight. From Jelsa there’s a shuttle bus to Hvar town but check the times as the layover can last several hours. All the better for exploring attractive Jelsa!
And that’s not all. ECA has plans, big plans, to expand the service. In an email, the marketing director said:
In a couple of weeks we will start flying to Rab, a couple of weeks after this we will fly to Pula. In September we shall connect Rab and Jelsa with Ancona directly.
The effects on tourism for these destinations cannot be overstated. A fast Ancona link could extend the season dramatically in Istria, Rab and Hvar. Depending upon permissions, the company intends to expand the service to many more coastal and island destinations. Here’s hoping.
In case you’re wondering, the seaport at Split airport is only a 15-minute walk from the terminal.
Check timetables and buy tickets at European Coastal Airways.
It’s a big day today in Croatia. It’s Thanksgiving! Or, more properly, Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day. Nineteen years ago today, August 5, the Croatian military regained control of nearly a fifth of the country’s territory in a military offensive known as Operation Storm. Four years previously Serb insurgents backed by the Yugoslav military occupied nearly 10,500 square kilometres of the “Krajina” region with their headquarters at Knin. Operation Storm marked the end of the war in Croatia and created the conditions for peace in the Balkans.
To mark this important occasion I’m proud to offer 50% off Croatia Traveller Kindle ebooks and 50% off the Dalmatia Ferry Guide for 24 hours only.
Dalmatia: Split to Dubrovnik was $9.99 and is now only $4.99.
Dubrovnik and Beyond was $4.99 and is now only $2.99.
Available on Amazon, both books are jam packed with all the essential travel information you need.
(But you only need to buy one book! Dubrovnik and Beyond is incorporated into Dalmatia: Split to Dubrovnik).