While Munich may be one of the economic powerhouses in Europe, it is not just in Bavaria where its businessmen are making groundbreaking contributions to the future of Europe.
Modern aviation history was made on August 27, 2014 on the Croatian island of Hvar, as the first scheduled seaplane service in odern European aviation history landed at 09:30 after a short 13-minute flight from the Resnik seaport near Split Airport.
It was the culmination in a 14-year battle with the legendary Croatian bureaucracy from Munich businessman and pilot Captain Klaus Dieter Martin, whose dream to connect Croatia and the wider region finally took off with the flight to the Hvar resort town of Jelsa.
With promotional prices of just 13 euro one way (and full price tickets peaking at 40 euro), the flights quickly became a hit, reducing an airport to island transfoer time of up to 6 hours to just 13 minutes. With plans to connect all inhabited islands in Croatia, as well as numeous coastal destinations and international locations, the prospect of a true Munich-driven aviation revolution for tourism in Croatia is enticing indeed.
Soon after the Jelsa route was launched, a second service to the island of Rab (the 45-minute flight from Split is one of the great panorama flights of the world) was introduced, connecting to the capital Zagreb, which made a Croatian accessible with connections from the Middle East in less than 8 hours, for example. With connecting flights from Frankfurt, it is now possible to reach Croatia's premier island of Hvar from Frankfurt daily in under 3.5 hours. All year round.
Unlike most budget airlines, European Coastal Airlines flies throughout the year, getting busier in the summer months of course. Final preparations are underway to add important destinations such as Pula and Rijeka Airport, while the first international connection, from Ancona in Italy, will replace the need for the 9-hour overnight ferry.
An idea conceived in Munich. Changing the face of Croatian tourism. Watch the promotional video below or learn more on the official European Coastal Airlines website.