Last year over 200,000 Chinese tourists visited Croatia and registered 270,000 overnight stays which was an increase by 36 percent in arrivals and 37 percent in overnights. This year over 300,000 Chinese guests are expected in Croatia so direct flights between these two countries are definitely 'a must'.
According to Vecernji list, Beijing Capital Airlines has announced new direct flights between Zagreb and Beijing in 2017. The flights will be introduced in June 2017 and will operate twice a week with the 222-seat Airbus A330-200 jet.
Beijing Capital Airlines is a subsidiary of Hainan Airlines, the largest private airline company in China. It currently offers scheduled flights across China as well as to South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, the Maldives and Spain. The airline has planned to expand its business into Europe next year, i.e. to Helsinki and Zagreb and just recently the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) granted Beijing Capital Airlines a permit to operate services from Beijing to the Croatian capital.
Hainan Airlines already expressed interest in Croatia last year when it negotiated with Zadar Airport over possible charter services from China to Croatia. Unfortunately, that idea was never realized. Also Hainan Airlines was linked to a potential equity investment in Croatia Airlines.
Zagreb Airport Franjo Tudman is currently the only airport in the region of the former Balkan country of Yugoslavia to have been linked with the Far East. Korean Airlines maintains summer charters from Seoul to Zagreb operating a total of twelve flights with Airbus A330 aircraft.