The realization of direct flights connecting Dubrovnik with Frankfurt through the winter months, three times a week, is drawing to an end. Croatia Airlines has already secured the dates for the flights and the last link in the process, the signing of agreements with the Croatian National Tourist Board, is in the pipeline. The mayor of Dubrovnik, Andro Vlahusic, commented that he was working on speeding up the process with the tourist board, a contract that will assist in financing the project. Flights over the winter period from Frankfurt, three times a week, would help to extend the tourist season in the city and open up the off-season to new markets.
Whereas the flight connection with Germany through the winter seems to coming to a successful conclusion the same cannot be said for the problem with connections to Dubrovnik’s largest market, the UK. A deal between the City of Dubrovnik and the UK national airline, British Airways, has yet to be reached, and it seems clear that a deal will not be reached. The City of Dubrovnik had hoped to negotiate with British Airways for winter flights on a more regular basis from London. However this has been unsuccessful and there is now a question whether Dubrovnik will have any flights from British Airways out of the main tourist season. The City of Dubrovnik, the Dubrovnik Airport and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board are now working on attracting another airline to operate the London to Dubrovnik link.
In spite of calls from many tourist organisations, and the City of Dubrovnik, for more frequent flights from the UK to Dubrovnik in the winter the statistics show a different picture. British Airways started with regular flights to Dubrovnik, four times a week, almost ten years ago. However these flights didn’t prove as popular as predictions indicated, many of them were flying at a loss. Slowly, but surely, the number of BA flights in the winter decreased, and last year there was only one flight a week to Dubrovnik, even then this connection was unprofitable. We can only presume that this is the reason that BA has rejected the deal with the City of Dubrovnik for this winter. It also draws into question the hopes of the City of Dubrovnik to find another airline to operate flights.