The only direct, or as the Americans say non-stop, flight connection between Croatia and the US is from Dubrovnik to New York, or rather Newark. The third busiest airport in Croatia has a monopoly of American flights. In some ways this is expected, Dubrovnik is the most well-known destination in Croatia and thanks to the Game of Thrones has attracted a whole new audience of tourists. Before the pandemic struck American tourists had flocked to the far south of Croatia. data from the Dubrovnik Tourist Board show that they were in the top five most numerous, in terms of nationality. More US tourists in Dubrovnik than neighbouring countries.
Although clearly the direct flights from the US aren’t the only way that American tourists arrive in Dubrovnik, many take flights from a US city into Venice, Paris or London before catching a connecting flight to Dubrovnik. This can be seen by the fact that at this present time in Dubrovnik there are tourists from the US. But direct flights certainly help. This year, once again, United Airlines will connect Newark Airport, close to New York to Dubrovnik Airport from the 26th of May until the 27th of September four times a week with Boeing 767-300ER aircraft.
And the Croatian National Tourist Board are clearly aware of the problem of a lack of direct flights. They have recently met with Turkish Airlines USA to discuss the possibility of new flights from the US to Croatia.
"We are extremely pleased with the excellent response from Croatian as well as American tourist entities, which in turn confirm the growth of our country's popularity among American travel enthusiasts. We successfully maintained, and, I would say, further strengthened our position on this market. I believe in the continuation of the positive and upward trend, and since it is a distant market, we will focus most of our attention and activities on strategic cooperation with airlines and tour operators in order to make our country as accessible as possible to Americans", the Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board in New York, Leila Krešić Jurić, said.
The move to Turkish Airlines is an interesting one. This could presumably mean that flights to Istanbul could have a connection with a Croatian airport.
There could also be another solution for American tourists wishing to visit Croatia. EX-YU Aviation have reported that Air Serbia, which is partly owned by Etihad Airways, will launch daily flights from New York JFK to Belgrade from June 18 to early September. A connecting flight from Belgrade to Dubrovnik is only around 45 minutes and Air Serbia runs them daily.