Air Plus, a charter company based in Chicago, will launch direct flights from Chicago to Zagreb, Croatia, with continuing service on to Belgrade, Serbia on June 17th, Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) announced. Flights will depart RFD Friday evenings and return Sunday afternoons. Flights are public charters on Boeing 767s operated by Swift Air.
“These will be the first nonstop flights to Zagreb from the Chicago area in nearly two decades”, said Dusan Milicevic, general manager of Air Plus. Flights will appeal to the large Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian communities in Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison and St. Louis, as well as European travelers looking for good deals. The flights will be offered for 13 weeks and already approximately 2,000 seats of the 3,000 total seats have been sold.
“RFD is perfectly situated between the major cities of the Midwest. Our customers will find unrivaled convenience driving to Rockford, parking for free and heading to southeastern Europe,” said Milicevic. “Arriving in the United States from Europe, they will see much shorter lines clearing U.S. Customs and an overall hassle-free experience.”
Milicevic said there is high demand for travel between the Midwest and southeastern Europe, especially during these summer months, and a large network of travel agents who cater to that demand. Air Plus will also offers tours of Croatia, Serbia and nearby countries. Also, Zagreb and Belgrade offer convenient starting points for other European vacations.
“This is the first time in RFD’s history that we are providing scheduled transatlantic service and it demonstrates the capabilities we have to service Europe and further drive attention and visibility to additional airlines to our airport for future opportunities,” said Bharat Puri, chairman of the Greater Rockford Airport Authority board of commissioners.
“As our popular Cancun service has shown, people will drive from several hours away to take advantage of our direct flights, free parking and hassle-free experience,” said Puri. “Service to Zagreb and Belgrade is the next step in showcasing this international-grade airport. We look forward to welcoming our new passengers from both the U.S. and southeastern Europe.”
Puri said the new flights fit in with RFD’s vision of adding low-cost service to unique markets to take advantage of both the airport’s International Arrival Gate and convenient location. Puri said RFD can be an excellent gateway to the U.S. for European tour operators, as well as the starting point for many Midwesterners’ vacations.
Flights from Chicago to Zagreb and Belgrade can be booked at www.flyairplus.com
or by calling (011) 877-849-5002. Tickets cost USD 1099 including taxes. Air Plus also plans to introduce direct flights from Phoenix (Arizona) to Zagreb and Belgrade.