LPJ INTERVIEW: Klaus Dieter Martin, Director, European Coastal Airlines (ECA)
1. Could you briefly describe the European Coastal Airlines (ECA) and your project in Croatia?
European Coastal Airlines is a seaplane operator based in Kaštel Štafilić, Croatia, and founded in 2000. Ever since, we have been working on the infrastructure for the project to start regular seaplane operations to connect major cities and islands along the Croatian coast. The project was recognised and is supported by various key figures of the European Union (EU), such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as by the AdriSeaplanes Project – a project which is co-funded by the EU and the IPA – Adriatic Cross-Border Cooperation Program. The project is a multi-million euro investment. ECA is growing quickly from 5 people to 60 in just a few months.
By the end of the year, we should have 200 staff and about 400 staff a year after that. ECA is committed to maintaining a high standard of business ethics, honesty and integrity, in line with eco-friendliness and ensuring social, ethical and environmental responsibility.
2. What are the benefits of travelling by seaplane vs. travelling by airplane and ferry?
We offer huge travel time savings and, moreover, ECA is offering to islanders in Croatia the possibility to quickly reach the mainland.
ECA is also able to fly in most weather conditions, unlike the ferry and catamaran connections which presently connect the islands to the mainland, causing frequent travel stoppages. This provides an added value to living on an island.
On-board our seaplanes, we redefine journey in the air by reaching new heights of comfort and allowing passengers to view the extraordinary and picturesque island-speckled coastline from an entirely new perspective…