June 2, 2018 (Toronto Pearson International Airport) – Today marked an exciting and special day as the first Air Canada Rouge non-stop flight took off from Pearson International Airport in Toronto (Canada) headed to the Franjo Tudman Airport in Zagreb (Croatia).
Prior to boarding, a celebration took place at the departure gate, which included Croatian folklore dancing presented by some members of Zrinski Frankopan folklore ensemble, refreshments, a photo booth to capture the memories, as well as speeches by Chamber director, Ivan Grbesic followed by Air Canada’s Corporate Secretary, Carolyn Hadrovic. The event was hosted by the Greater Toronto Airport Authority to commemorate the launch.
In addition to opening a new route to Canadians – 142,000 of which visited Croatia in 2017 – this route further addresses the needs of our Croatian community in Canada. “As a proud Croatian-Canadian … this route makes it easier for members of our community, and in particular our older and younger generations, to visit their ancestral homeland and to keep closer ties with their families and loved ones and it allows our families living in Croatia to more easily visit us in Canada”, said Grbesic.
The Canadian-Croatian Chamber of Commerce is always looking for ways to strengthen the relationship between our beloved Canada and Croatia – and, in particular, business ties – and this route will do just that by allowing easier access to business people (without sometimes dreaded layovers) and providing additional capacity to transport cargo and goods in the belly of the plane (including maple syrup from Canada and black truffles from Croatia), if even for the summer months of the year (for the time being).
“It is gratifying to see that what started as an email to Air Canada a few years ago has become a reality – with Air Canada recognizing the potential of a direct route to Zagreb. On behalf of members of the Croatian-Canadian community, thank you to Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge for making this happen”, added Grbesic, before wishing passengers a safe flight and great trip to Croatia.
A welcome celebration and water cannons will be awaiting passengers in Zagreb to mark the special arrival from overseas.
This is yet another example of further strengthening in relations between Canada and Croatia.