There were two attempts (one in 2012 and the other in 2013) for launching a helicopter transfer service connecting Split to Hvar, but none of them lasted for very long due to various reasons and the helicopter transfer service is discontinued for now.
But then, after 13 years of bureaucracy, European Coastal Airlines launched their scheduled hydroplane services in August 2014, connecting Jelsa (Hvar) with Split airport. The 13-minute flight was an instant success and Hvar suddenly became internationally reachable. And not just for the season – there are daily flights and the service operates all year long.
European Costal Airlines is gradually expanding their offer with more destinations. At the moment (February 2015) seaplanes are connecting Jelsa, Split, Pula, Rijeka and Rab with more destinations to be added in the upcoming months (like Lastovo, Vela Luka and Novalja). You can find the 2015 Seaplane Summer Timetable here. For more information, visit the European Coastl Airlines website.
(photo @ Romulic&Stojcic)
Obviously, the most convenient international airport for reaching Hvar is Split, although the airport is actually sited in nearby Trogir, north of Split. The services to Split have expanded dramatically in recent years. Find the complete list of destinations linked to Split for 2015 here.
Croatia's main international airport is near the capital Zagreb, which has excellent road, rail and bus links with Split. Operating on a smaller scale, and relatively convenient for reaching Hvar are Dubrovnik (which does have links with Spain), Rijeka and Pula.
Zadar airport is also an option and there are multiple choices for the 2015 season. You can find the complete list of destinations linked to Zadar for 2015 here or for more information visit the Zadar airport website.
One advantage of using the airports further away from the island is that you have the chance to see a little bit more of Croatia's spectacular beauty, so it's worth allowing time within your journey planning to do a bit of exploring.
Updated February 2015