Macedonian skies open for Qatar AirwaysWith the singing of an air transport agreement between Macedonia and the Gulf state of Qatar, the sky has opened for airlines between the 2 countries to commence an unlimited number of both passenger and cargo flights. The agreement was signed by Ibrahim Abdul Qadir, Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority deputy chairman and the director of Macedonia’s Civil Aviation Directorate, Zoran Krstevski. Under the agreement, airlines from both countries would be able to operate an unlimited number of passenger and cargo flights using any type of aircraft. The two countries also agreed to adopt an open skies policy in order to include third, fourth and fifth freedom passenger rights on intermediate routes and beyond. This would, for example, allow an airline from Qatar to open flights between Macedonia and another third country.
Although Macedonian media have speculated that one of the world’s fastest expanding airlines, Qatar Airways, could begin services from Doha to Skopje, it seems unlikely at this point. Qatari newspaper, “The Peninsula”, believes that the new agreement could lead to increased trade and tourism between the 2 countries. Currently, Skopje does not have direct air links to the Middle East, with most passengers transiting through either Belgrade or Istanbul.