Skywings is a tour operator based in Germany. Following the collapse of the national carrier MAT Macedonian Airlines, Skywings created a subsidiary in Macedonia called Skywings Macedonia and created a Skopje based airline named AirLift Service, which has taken over most of MAT’s services to Western Europe. On Monday, Skywings claimed that its airline had received national carrier status from Macedonia’s Civil Aviation Agency. The airline has 1 aircraft (a B737-300) and operates flights to 6 destinations. An AirLift pilot, Stevo Stefanovski, said that the airline had received flag carrier status because it has followed strict air safety regulations outlined by the Civil Aviation Agency, the A1 network reports. Another airline official said that Skywings, more precisely ArLift Service, has now received a privileged status from the authorities.
It took only a few hours before the Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency denied claims coming from Skywings saying instead that the airline had only received an operational certificate, thus becoming a scheduled airline, rather than a charter carrier which it had been up until now. On Tuesday, Skywings International apologised for their earlier statements.
Skywings International is the only commercial airline which calls Macedonia home. However, its short record is far from impressive. Tour operators from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom are suing the airline for failing to uphold to contractual obligations.
Thus, as it stands now Macedonia remains without a national carrier. Other airlines – Aeromak, Mont Air and Mat Airways had all hoped to become the main carrier of Macedonia only to have their hopes dashed by the Civil Aviation Agency.