Friday, April 29, 2011

Mat spreads its wings

Mat launches Amsterdam flights
Macedonia’s Mat Airways inaugurated flights from Skopje to Amsterdam last week and plans to further expand its operations after a recent tie up with Skywings International Airlines. Mat launched flights between the Macedonian capital and Amsterdam on April 22 and operates the service once per week, every Friday, with a Boeing 737-500. The route used to be served regularly during the summer peak season by MAT Macedonian Airlines, last operating in the summer of 2007. In addition to direct sales, the new service will also be marketed through the Dutch tour operator Karatanova Tours, which specialises package holidays to the Balkans. For video coverage of Mat Airways’ welcoming to Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport, click here.

Skywings International Airlines, Macedonia’s largest charter airline, was recently left without an operating license and decided to merge with its rival Mat, with the aim of reducing costs and optimising operations. As a result, Mat now operates 2 aircraft (1 B737-300 fitted with winglets and 1 B737-500) to 8 destinations.


  1. Great news for SKP. Plus AirBerlin is starting a service from Zurich I am looking forward to see some main European carrier (AF/KLM, BA, LH) again at SKP now, although their regional partners are covering the destination at this moment.

  2. Many people on this blog predicted that MAT will go under after few months but you were wrong!Yet many destinations like BRU, VCE, VIE, SXF are yet to commence..
    Btw. the video is great:-)
    As for Air Berlin-prices are really reasonable-about 460Euros for a return ticket in July?!
    However both macedonian airports are on a good track to achieve some 900 000 pax this year after 750 000 last year!

  3. Good News! AirBerlin will also start flights very soon from Zurich to Skopje. I hope Mat Airways will start flying to some other citys like Munich, Mialno, Moskow, Barcelona and Paris. But they should buy a new smaller plane, something like the embraer 195, to fly to this destinations.

  4. 460 eur is not good price at all! Its absolutely ridiculous when I hear that Air Berlin is low cost airline. Crap!!!

  5. I was kidding when I wrote reasonable price:-)It is a marketing brain wash to promote yourself as a low cost and charge 460Euros for a 1.50 min. flight!!
    But Zurich is really a trully miracle!!
    There are about 14-15 direct flights a week, in a low season, between Macedonia and Zurich, 4 airlines are operating this route with A320 or B735 and all flights no matter of the season and the price are always allmost full.
    Besides many Macedonians fly now with Easy Jet from BSL to SKG as SKG is closer to East Macedonia, so the potential is even bigger.
    A cash cow destination!!

  6. I lost the count, how many times MAT collapsed in my life time , looks like this year will happen again. They just planning , since I know last few years they just planning and planning. Pooooor MAT.
    I like the idea for Air Berlin to SKP.

  7. So what if they collaps again? After MAT Airways and MAT Airlines, there is stil possibility for "new company" like MAT Air, MAT Sky...

  8. Changing the name , will not solve anything unless u change the management , same idiots just under different name..... I feel sorry for the passangers, ones I was one of them.

  9. I totally agree that airlines which are based in Macedonia have had bad management and the biggest victims are employees and passengers.

    What Macedonia needs is simply a relaible well run airline called Macedonian Airlines, Macedonian Airways etc with a good new fleet and good relaible network . Obviously history prevails that not only airlines have bad management but the airline names are awful, MAT, Avioimpex the lust goes not, I have been waiting good airline since 1992 and still waiting

  10. Macedonia or simillar with national prefix is completely out of trend.
    Besides with this name the airline will have the same problems as former MAT, like ban for entering greek airspace etc.Or simply the same problems as macedonian wines have in the EU.
    MAT Airways is simply ok!

  11. The Macedonian name on an airline would be more suitable, the only issue is entering the airspace of that country south, (Macedonia's lovely neighbor) and that is it.

    And really this country does not have any influence in the naming of a Macedonian Airline nor is it important that a Macedonian carrier flies over the Airspace or to a destination in that country.

    It will not be an issue anywhere else so where is the problem.

  12. I think it will be a problem with the European Union Community which they are a long term member of? Maybe that will be problematic.

    If they place the "Macedonian" name on their aircraft they can forget the charter flights to Greece and rights to fly into the Hellenic air space.

    I have visited the Former Yugoslav Macedonia and the Macedonia in the Hellenic Republic, large difference are clearly visible, I think SKP and SKG are competing airports in terms of pax funneling off services from SKG etc.

    I think a decent flag carrier to be based in SKP should invest in some Russian built Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft it will bring some much needed closeting to the Russian Federation and the aircraft are also very good in terms of operations and economics. I think a fleet of 5 or 6 SSJ-100s of maybe an 85 Seat layout will suit the carrier well. The problem is not the aircraft I assume, they need to have proper management in terms of advertising etc, and a good corporate image which is very hard to come across in the ex-yu maybe I can say so boldly Croatia Airlines would have the best corporate image by far.

  13. leave us alone, Koryo

  14. I think it will be a problem with the European Union Community which they are a long term member of? Maybe that will be problematic.

    Sorry this is a load of bull dust.. There is no nation that has an issue with Macedonia's name or whether a Macedonian Airline carries it's rightful name on the aircraft with the exception of Athens.. Many EU nations refer to Macedonia as such so naming of an airline will have no affect.

    There is a whole world out there, therefore a Macedonian Airline does not need to lose any sleep if it cannot enter the airspace of one country especially Athens.

  15. I'm a bit disappointed....I thought this blog used to be full of "insiders"?

    1. the management HAS changed, MAT Airways has very little to do with the old MAT

    2. MAT airways just started flying to Amsterdam, but newspaper already reported that they were unable to pay Schiphol decently, so the passengers had to wait 4 hours until they got the rights to start

    3. why should you name your airline "macedonian airlines" and have problems with the country in which a lot macedonians plan they holidays!? even though most of them go by car, charter flights to the islands are just as reasonable. the world is full of names! on the other hand, you do you have to stick to the old "JAT way"? and why to the old "MAT way", if you claim to have changed the management (which is completely true)?? it is so unreasonable facing the bad image....

  16. @B777

    MAT would have a potentialy large market in serving Greece, maybe even "Athens" as you call it. Otherwise navigating around Greece into more southern destinations will add alot longer time on the flight duration and not to mention costs. Current day MAT has actually served and will serve destinations in Greece this season.

    The problem is why would you want to stirrup trouble? The carrier should take a neutral stance in operated in professional network not a political one, although I guess that is quite hard in the ex-yu although we see today Croatia-Serbia services!

    Just a train of thought is all.

  17. Air Koryo204

    It would be great for flights to be established between both countries, however how is an airline based in Macedonia causing trouble if the Macedonian name is included in the company's name?

    The reality is that the name of the country was and will always be Macedonia and it makes perfect sense if there was ever a national airline established in Macedonia it also included the name.

    I am not saying that the name should be included to cause friction with Athens but to represent Macedonia as country.

    As I mentioned it would be good for air services to be established between both countries but the question is could a well run Macedonian Airline survive without flying to the islands or any other city in the neighboring country- yes it could.

    The biggest issue is that Airlines based in Macedonia are mismanaged not because there are no flights to Athens or the islands etc.

    The biggest bully in the region is Greece with trying to dictate what Macedonia should be called and banning airlines bearing it's rightful name which is Macedonia.

    I am sorry I disagree with you on this one.

  18. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  19. Koryo,

    your comment will be deleted soon.
    Its scandalous

  20. I agree to some point with koryo , do u really need Macedonia to be written on the plane , look at Lufthansa, Ibera, Scandinavian, Qantas, Ethiad, Virgin , they all coming. From well developed countries , non of them have country name on the planes...
    You , Macedonians are just big patriots, doing nothing , just talking shit. There are heaps possible air travel market between ATH and SKP , but .... I will keep my toughts , I am not racist but looks like grujo , brain washed everyone.

  21. @Dreamliner

    Spot on, I don't really care about them I just think they need to get a life more of less. It reminds me of the Communist days with the education system and basically everything revolving around the state. It's nationalisim taken to the extream in this case.

    All I was trying to say before my comments were deleted, was that IF the carrier wanted to operate as a PROFESSIONAL business then it should leave the DISPUTED name out of the title, it just makes sense.

  22. true. no need to have "macedonia" in it, so why do youn want to put it in? you are an airline, you want to make money, you dont want to feed idealism and change the world. all you care about is a good business. so if people STILL name it "macedonian" in these days, then they are obviously idealists, nationalists or grujo-ists....but not good in business.

    and I say that as an macedonian!

  23. To AirKoryo

    I am also Macedonian and dont think that the airline should be named Macedonia Airways or so because this is completely out of date.
    But still I dont understand what is the problem with our blog member AirKoryo.

    With full respect of You AirKoryo I ask you kindly why do you have so much against Macedonia, its name, its citizens, airlines?Did somebody offend You when you were in Macedonia?Did You have any problems in there?
    In each of your comments we face the sarkasm and negative feelings about our country, everytime in another form.
    No one judges You about your opinions but I dont really understand why do you have only bad words when it comes to Macedonia.
    And for your information: Even we have a political dispute with Greece, people from both countries dont have such animosities between theirselfs.Macedonians have many friends in Greece, do a lot of business with Greece-the relations between the nations are really tight.
    I bet that You are not a Greek.You are only a person who wants to provoke, but doesnt know anything neither about Macedonia nor about Greece.