Thursday, July 14, 2011

Skopje terminal nears completion

Skopje’s new terminal takes shape
In a month and a half the brand new terminal at Skopje Alexander the Great Airport will be opened featuring 23 check in desks, 6 air bridges and 15 passport control counters, stretching over an area of 40.000 square metres. Approximately 80% of the construction work has been completed and the airport’s operator, TAV, has assured that the shiny new terminal will be opened on September 8. The main entrance to the terminal will be located at the right wing of the building. The ground floor is dedicated for check in desks and ticket counters while passport control, security, restaurants, free-shops and gates will be located on the second floor. Passport control will be separate for those departing for Schengen Zone countries and those leaving for countries outside of the zone. The price tag for the new terminal amounts to 110 million Euros.

Work has also been done on the airport’s runway which has been lengthened by 50% and now covers an area of 1.250 square metres. A 1.5 meter statue of Alexander the Great will be erected in front of the new terminal building, a move sure to ruffle some feathers.

Skopje Airport has seen solid growth in the first half of 2011. In the first quarter of the year Skopje and Ohrid handled a combined total of 137.498 passengers (an increase of 10.8%). It has also seen a flurry of new scheduled and seasonal traffic, welcoming recently airlines such as Wizz Air, Air Berlin, XL Airways and soon Pegasus Airlines.

29 comments:

  1. Nice to see news on new infrastructural developments in Skopje.

    I suspect this may have been already written in the previous threads, but would anyone know what is the pax capacity of the new terminal ?

    2nd question, who is financing the project ? Concession company or... macedonian government ?

    Not to sound negative, but 700-800.000 pax per year which is what Skopje currently handles...does it justify a 110 mil euro investment, 6 air bridges, etc. ?
    Look at LDZA.
    Zagreb will probably handle 2.3 or 2.4 mil pax in 2011 and plans a 180 mil. euro investment in a new terminal. It wasn't until 2005/06 when LDZA reached 1,6 - 1,7 mil. that the official authorities really started pushing the idea of a new facility.

    110 mil euro just sound like too ambitious of an investment for an airport that is not likely to reach 1,5 - 2 mil. that soon.
    Or NOT ?

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  2. that quick? well done..

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  3. The project is financed by TAV from Turkey, they are the new concession owners, and they are also the owners of few of the biggest airports in Turkey (Ataturk airport in Istanbul for example). They also took under concession and reconstructed the Ohrid airport, and have an obligation to build a third new cargo airport in Stip in eastern Macedonia. The reason for the large expansion is that they plan to make the Skopje airport a regional hub, and plan to expand the passenger number to 6 million. They may not sucseed at it, but even if they raise it by half of the projected number to 3 million, the investment will be justified.

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  4. ^ I bet that is why rumors are flying around soon there may be flights to skoplje from the USA. Still Beograd and even Zagreb are in much better position for US flights, and have many more connections, good luck skoplje! poz iz srbije

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  5. to me it seems there are too many "aspiring regional hubs".

    What is the logic behind Skopje airport's concession given that in this region you also have Belgrade, Pristina, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Split, Dubrovnik all of which are far greater in pax numbers than Skopje at this point. Why choose #7 ranked airport and make it a "hub"...?

    Haven't the Turks recently said in Croatian media that they are interested in making LDZA the regional hub ? That'd be hub #2 stemming from Turkish side...

    How many hubs are they aspiring to develop ? Or maybe they realized that's what they have to say and promise if they want to enter the market given that everyone wants to have a hub, regardless of real potential.

    I don't trust the story. I trust more in what I'd name a "market control strategy" so as to disable others to overly grow.

    I mean seriously people...Skopje and its 700.000 pax - GIVE ME A BREAK !

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  6. It is hard to justify this investment. From all ex-yu capitals it is hard to believe in such a big number of pax in SKP. For 3 to 6 mil. pax/year?? Why on earth someone want to travel there? It is a dream for BEG and ZAG.

    Ohrid can only serve tourists who are visit town or lake but anything else.

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  7. I have a feeling that SKP is the most criticized airport from all the ex-yu airports. It's a private investment and certainly TAV didn't agreed to invest so much money without having something on mind with the airport. A lot of fanfares were used for the US flights to ZAG and BEG and at the end everyone saw what happen. It's not only 700k people living in SKP but there are more then 2 1/2 million ppl within 150 - 200 km from the airport, and all of them deserve better way to fly, rather driving 10 hours to reach BEG or SOF and fly out from there.

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  8. It is one issue if this investment can be justifed, and copletely different issue who is investing.
    From the Skopje-itself perspective this is very good: they will get modern infrastructural facility with no tax payer`s money spent. This investment can only improve aviation industry there. So, I don`t see any problem from Skopje side. TAV is the one who should think about that.
    Nice and easy.

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  9. Let's face it. None of our airports are hubs or will be hubs, just spokes.

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  10. Totally agree with Aero. Good luck SKP!

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  11. Currently i'm on holiday in Macedonia, but I flew to Sofia Airport, due to the lack of an charter-airline from Amsterdam to Skopje. I think TAV has thought about this well and I even think that they will eventually reach the 3 million.
    As an example, you can take Tirana Rinas International Airport:
    In 2003 they had 560,000 passengers while they handled well over 1,5 million passangers in 2010. And in that same period, the airport got an brand new terminal, compared to what TAV is doing in SKP now.

    I wish SKP the best luck and I expect TAV to reach their goal soon.

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  12. well done TAV Macedonia!
    this is what was missing for a long time.
    not because i am from Macedonia but all of you will see how quickly will increase pax's in 2 years!
    if not more there will be for sure 1,5 up to 2 millions.
    just imagine and calculate there are so many people traveling from SKG/SOF/PRN/BEG/ and this is way you can not really see how many people really travels from Macedonia and back!

    all the best !
    Aleksandar

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  13. I was wondering, why would they separate Schengen and non-Schengen flights? Of course, 5-10 into the future fine, but why now?

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  14. Frankly, I dont think that Belgrade has an issue with Skopje airport, after all it is so far away (430km), which for example if someone wants to fly out of Belgrade has to calculate the price for gas (and vice versa) and hefty tolls, so frankly I dont see a big issue, and I dont believe that many macedonians use belgrade, in comparison to SOF, or SKG (which are way closer). And after all JAT has only 1 daily flight to Skopje.
    My point also goes in a different way, why would anyone come from Belgrade, Zagreb, Ljubljana, and fly via Skopje, since for all of us up north its much more closer (and also cheaper cuz of the vignette system in Hungary and Austria) to fly out of Budapest or Vienna.
    Only potential for SKP is Macedonia, part of South Serbia (since Niš airport is not functioning so well) and possibly some border parts of Bulgaria (which is also very doubtful due to proximity of Sofia).

    Lets take for example Yerevan Zvartnots airport (I flew from there during pak hour so I have an insiders info, so to speak). It has fantastic airport, with new terminals that look absolutely ravishing, it has Armavia (with all new airbuses, connections from Delhi to Barcelona) and yet only 1.6mil people in 2010. And the best part is that they are virtually pushed to use the airport to travel abroad since the borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey are closed. All I am saying is that it doesnt take a lavishing terminal to bring passengers, but also a stable economy and all sorts of different economical stuff.
    Tbilisi airport (TAV is the owner), when I was there the people i talked on the airport (staff) said that the turks built the new airport, took the control of TBS and BTM, and are maintaining it very poorly.
    I don't want to be a wet blanket, but it takes more then just wishes for an airport to become a hub (that goes for SKP, BEG, ZAG...)

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  15. Zagreb and Belgrade will remain top 2 hubs and there are several logical reasons: BEG serves the largest domestic population. Zagreb does that too, but most pax to Zagreb will come through visiting tourists and tourists connecting to other parts of Croatia. Beg has a better "natural hub" position than Zagreb. But than Zagreb is a capital of a uprising country soon to become a new EU member. Beg has also been attracting foreign tourists lately. As for Skopje, I wish you guys luck, but seriously...c'mon.

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  16. by the time Skopje reaches 1,5 - 2 mil, LDZA will have 4 and Beg 5 mil pax.

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  17. Great news!

    This is a winning formula for any cash strapped government.

    Give the concession and let the private operator invest and take the risk.

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  18. Maybe we could see more flights operated by jat to Skopje? They seem to be doing fine when it comes to their Balkan network...

    http://aviationoverview.wordpress.com/

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  19. Now Macedonians do not need visa to travel in EU.
    We don't have national air transporter.
    Until now we didn't have cheap flights.
    And still we have 700.000px

    But today situation is very different. TAV wont invest 110 mil if they do not have realy good reason to do that.

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  20. Here is an interview with a director from TAV. He explains what they invision for SKP ....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AE2eX2J1T-c

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  21. well he hopes for TurkishAirlines o.O
    (from the video)

    seems like , TAV is begging TK to start something from SKP

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  22. There are 700.000 pax who fly from SKP BUT there are maybe the same number who live in Macedonia but use Sofia's or Pristina's airport for flying.

    TAV will bring them back to SKP + passengers from Kosovo and south Serbia.

    WIth the cheap ticket there will be new travelers from Skopje too.

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  23. Skopje rules !!!

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  24. For all who don't realize or won't realize. Behind all there is a political agenda. Everybody here in Europe talks about it....Turkey won't be let into EU anytime soon, but the price is high. The EU let BH, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania, probably even Serbia go to the new ottoman economical influence zone!Same is with future potential in Syria, Libya, Tunis and elswhere, EU lets Turkey take their claims for letting their EU aspiration go! Now, TAV does what Mr Erdogan wishes, even if it sinks 100+ mio € into a small airport. Don't worry, they get therefore interesting businesses elswehre instead that will bring billions. What is important for Turkey is to have a claim, and who's got economical power automatically gets poltical one too. That's the real story behind it. The airport will reach 2,5 mio pax in 2025 with lots of luck.

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  29. skopje should be afraid of
    prishtina not belgrade.
    why flying to skopje when you have prishtina,especially if you´re
    albanian.
    by flying to/from prishtina you also
    support economy of kosovo.

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