Soon in SkopjeIn just under two weeks, Skopje will once again see a direct air service from Rome Fiumicino Airport. The low cost Italian airline Blu-express will operate the service twice per week from Sunday, October 30. Currently, a return ticket in November will set passengers back 80 Euros, all taxes included. Blu-express is the low cost and short haul subsidiary of Blue Panorama Airlines which operates flights from Italy to holiday destinations such as Havana, Cancun and Montego Bay. The new service from Rome to Skopje will operate with a Boeing 737-300. Flight details can be found here.
Since MAT Airways grounded its single aircraft more than a month ago due to poor ticket sales, Skopje Airport hasn’t had scheduled flights to the Italian capital. The Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency has in the past two months been in pursuit of airlines interested to commence flights from Zurich, Rome, Dusseldorf and Amsterdam to the Macedonian capital in order to fill in the void left by MAT. The airline is unlikely to see its operating license extended for the 2012 summer season.
Meanwhile, Macedonian plane spotters had a sight for sore eyes on Monday when a VIP Qatar Airways Airbus A340-500 jetted into Skopje carrying the Emir of Qatar along with another Airbus A320 for the Emir’s entourage. Both countries signed a bilateral agreement for the development of tourism. Last year, Qatar and Macedonia signed an Open Sky Agreement granting airlines from both countries the ability 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.