Numbers up as airline subsidies are approved for next yearSkopje is enjoying a significant increase in the number of passengers since it opened the doors to its new terminal in September. Last month, Macedonia’s main hub welcomed 56.180 passengers, an increase of 17.1% compared to the same month last year. The strong growth was followed up by an increase in the number of flights being operated to Alexander the Great Airport, up 15.4% on November 2010. Ohrid Airport, on the other hand, welcomed 1.332 passengers. Combined, the two handled 57.512 passengers, up from 50.541 passengers last November.
So far this year, Skopje and Ohrid airports have handled a combined total of 765.309 passengers. Therefore, they have already exceeded 2010s end of year result when they saw 756.088 passengers through their doors. In recent years the two airports have recorded rapid passenger growth, despite the demise of Macedonia’s national carrier MAT Macedonian Airlines.
Meanwhile, the Macedonian government has approved plans to attract new airlines by offering subsidies of up to five million Euros within the next three years. The choice of airlines that will receive the financial support will depend on several criteria such as frequencies, number of destinations as well as projected passenger numbers. A total of 1.4 million Euros in subsidies will be offered next year, increasing to 1.5 in 2013 and 2.2 million in 2014. Macedonia is currently served by two scheduled low cost airlines: Wizz Air and Pegasus Airlines.