New flights to Macedonia this yearThe Macedonian Civil Aviation Directorate has confirmed that flights between Skopje and Dubai will commence by the end of the year. EX-YU aviation news exclusively reported last week that Flydubai has begun a feasibility study into launching flights to the Macedonian capital, with word of a possible two weekly service. The Directorate states that the flights will be possible from September onwards when Macedonia and the United Arab Emirates finalise an air services agreement. “By the end of the year the route should be launched”, the Directorate says.
Skopje has become of interest to the low cost airline due to attractive subsidies being offered by the Macedonian government to no frills carriers. From next week, airlines will be able to apply for the subsidies with the government expecting six new destinations from Skopje Alexander the Great Airport by the end of the year. Although Flydubai was considering launching flights to Zagreb, it decided against the move due to its distance. Flydubai only operates flights to cities within a five hour radius, in order to allow the same cabin crew to work on the return leg. Crew duty times would just be exceeded on the return Zagreb service.
Until Flydubai’s arrival, Macedonia will also see several other airlines launching flights to its two international airports. This week Turkey‘s Borajet launched a seasonal one weekly service to the Macedonian capital from Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen Airport. Germany’s XL Airways will operate flights from Stuttgart to Skopje from June 30, once per week. Details can be found here. Finally, Finnair will launch a seasonal service to Ohrid this summer from its hub in Helsinki.