Tuesday, June 12, 2012

New flights from Skopje announced

Wizzair tipped for Skopje expansion
Skopje Alexander the Great Airport will soon see flights to six new destinations. The new routes come as a result of the international tender call to low cost airlines which offers government subsidies to those willing to operate flights to the Macedonian capital. The Macedonian Prime Minister, Nikola Gruevski, said yesterday that the tender is in its final phase and details are soon to be released. However, he did confirm that the new destinations will be Munich, Dortmund, Basel, Eindhoven, Malmo and Milan.

It is being tipped that Wizz Air, which already operates flights from Treviso and London to the Macedonian capital will operate the bulk of the newly announced flights, while easyJet will take the Basel - Skopje route. However, precise details will be announced on June 21. All of the new services are set to begin at the start of the 2012/2013 winter season in late October. The flights will be subsidised over the next three years. Recently, Flydubai also announced its service launch to Skopje from Dubai on October 18.

Macedonian airports are recording the strongest growth in the region this year. The positive trend continued in May as well. Skopje and Ohrid handled a combined total 75.479 passengers, an increase of 14% compared to the same month last year. The exceptional result is despite a sharp decline in the number of operated flights of up to 15%. In the first five months of the year, the two airports welcomed 314.854 passengers through its doors, up 20% on 2011.


  1. everything's fine, but where are SkyTeam (Air France/KLM/Alitalia), oneworld (British Airways) and one or two more airlines from the Star Alliance, let's say Lufthansa and LOT/Scandinavian (or even maybe Brussels Airlines which could at the same time appeal to people travelling from/to Kosovo)?

    People flying from/to Macedonia have enough of changing planes and flying the whole to join world-class destinations such as Paris-CDG, LHR, Copenhagen, Brussels, FCO or even Amsterdam, Munich and Frankfurt.

    There is a market demand for those destinations and the demand will be even more higher when competition will start and prices will be lower.

    Those airlines could also take passengers flying from/to North America, especially British Airways, while AF will take passengers coming in from the whole France but also Macedonians and Kosovars travelling to France. I know what I am saying because I am working with France and I know there is a big demand for a direct Skopje-Paris flight. Don't even mind that Paris is the dream tourist destination of most Macedonians.

    KLM could take the demand for the Macedonian and Kosovan communities living in the Netherlands, while also getting Dutch tourists to Macedonia, and why not in this case make a triangle route AMS-SKP-OHD.

    Alitalia could serve the Italian market, and also offering internal connections within Italy and Spain.

    Scandinavian could serve the Nordic countries via its hub in CPH, while offering connections to the Far East, and LOT could serve the Eastern European destinations (I know that the very last one proposition sounds really unrealistic, but take in account that Macedonia has no direct links with Poland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Russia, Belarus).

    Finally Brussels Airlines will serve this highly demanded route for the Macedonian governement (knowing that they are at least 50 meetings of every king each day in Brussels in the EU and NATO headquarters).

    Thank you for reading this, I know that all this sounds irrealistic, I think all this will be achieved once Macedonia joins the EU and the economic downturn passes.
    Thank you in advance for posting productive comments and not satirical/mocking ones!

    1. Seriously man, i have nothing against Macedonia but SKP will always be just a minor regional airport. Don't exaggerate. Let's just hope it will be a good one which means with prices allowing YOU to travel independently of the number of the airlines present, period.

  2. Well, what can I say except keep going that way, hope the 1 million passengers number will be reached this or next year.

  3. Amazing news from SKP! Congratulations to TAV and the authorities who helped this dream to come true!
    @ 1st Anonymus:
    You are expecting that Macedonia should have 2 carriers (1 flag and 1 low cost) on every route! That is impossible look at countries with a comparable size with Macedonia like Slovenia, Slovakia etc. Either they have a domestic flag carrier or many LCC! Having in mind that LCC are better-you face a simple trade off!

  4. OT: Gryphon Airlines introduce 4 to 6 flights monthly from Kuwait to Sarajevo with a MD82. Sarajevo will be the only country in former yugoslavia to have a direct route to Kuwait.

    Kuwait-Sarajevo 6P101 1100-1545
    Sarajevo-Kuwait 6P102 1715-2355

    1. did you ask copyright from the writer @ skyscraper :P.. just kidding..

      Good to see a new line to SJJ, but who will use it?

    2. I looked at Wikipedia and actually this airline is an American charter for military members
      bound for Kuwait and Iraq!
      So this stop in SJJ means probably only a technical stop.

    3. No, it is a direct route, without any other destinations and they sell tickets for this route on their website!

  5. Cngrats to Skopje airport and TAV for making this possible.Keep up the good work it will be good to see Skopje on the third position after Belgrade and Zagreb.

  6. Congrats to Skopje. Quite excited about SKP-BSL.

  7. To Tav management keep up the good work Great news for Skopje Airport.

  8. TAV management has no positive influence on this particular move. They will just reap the benefits.

    It's 100% Macedonian government. Good job, for once.

  9. Who would have thought of an alternative model, not that Macedonian authorities invented it. Rather than have a national carrier, which you subsidize such as all of the ex-yu carriers, you have a subsidy for whoever is providing the service. It could be cheaper and more effective as a strategy in the long term. One downside is no jobs for aviation professionals that would exist with an airline. For a very small country it is a very positive news indeed. Watch for the pitfalls and hope for the best. This could be other Ex-yu states tomorrow if they lose their airlines due to missmanagement or bankrupcy.

    1. The majority of the crew will be local. Wizz Air has that practice everywhere they base an aircraft. It's just that there will be no ground staff.

  10. Well in fact the Macedonian taxpayers pay the airport or TAV for lowering the airport fees...

    To attract foreign airlines the airport taxes are too high.
    They have to be high because to backfinance the costs of the new terminal.

    Everyone who thinks this is clever fools himself.

    The MK model is:
    instead of subsidizing the national airline you subsidize the national airport.

    In fact the airport would otherwise have no chance to compete for example with PRN...

    1. Yesss!
      The whole nonsense only a tax funded pyramide scheme...
      perfect tailored for desperate people!

      My advise to foreign airlines is:
      Squeeze out every cent from those Na(t)ives
      and skip the damn thing as soon as possible!

  11. I wrote that this is a possible model for other ex-yu countries that are struggling to keep a national airline afloat. It does not mean it is a good model, just an alternative one. I see the subsidy as separate from the Airport although it helps it indirectly. I would not be shocked to see TAV and the Macedonian government collaborating on making sure TAV airport succeeds, it makes every sense since air transportation and an airport is of vital economic significance. Bringing more people to the country is an export proposition (tourism) which will more than pay for the subsidies. It is a long term investment as well. The three years could become six years or ten. The point is to have an airport and to link the country with an outside world. Business sustainability in such a small country must come second sometimes. No airport, no economy. I wish we were all more positive on these pages, I know it is tough to overcome justified skepticism but it is well worth the try.


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