Monday, June 18, 2012

Skopje to become Wizz Air’s 17th base

Wizz Air in Skopje expansion
Skopje Airport will become Wizz Air’s 17th base as the airline plans to station an aircraft in the Macedonian capital by the end of the year. From October 28 the airline will launch flights from Skopje to Milan, Eindhoven, Dortmund and Munich (Memmingen). All of the services will operate twice per week. Two weekly flights to Malmo in Sweden will launch on October 29 while on October 30 the low cost airline will inaugurate three weekly services to Basel. All of the services will be subsidised by the Macedonian government over the next three years. The low cost airline will continue operating its existing flights from London and Treviso to Skopje.

Wizz Air has also been offered the opportunity to launch flights from Skopje to Brussels. In case of any further expansion at Skopje, the no frills airline will launch the route. Towards the end of the year Wizz Air will base an aircraft in the Macedonian capital. On Thursday, the airline will hold a press conference and announce the new route launches, providing more details on scheduling.

Wizz Air’s expansion in Macedonia comes as a result of the government’s subsidised flights scheme. The only other airlines to have shown interest in the tender procedure besides Wizz Air were Croatia Airlines and easyJet, however they did not put in an offer. Skopje will be Wizz Air’s second base in the former Yugoslavia following Belgrade. Furthermore, in October the airline will launch flights to Ljubljana and still maintains a seasonal service to Split. Earlier in the year talks with Sarajevo Airport broke down after the airport’s management stated that “great demands” were placed by the airline.

43 comments:

  1. A clear pattern can be seen how WizzAir (and most other LCCs) negotiate and get concessions when they have a bargaining power.

    Although SKP and SJJ are smaller markets than BEG it would be of public interest to know what were the concessions they got for entering BEG.

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  2. That's good news! It's strange to see how Wizzair reduced their frequencies from/to Belgrade starting September 2012. They might use a/c to operate flights from/to Skopje too. Anyway, competition will be fierce together with neighbouring SOF and BEG.

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  3. Basel is split to BSL and MHL.

    They can't operate to Switzerland (BSL) due to bilateral limitations, instead the route will be operated to France (MLH). It might be seen as splitting hairs, but is crucial for understanding why they wouldn't operate ZRH - if you eliminate the higher cost consideration.

    I don't believe they got some considerable subsidy in Belgrade, though I'd understand if people were suspicious. For really outrageous deals look to Ryanair in general.

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  4. I don't understand these subsidies....It seems like the government wants to force the success for SKP airport after they have build that magalomania project. Usually islands or remote communites have to subsidies their flights. A country in the centre of the Balkans shouldn't do that. There is a market economy and if there is no air market for SKP, then there are no flights. It's as simple as that!

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    1. .. or maybe there is a market, but the initial entry costs are too high, so whoever's actively looking at entering needs a little push so the market shows its true potential.

      Maybe it won't be as big as SOF, SKG, ZAG or BEG, but at least it won't be dependant on connecting traffic through those. It's time for SKP to show it's worth its salt.

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    2. SKP will get more flights then BEG...
      although BEG serves more than three times as much people as Macedonia.
      And dont forget PRN...
      so no wonder you have to pay such subsidises if you are in such a bad position.

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  5. Why ohh why cant the Montenegrin government follow the Macedonian governments lead and implement a similar subsidised flight scheme to Tivat and Podgorica airports. 60% of Tivat summer flights are coming from Russian, 10% from Ukraine, 20% from Serbia and then a few from London, Olso, Nurumberg etc.... Its a joke to try and get to Montenegro from Western Europe. 1 flight a week from Gatwick to Podgorica and 2 a week from Gatwick to Tivat. These frequencies just arent good enough. The Montenegrins need to get their act together for Summer 2013.
    What do other people think?? Cheers

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    1. Between Ryanair and Wizzair, they chose the former. When you dance with the devil..

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    2. most people transfer through belgrade to get to the montenegrin coast (with either jat or montenegrin airlines) due to the high frequences between the two places

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  6. I guess to break the monopoly around the region this is a good idea by the Macedonian government at Least is a good way to attract tourisam in the country

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  7. I am glad Skopje Airport is transforming in to a real airport with new destinations i think this and Dubai will make Skopje more attractive

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  8. Move over BEG here comes SKP Just kidding my Serbian friends

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  9. Skopje will have at least 2 aircrafts from wizzair based there and that will be enough to open routes to Stockholm,Brussels,Belgrade,Frankfurt,Paris,London,Constantinople,Milan,Klagenfurt,Gothenburg,Zagreb,Berlin.

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    Replies
    1. Klagenfurt, seriously, come on???

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  10. a good and cheap way to get people using Skopje Airport why pay 200 Eur more with other airlines just for a chicken sandwich and a soft drink it's a shame Macedonia can not establish their own Airline but after all it's all about passenger numbers moving through the terminal.

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    1. It is not cheap at all - why should entire country pay subsidies for a (generally wealthier) minority that uses air travel? It totally doesn't make sense!

      Not to mention that this subsidizing scheme is unfair to all other airlines serving SKP that might force them to reconsider their presence there, as one airline now has a leverage over them.

      This approach is a complete nonsense...

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  11. wondering if Adria and the likes will continue to charge 300€ for MUC-SKP-MUC, now when u can fly from Memmingen for less then 100€

    oops wizzair prizes to belgrade (from memmingen) have doubled this summer , or it means they are already full

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    Replies
    1. Wizz is doing well,most flights between 15june-15august is either sold out or much more expensier than we are used to!

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  12. Summer flights always have more demand, thus they're booked earlier on. I'm sure it will keep Austrian (and others) honest at least in the low season when the real robbery happens.

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  13. This is the result of the Ex-yu aviation market splitting. Small enclave countries such as Macedonia, Montenegro and even Bosnia cannot sustain significant air transportation. Subsidies are the way to attract tourism, the only viable industry now days for at least two of the three countries. In Ex-yu you had Zagreb and Belgrade with overseas and continental flights and you had a network of flights connecting every other airport in the land. Seasonally,you would have Adria, Aviogenex and a foreign carrier feed tourism destinations on the Adriatic coast. So basically, many of these flights are replacing either JAT's former Ex-yu network destinations or Adria's flights. Only greater economic development growth would raise the need for more flights other than tourism. Say what you will about the political fall out, Ex-Yu made a lot of economic sense. Nowhere is this more evident than in its air transportation.

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    1. honestly this is crap. the ex-yu market is changing the same way the european did (loosing pax to lcc, creating new markets)

      dont even want to know the financial results of Jat during Yugoslavia

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  14. I'm from Macedonia and I think this is good for all of us because Macedonia is really small market when you see it as a country so subsidiaries is the only way to attract some airliner to fly to out airport.We can't measure with Serbia or Bulgaria with their capacities because Belgrade is already regional hub when it comes to air travel so if we chose to go somewhere we have to pay for ticket via Belgrade which is usulay 200+ EUR or book from Skopje which is expensive as hell. National carrier is already tried thing and didn't work twice so Wizz air+ subsidiaries is the combination that will work.I'm really excited about this because we were the black hole on the Balkans when it comes to air travel, now I can finally buy ticket for reasonable price and go without the fear of expensive prices. The only problem that I see know is to introduce the Wizz air system of traveling (Most people don't use online debit cards and are not familiar with Web check in services and all that) but I guess Wizz air will make good marketing and introduce what do they offer. I think Malmo is going to be my first purchase :)

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    Replies
    1. Srecno i bericetno sa novim letovima. Pozdrav iz BEG.

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    2. Macedonia/Skopje could easily attract within 10 years 4 milion pax,congrats from Montenegro-the first republic to defeat the otomans 300 years ago:)!

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  15. the worst what happens to the aviation industry are these subsidies by the governments. it kills biz for those airlines who operate without 'em

    complete non sense and foulplay.

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  16. Can someone tell what discounts and subsidries Wizz get on BEG to fly from it. Why is that such secret

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  17. The secret is that they do not get any subsidies
    in Belgrade...

    Maybe because of this they switch over to Skopje?

    Dont know if they have a strategy for BEG...
    either they wait for arrival of Easyjet and then piss off as they did in ZAG.
    Or they speculate for a bankrupcy of Jat Airways?

    I hope they never get any subsidies..better they leave!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, they better leave and leave the market in the capable hands of JAT.

      They never had a based aircraft in BEG, btw, and all they operated was ZAGLTN (and ZAGDTM during a very short period). You might have also noticed they are present with 30+ aircraft in other regions than exYu, so exYu is pretty much peanuts..

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    2. Correction* they never had a based aircraft in ZAG.

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    3. Well, i never said Jat is more capable...
      lol!
      But actually Jat already profits from Wizz alot!
      Because of the small frequencies Wizz becomes too early too expensive for a lot of people who then switch over to Jat.

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  18. How come wizz air does not have any interst in flying to pristina. I'm pretty sure the market in pristine is larger than Skopje.

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    Replies
    1. Visa liberalization is the key. Also Skopje can attract passengers from south Serbia. Infrastructure and business environment is better.

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  19. Pristina market is interesting but Wizz Air goes to countries which can benefit the visa liberalization which Macedonia and Serbia have.

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  20. Prishtina has high taxes, management issues and operational difficulties with their airspace. Not likely to attract a LCC like that..

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  21. Prishtina has more passengers and does have LCCs like Easyjet. So don't see how PRN cannot attract an airline like Wizzair. The difference of course lies in the subsidies.

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    Replies
    1. Yes,
      PRN does good ..even without Wizzair.

      SKP obviously can not compete with them
      without subsidies.
      That says everything...

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    2. We'll see much longer that remains the case...

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    3. Don’t forget PRN pays subsidies for many airlines to fly there. One of the reasons BA is pulling out is because they are ending the subsidies.

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  22. No, the difference lies in the cost model of the airline. easyJet is not a true low cost, Wizz and Ryanair are.

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  23. Glad, to hear that they WIZZAIR start Flights from Skopje to Germany. The Adria Airways Prices are mostly horrible high. So there is a real demand of cheaper Flights.

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  24. News this morning that Wizz Air will hire 300 local people for its operations in Macedonia and invest $80 Million for the announced flights to commence. All good news no matter how you view it. Wizz seems to be the new national carrier.

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  25. The new WIZZAR Flights from Skopje to Munich West - FMM (Memmingen Airport) - are already ready for Booking. Currently cool Prices starting from just 9,99 Euro

    Here are the Flights:

    Skopje - Munich West
    Monday and Friday
    11:05 - 13.10

    Munich West - skopje
    Monday and Friday
    13:40 - 15:40

    Perfect for a Weekend Trip in both Directions.

    So then .. bye bye Adria Airways and all other expensive Airlines.

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  26. The new WIZZAIR Flights from Skopje to Munich West are starting from 29.10.2012

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