Thursday, July 12, 2012

Skopje chasing millionth passenger

Strong passenger growth anticipated for Skopje
With strong passenger growth and several new airlines lined up, Skopje Alexander the Great Airport is forecast to handle one million passengers within a year by the end of 2013, the first time in thirteen years. In June, Skopje and Ohrid airports handled 88.092 passengers, an increase of 14% compared to the same month last year. In the first half of the year, the two airports welcomed a combined total of 402.946 passengers, a surge of 19%. The results were achieved despite a notable decrease in the number of flights operated to the two airports.

In the following months, Wizz Air will launch new services from Skopje as it opens its own base in the Macedonian capital. In neighbouring Serbia, Wizz Air has captivated a completely new market of travellers, rather than simply taking passengers away from the competition. The low cost airline has already announced the possibility of expanding its operations from Macedonia in the summer of 2013. Furthermore, Flydubai will be launching flights to Skopje this October, connecting the city with a direct air link to the Middle East. According to airport officials, negotiations are under way for a new service to be launched from Moscow to Skopje.

Skopje Airport handled a record 1.000.200 passengers in 2000. However, this impressive figure had more to do with the political situation in the region rather than natural growth. In 2011, Skopje welcomed 759.928 passengers through its doors, its best year since the 2000 record. Skopje is currently the seventh busiest airport in the former Yugoslavia behind Belgrade, Zagreb, Priština, Ljubljana, Dubrovnik and Split. The three busiest airlines operating out of the Macedonian capital in 2012 are Austrian, Jat Airways and Croatia Airlines, all of which rely heavily on transit passengers on their flights to and from Skopje.

17 comments:

  1. SKP might even surpass LJU if the growth continues this way...good job! It is also "stealing" some BEG passengers, maybe that's why Wizz reduced its flights starting September 2012.

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    1. Skopje may steel passengers from BEG but only from JU and only from transit passengers for now. Wizz is actually doing astoundingly well from BEG. All flights are over 90% full every single day. Anyway, great news for Skopje and I’m sure it will reach that million in 2013. Also good work for TAV. Seems like SKP was reborn after the new terminal was built.

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    2. You mean, good work from the government? Or good work from TAV for baiting the government to do their job for them?

      Not pro-gov, simply think TAV haven't really done much and are milking the deal for all it's worth.

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  2. No, Wizz reduced those couple of flights due to not sufficient natural loads, not decreasing ones. I doubt anybody from Beograd or Central Serbia will want to drive all the way to Skopje for a more expensive ticket.

    And it is spelled steal*** and stealing***.

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    1. Maybe Nis but to Belgrade both Budapest and Timisoara are closer with the same links and better connections to the city itself. So i really doubt there will be many ppl flocking to SKP from Belgrade.

      All the best

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  3. It will surpass LJU in 1-2 years for sure. That's not the question. It is a question will it surpass PRN- I guess in 2-3 years yes!!

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    1. SKP will not be able to surpass PRN, not in 2 years and not in 10 years. Even today, PRN has a constant, steady grow of 8-11% every month even though it currently handles nearly double the number of passengers compared to SKP. In other words, Skopje enjoys a 15% or more increase because, realistically, in the past few years the number of passengers using SKP was much lower (below 1 million). In a year or two when SKP reaches 1 million passengers the percentage figures will start to decrease to similar (if not lower) than those of PRN. It's simple math and logic.

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    2. Well my calculus is a little bit different from yours..With a 20 percent growth pax numbers double every 3 years, with 10 percent every 7. This is the power of the compounding system-people that studied maths and economics are very well aware of it! I don't say that SKP will overrun BEG but PRN yes. You can't rely solely on VFR market and have 20 percent growth. Once foreign citizens and missions leave Kosovo numbers will decline, while having almost 0 business travelers. This is what orher ex-yu countries have but not Kosovo!

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    3. Your comment is full of prejudice and as such is completely immaterial. To declare that Kosovo has no business travelers may only mean that you have absolutely no information on the business environment in Kosovo. Further more, your comment just got more ridiculous when you stated that foreign missions help increase PRN passenger number, and again, you are incorrect. Foreign missions in Kosovo continuously decreased their staff since 2006 and yet the number of passengers in PRN continues to grow. In 2012, number of foreign missions operating in Kosovo is similar if not smaller than those operating in other ex-yu Countries. I really encourage you to update your info because you are sounding a bit ridiculous. I say again, once SKP reaches 1 million passengers, the growth may/will continue but on a smaller percentage rate, similar or smaller than that of PRN.

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    4. Great post Anonymous@8:27. Some people need to get in touch with reality.

      However, you're completely ignoring the current trend - Kosovars reverting back to flying to and from Skopje, which is already obvious to people looking at actual passenger flows. I believe Wizz Air basing an a/c in SKP and offering an alternative will just speed this up and PRN will be facing stagnation, while I believe SKP might enjoy a steady 10% growth.

      Do you really think BA is only cutting back capacity due to issues with PRN management? Think again.

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  4. The battle between the airports is good for us, passengers. For example, person like me, I am living in Gevgelija, Southern Macedonia. I have Thessaloniki, Skopje and even Sofia on driving distance from where I can choose really decent amount of destinations. And Thessaloniki lately has a lot of lowcost traffic (RyanAir, EasyJet), WizzAir from SKP and SOF. Finally we are able to feel the positive aspects of low cost flying. No need for nationalism here, the airport with best service should get the most of the passengers, that's how its done in the normal (non-Nationalistic) world.

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    1. Anonymus 1:50 PM couldn't have said it better myself :-) Fully agree. So nice to see these numbers on all ex-Yu airports, ZAD, RJK, PUY are now doing great seasonally, and you all would agree that summer flying season is rather long, FR flies on some routes until the end of October so very positive. INI could be doing better, but if we compare with some previous years it's amazing what one daily flight can do. SKP as it has already been said, great figures, great achivments in such a short period, OHD too, but strongly think that OHD could do seasonally with some LCC (Wizz could take an advantage of this). Hope fully OSI, BNX, SJJ, MBX will follow the same or similar steps.

      Greetings from, finally, sunny London

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  5. I think that PRN is no threat to SKP because all stable connections to Pristina come from cities in Germany,Switzerland and Italy. Having Wizz Air,Fly Dubai and some upcoming airliners to Skopje adds variety of destinations that will go from Skopje because it has more population than Kosovo.so the battle will in terms in variety of destinations not daily flights.

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  6. @ex-yu youre missing Turkish Airlines amongst the "3 busiest airlines" (that CAPA statistics youre referring to was wrong)

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  7. Well 2 mil. people are living in each contry,Kosovo is only 43 % of Macedonia size so everone uses Pristina airport like they do in Skopje-my opinion is that these 2 airports will have the same numbers in a couple of years. The diaspora is equal size outside both countries.

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  8. SKP will see its growth even better than ever. Don't think Wizz are much interested in BEG as they are in SKP.

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  9. ^ false, they based an aircraft in Beograd already, have more routes and frequencies than are planned in Skopje..

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