Macedonian airports grow as Skopje hit by bird dramaMacedonia’s two international airports managed to see their passenger numbers increase slightly in August. Both Skopje and Ohrid handled a combined total of 109.589 passengers, an increase of 4% compared to the same month last year. In contrast to previous months growth has slowed after Skopje saw its number dip slightly in July. During August the number of operated flights saw a big slide of 11%. However, airport operator TAV is anticipating that Skopje’s numbers will soar in the coming period with the arrival of Flydubai and the opening of Wizz Air’s base in the Macedonian capital.
In the first eight months of the year Skopje Alexander the Great and Ohrid St. Paul the Apostle Airport have welcomed 627.156 passengers, an impressive increase of 12% compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, several days ago, Skopje Airport saw two mid air emergencies. An XL Airways jet departing to Dusseldorf was hit by a flock of birds upon take off and was forced to return back to Skopje shortly after. Fifteen minutes later a Wizz Air Airbus A320 arriving from London, carrying 131 passengers, was also hit by birds. As a result, Croatia Airlines delayed the departure of its jet to Zagreb around the time the incidents occurred.
Away from the drama, the Macedonian and Dutch aviation authorities have signed a memorandum for the implementation of a multilateral agreement on the establishment of a European Common Aviation Area. This memorandum establishes the legal framework for an open skies agreement between Macedonia and the Netherlands. In addition, the memorandum aims to promote international air traffic between the two countries, attract new airlines, increase competition and lower prices.