Slow start for Skopje despite Wizz Air presence
Skopje Alexander the Great Airport has seen its passenger numbers improve by 2% in January 2013 compared to the same month last year. Macedonia’s busiest airport welcomed 65.700 passengers through its doors in the first month of the year. The modest growth is somewhat disappointing considering that Wizz Air has introduced up to six new routes from the airport while Flydubai is also operating services to Skopje, unlike last January. If Skopje is to reach its goal and handle one million passengers this year it will have to record significant growth throughout the coming months. In January 2012, Skopje saw growth of over 20% compared to the year before.
Recently, charter carrier Alba Star launched flights from Skopje to Rome and Basel with services operating every weekend. Passenger numbers could receive a further boost thanks to several new airlines which have announced plans to launch flights to the Macedonian capital. They include Nordic Air Sweden which will inaugurate services from Copenhagen on February 28, B&H Airlines from Sarajevo starting April 1 and Jetairfly which will resume its seasonal summer flights from Brussels. Furthermore, there is a possibility that Wizz Air will also boost its presence in Skopje with new routes. Low cost Flydubai will increase its frequencies from two to three times per week this summer, while Qatar Airways is considering launching flights from Doha to the Macedonian capital later this year.
Alexander the Great Airport welcomed 828.831 passengers in 2012, an increase of 9.1% compared to the year before. The airport’s busiest year was 2000 when it handled 1.019.905 passengers. Since then, the airport has been closest to that figure last year but is still some way off from breaking the million passenger mark.