Skopje likely to see Budapest flights resume
Wizz Air is considering launching flights between Skopje and Budapest in the coming period which would cater for transit passengers but also tourists. The Macedonia - Hungary joint committee on economic cooperation held its first session on Tuesday in Budapest, focusing on Macedonia's investment benefits and projects of mutual interest. The meeting was attended by Wizz Air officials who expressed interest in launching flights between the two capital cities. "We discussed the opening of direct Wizz Air flights between Skopje and Budapest, as well as charter flights to cater for Hungary’s largest tour operator", Valon Sarancini, Macedonia’s Economy Minister said.
Malév Hungarian Airlines served Skopje until it went bust in early February last year. It was one of the busiest carriers operating flights to the airport, carrying a significant number of transit passengers continuing onwards to Western Europe. Since then, Wizz Air has set up a base in Skopje, opening direct flights to several destinations in the West. However, Macedonian travellers still heavily use other carriers and transfer through other cities. Austrian Airlines is still the carrier of choice for Macedonians. EX-YU airlines also rely on transfer passengers from Skopje. Of the approximately 80.000 passengers which used Jat Airways from the Macedonian capital in 2012, the majority transferred onto other flights in Belgrade. Similar results were recorded by Croatia Airlines and Adria Airways. Flights to Budapest would allow Macedonian travellers to connect onto Wizz Air’s network of over 30 destinations from the Hungarian capital.
Wizz Air plans to handle at least 120.000 passengers to and from Skopje by November 2013. In its second year of operations the number of passengers is projected to rise to 135.000 and a further increase of 20.000 passengers is expected to be seen by November 2015. As Wizz Air’s flights from Skopje are proving to be successful, a new expansion has been widely tipped for 2013. Malmo in Sweden continues to be Wizz’s most successful route from the Macedonian capital.