Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Wizz Air to expand Skopje base

Second aircraft for Wizz Air in Skopje

The low cost airline Wizz Air has announced plans to expand its operations out of Skopje Alexander the Great Airport. The no frills carrier will launch three new destinations from the Macedonian capital from the start of the 2014 summer season. They are Brussels Charleroi, Frankfurt Hahn and Paris Beauvais. It will bring the total number of destinations offered by Wizz Air from Macedonia to thirteen. Furthermore, the airline will base a second Airbus A320 at the airport from April 16. Starting next summer, Wizz Air will boost frequencies to Basel Mulhouse, Dortmund, Eindhoven, Gothenburg, Malmo and Memmingen thanks to the new jet.

John Stephenson, Wizz’s Executive Vice President, said, “In response to the high demand for Wizz Air’s low fares I am thrilled to announce a new aircraft to our Skopje base. The arrival of the second aircraft will bring Wizz Air’s total fleet investment in Skopje to over 160 million dollars. Macedonian consumers are enthusiastic about our low fares". Wizz Air was widely tipped to announce the launch of new routes this year with the Macedonian government subsidizing the airline. Earlier this year, Wizz Air inaugurated flights from Skopje to Stockholm and Gothenburg.

Wizz Air has quickly expanded in Macedonia. It is currently the busiest airline in the country, handling 120.989 passengers in the first half of the year on direct flights to and from Skopje. Furthermore, Wizz Air has increased its operations in the Macedonian capital this summer by 350%, offering 27 weekly departures. Within the former Yugoslavia Wizz Air is not present only in Montenegro and Pristina. The airline has hinted it is considering expanding its flight offer from Ljubljana, where it currently operates flights to London and Charleroi. In addition, it is still keen on establishing services to both Sarajevo and Banja Luka.


  1. Congrats. Macedonia has nowhere to go but up.

  2. The Macedonian government is subsidizing only 6 out of 13 destinations.

    Those 6 subsidized destinations are:
    Milan (Bergamo), Eindhoven, Malme, Dortmund, Munich (Memmingen), Basel (Mulhose).

    The other 7 not subsidized are:
    London (Luton), Venice (Treviso), Brussels (Charleroi), Paris (Beauvais), Frankfurt (Hahn), Gothenburg, Stockholm (Skavsta).

  3. I hate if the Government spends money not responsibly. But I have to say that since Wizz is flying to Skopje I go 3 times per year back home (instead of once before, and my family consist of 4) and I spend much more money there. So, I don't think that supsidies are wrong moove, at list not in this case. Best regards and keep the good work from Todor in Holland

  4. low cost carrier? where is more price transparency? Flying LH,LX,BA etc or LCC such as Wizz Air, where u pay Wizz Air plus later on during the year, the high income taxes to the government which at the same time is subsidizing LCCs?
    What do you pay in Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia on income tax? 50% of your salary?
    What if governments would only focus to what they are responsible for, cut spendings and charge you only 25% income taxes. Would u go for it?

    1. Barking up the wrong tree, BEGLAX. If anything, this is a case of money well spent.

    2. In Croatia I can tell you how much goes on tax from avrage pay, its quite easy, 30 000 kuna goes on tax out of avrafge 100 000 kuna pay (currently that is an average gross pay in Croatia) or about 1500$ per month.

      If you're referring to VAT, that's 25%, one of the heighest in Europe or in the EU, it might be cut down to 20% in late 2014, there are hints of doing so.

  5. Personal income tax in Macedonia is 10%, but why and how is it that relevant to the topic?

  6. I know, I think Wizz air and Skopje is doing really fine and def good to see the progress aviation in Macedonia is doing. Subventions are a difficult issue to discuss about. On the one hand it kills the market, because not all of the players get the same conditions, on the other hand, so many industry parts today get subsidizes.
    What would Swiss Railways do with out government support? Now LX can say I m in direct competition with railways. Why do they get subventions and we do not? This discussion has room for an own blog..
    Subsidized LCCs brings business into our cities, resorts etc, so that s actually a good thing. But LH flies also to Zadar and bring tourists, even from all over the world, not just Europe. So what do we tell them if being asked why does Ryan gets subventions to Zadar, but we not?

    Governmental financial support has kept many sick Airline patients in Europe alive, with the result that most of them are constantly in the minus.
    Did u notice that the incomes on the US market have drastically changed to the positive in the past years. Today their market is again competitive, strong, vivid. Their net earnings are 7 bln USD up comparing to 2004-2006.

    way to go to discuss but lets leave it aside
    10% income tax in Macedonia, that s very competitive, good so.

  7. Wizz first came to Zagreb in ex-yu, it was their first base, but service was really bad, so not many flew with them, and with arrival of EasyJet, Wizz lost any hope.

    Wizz might return but not on London route, perhaps some Polish, Scandinavian route perhaps, other routes have alredy been taken and they can't compete with EasyJet, German Wings or Vueling.

    1. How about Wizz establishing a flight to Zagreb from Skopje?

  8. Sorry OT,

    Good news for Skopje but not so good for Zagreb.

    Zagreb numbers finally up for June and July and it doesn't look good. About 4% decrease for the 2 months.
    Less aircraft movements too; looks like the OU downsizing is having an effect.

    Split on the other hand had another decent increase of 14.5 percent or 335923 passengers in July. As long as Zadar has expected growth of 20 plus percent, we should see over 1 million passengers for a month period in Croatia for the first time ever?!

    1. yep, OU downsizing and reducing its network has hit Zagreb numbers, oh well, others will pick up.

  9. Dose anyone know how much the subsidies are that the MK government is paying to Wizz?

    -- Charlie

    1. "In line with a three-year agreement, the Government allocates Denar 306 million (EUR 5 million) in Wizz Air subsidies." Source: http://kurir.mk/en/2012/10/29/wizz-air-inaugurates-flights-from-skopje-to-six-european-destinations/

    2. 5 million are not enough and are only a part of the deal my dear friend!

  10. What are the changes we are going to see in Zagreb this winter? Have any airlines announced changes?

  11. So this news is not good for PRN I suppose as it will keep on taking away even more passengers. Is the road between PRN and SKP any good?

    1. PRN pax figures are 15% up yoy for the 2013 H1, so SKP can't be attracting that many passengers from Kosovo.

      Later this year the work on constructing a all-new Prishtina-Hani i Elezit (Macedonian border) highway following the completion of the all-new Prishtina-Vërmicë (Albanian border). Bechtel has done a great job quality-wise, but the cost has been very high.

  12. This are great times in Macedonia in the moment.

    The government swims in money that flows in from foreign countries,
    most spending does not come from taxes but from loans.
    Taxes in Macedonia are lower than average in the regfion.
    This is all the help from foreign governments that invest in regional stability and will do so in future.
    These foreigners are clearly commited to Macedonia and will continue with pumping money into the government.
    Subventions are part of the whole deal and also encouraged!

    1. ^ Absolutely correct.
      You have to compare the situation with Slovenia -
      It is extremely difficult now inSlovenia to get any loan from a foreign bank.
      A lot of foreign banks also will retreat from the Slovenian market because of BASEL implementation.
      Slovenian banks will have to move their losses into a bad bank,for which the taxpayers will have to pay in the end.
      Subventions are impossible because of EU-guidances.

      Slovenia became a victim of its own success.
      Macedonia profits in short term from its internal problems.
      Wizz Air gets subsidized not by the Macedonian taxpayer
      but by foreign creditors.

      The situation of MKD reminds on Yugoslavia in the Seventies when the Yugoslav economy boomed because of foreign capital injections.
      Of course this money was lend because of purely political reasons - the former Airline JAT also profited a lot of this,
      although their business was per se loss-making.

    2. Dont talk crap !
      Slovenia is the biggest success in the region !
      Where did you read this propaganda ?

  13. WizzAir Expands Skopje Operation from April 2014
    Posted: 06 Aug 2013 01:00 AM PDT
    Update at 0800GMT 06AUG13

    WizzAir from April 2014 will expand operations from its Skopje base, with the launch of 3 new routes, along with frequency increase on 5 routes.
    Skopje – Brussels Charleroi eff 16APR14 2 weekly
    W67717 SKP1800 – 2045CRL 320 37
    W67718 CRL2115 – 2350SKP 320 37
    Skopje – Paris Beauvais eff 18APR14 2 weekly
    W67719 SKP1745 – 2035BVA 320 15
    W67720 BVA2105 – 2350SKP 320 15
    Skopje – Frankfurt Hahn eff 19APR14 2 weekly
    W67729 SKP1215 – 1445HHN 320 26
    W67730 HHN1510 – 1735SKP 320 36
    Following routes sees service increase
    Skopje – Mulhouse eff 15APR14 Increase from 3 to 5 weekly
    Skopje – Dortmund eff 14APR14 Increase from 2 to 3 weekly
    Skopje – Gothenburg City eff 14APR14 Increase from 2 to 4 weekly
    Skopje – Malmo eff 16JUN14 Increase from 5 to 7 weekly
    Skopje – Memmingen eff 17APR14 Increase from 2 to 3 weekly

  14. OT: QR introduces fourth weekly on Wednesdays to BEG (now: x157). I believe this is too little, too late, but I still prefer their service to EY and will continue to use them, unless EY fully integrates JU's FF program into Etihad Guest.

  15. WIZZAIR consider Montenegro for S14.
    Proposed flts: TIV-GDN,TIV-WAW, TGD-LTN


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