Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New national carrier planned for Macedonia

New Macedonian flag carrier expected to take off

Four years following the bankruptcy of MAT Macedonian Airlines, a new national carrier for the country, to be set up by private investors, is in the works. The Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency (CAA) has revealed that two foreign investors are willing to launch a new national carrier, utilising local expertise in the aviation sector which has been hit hard by MAT’s demise. Dejan Mojsoski, the head of the CAA, says he cannot comment on the names of the investors due to a confidentiality agreement but noted that “There is growing interest in the aviation sector in the country. Not only have foreign airlines increased their presence in Macedonia, there is also interest for a locally registered airline to be set up with foreign capital, following the example of Etihad Airways in Serbia”.

MAT Macedonian Airlines suspended flights in 2009 following mounting losses and debt. However, it was the Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency which played an instrumental role in grounding its national carrier and leaving several hundred employees out of work after it deemed MAT’s aircraft unsafe to fly. There have been attempts to relaunch the airline as Mat Airways, however, all have ended in failure. Recently, the Serbian government, as well as Jat Airways’ former CEO Velibor Vukašinović, indicated that Jat’s fleet of retiring Boeing aircraft could be used to establish Aeromak, Jat’s Macedonian registered subsidiary. MAT is Macedonia’s second national carrier to go bust following Palair Macedonian Airlines, which operated in the early 1990s. MAT officially declared bankruptcy in January 2010.

The creation of a new national carrier marks the second phase of the government’s strategy to develop the aviation industry in the country. The first, which included privatising Skopje and Ohrid airports and building new airport infrastructure, has been successfully completed. The Macedonian government is currently subsidising low cost airline Wizz Air, which has become the country’s busiest airline. A total of five million euros have been allocated to the no frills airline until 2015.

74 comments:

  1. This could only work if they have really deep pockets and if the government plans on cutting its subsidies for Wizz Air. Even if they are serious about this, I think the airline has to be really low cost. Otherwise it is yet another lost cause; I doubt Skopje sees a lot of business passengers.

    As for Ohrid, I just came back from there and I have to say that I am disappointed. They are still miles away from being competitive as a tourist destination.

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    1. Wait until the Indian Sahara Group finalizes their Ohrid project.... But then again, you might not be able to afford to go to Ohrid then.... :-)

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    2. I guess you have never been to India. ;)

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    3. Nemjee please give us a break , really, noone needs your (very) random mudrosti

      Ohrid is a gem , enjoy it while its not spoilt by big tourism yet

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    4. I forgot how proud people in FYROM are, do accept my most sincere apologies. ;)

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    5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    6. ObedinetaMKD, when did you make your last aviation related comment?

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    7. 3 days ago !!!! If you don't trust go to look....

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    8. Sorry it's 6 days ago,
      http://exyuaviation.blogspot.com/2013/09/adria-launching-new-destinations.html#comment-form

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    9. Wow I see that you have been primitive once again, I did not see what you wrote but I can only imagine since the comment was removed.

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    10. Nemjeee I guess you are from Beogradski pasaluk not from stupid Servia.

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    11. At least I have the decency to have a nickname and a picture, anonymous.

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    12. Nemje, i I was u i would not show the picture, so the whole world to laugh at u, reading your comments here ^^

      However , your negative comments regarding Macedonia are well documented here, but if it makes u happy go on ..

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    13. I am not going to waste my time arguing with you any more. You have shown all of us how competent you are in defending your position the moment you began attacking me on a personal level.

      Have a great evening.

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    14. Зашто се Београдски пашалук нервира око Охрида?

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    15. First learn how to write Serbian and then comment.

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  2. Wait until the Indian Sahara Group finalizes their Ohrid project.... But then again, you might not be able to afford to go to Ohrid then.... :-)

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  3. It could be smart that Jat/Air Serbia creates Aeromak, with a couple of Jat's old planes (but the ones in best condition), and among other lines starts Priština-Skopje flights, making a Belgrade-(SKR)-Priština missing link. If they can make a deal with Macedonian government (similar to Etihad/Serbia), where they are the ones who will subsidise them, I think it could work. Starting from scratch it might work.

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    1. Yeah, it would have been smart that JU was not renamed "Air Serbia". It could flight from Skopllje or Ohrid the same way wizzair is flying, taking those two cities as a base. But with branding "Air Serbia" and stories about serbian power back 500 years ago, it´s a question of national proud for Macedonians, and Croatis, Bosniaks and Montenegrins as well, not let that company having aquisitions and based flights from their countries.

      Would it be JAT or Aeroput, I believe that Bosnian and Macedonian governmants would be quit happy to solve the airliner-issue with letting ex-Yugoslav airliner fed up with Arabian money and experience to make some good business in their countries as well. This way - no way.

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    2. I am a Macedonian and i absolutel have no problem with the name of this airline nor would i mind flying with it. I am sure most of my countrymen feel that way. Croatia and Austrian have been flying from SKP for many years now - why should it be different with another airline with a name of a nation/country in it?

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    3. Cool, but would it be fair for you that Air Serbia flies from Skoplje to Frankfurt, Paris, Zurcih, Copenhangen directly?

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    4. If there was a market it would have been served already and no, Wizz Air doesn't count as its presence in SKP is artificial where a market is created in an unsustainable market. Sure, you can fly from SKP to Europe for €90 but does the airline actually make a profit? No.
      That's why these airlines are dangerous. They take away passengers from airlines which are there to play fair... that is without subsidies.

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  4. Great news for macedonia but i think this would only work when they fly to destinations which are not connected yet with macedonia like moscow barcelona prague budapest hamburg warsaw paris kopenhagen and as classical routes zurich istanbul... also some charters out of ohrid would not be a bad idea...

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    1. True but i would not look so far-there are missing links from skopje to every neighbouring country (except belgrade)- no direct flights to sofia tirana or athens... So this might be interesting for the new airline

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  5. Wizz air will get subsides from ohrid and struga to start flying out of OHD all year long

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  6. suggestions for Aeromak from SKP:
    http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=SKP-BEG%0D%0ASKP-INI%0D%0ASKP-VIE%0D%0ASKP-FRA%0D%0ASKP-AMS%0D%0ASKP-CDG%0D%0ASKP-ZRH%0D%0ASKP-FCO%0D%0ASKP-IST%0D%0ASKP-VCE%0D%0ASKP-CPH%0D%0ASKP-ARN%0D%0ASKP-DUS&MS=wls&DU=mi

    and from OHD
    http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=OHD-BEG%0D%0AOHD-INI%0D%0AOHD-VIE%0D%0AOHD-AMS%0D%0AOHD-IST%0D%0AOHD-ZRH%0D%0AOHD-VCE%0D%0AOHD-FRA%0D%0AOHD-CPH&MS=bm&DU=mi

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    1. SKP-INI makes no sense, people will not get to the plane to fly 96mi, Aeromak would need many planes (it cannot fill) to be a viable hub and to make this kind of routes work. Instead, it should take all the popular O&D routes: VIE, CDG, ZRH, MXP and many german airports and add many frequencies convenient for business travelers with cheap economy tickets. This can make tickets cheaper compared to today's very expensive legacy carrier tickets and times more convenient compared to WizzAir.

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    2. yeah, i forgot to add MXP. oh no, those routes are not to start immediatly. first, routes with high O&D demand, and in later stages other routes
      here's with the changes
      http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=SKP-BEG%0D%0ASKP-MXP%0D%0ASKP-VIE%0D%0ASKP-LHR%0D%0ASKP-FRA%0D%0ASKP-AMS%0D%0ASKP-CDG%0D%0ASKP-ZRH%0D%0ASKP-FCO%0D%0ASKP-IST%0D%0ASKP-VCE%0D%0ASKP-CPH%0D%0ASKP-ARN%0D%0ASKP-DUS&MS=bm&DU=mi

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  7. So there is a 500k city just in the Serbian neihbourhood, with very fair passanger flow, serving no domestic airliner as a base (except for the Hungarian semilowcoster Wizzair).

    On the other side there is this newbranded Serbian company, with good foreign investor, expanding in all senses, and being hendicaped for having just one profitable airport in the whole country.

    I just hope, this case of Skoplje shows to all what a historical chance in the region was missed with the taking the "Air Serbia" name and shrinking the JU just to the Serbian market as domestic. The same story ongoing today with Skoplje is also behind the desitny of Sarajevo and probably of TGD and TIV in the very near future as well.

    Sorry guys, you can just put your personal offends on account on my statement as long as you want. It will not change the fact: with a slicly more vision and less nationalism we could have JU booming the region, and we could come here every day not in a fear that there is no expansion and profit, but just to check up how good the numbers are. Now, we have Air Serbia. It brings some more trill on the forum cause it takes a miracle for a such narrowly branded company to survive when we see all other "national" busters just dissappear in the whole region.

    Just with some more feeling and less nationalism, we would read today that Macedonia is making a deal with JU to take SKP and Ohrid as home-market as well. Didn´t happen, we know why.

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    1. Hahahahahah yeah, just because some random, unnamed investors want to open up a base in Skopje doesn't mean it will actually happen. SKP is a low yield market, the same way all of Yugoslavia is. Wizz Air's model might not be profitable, they have yet to post their financial performance. All we know they could be losing millions of Euros with their business model. So maybe Air Serbia's model is the one to follow, after all, that is what Aeroflot is doing in Russia, British Airways in the UK and Finnair in Finland.

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    2. I think Wizz Air's financial performance - once it's published - will come as a rude awakening to you, then.

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    3. Myeah sure it will. A Slovak newspaper published their performance in 2009 and let's just say that there was quite a lot of red. I highly doubt much has changed since. There is a reason why airlines which are not on the stock market do not publish their financial performance. Usually because there isn't a profit to be reported and no one likes to fly on an airline which is bleeding money- the way Wizz Air is.

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    4. I wish I could bet you so you remember the kind of statements you're making. You're way out of your depth on this one.

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    5. It's ok. I understand your position, I myself would've probably had the same one had I been in your shoes. Before long your 2009 observation will be updated.

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    6. Huh? What are you going on about?

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    7. I try to follow but I dont understand the point of this "fight".
      It was decided months ago that it will be Air Serbia and not some Trans Balkan Airline and that was it, I could add: decided by people in the airline business who know more about that than we all together do.
      So, what would be the best option for them to do now? Just start all over aghain? I see one gay here keeps complaining about the name all the time, what is the solution here? I would want to hear some ideas or real solutions not just pointless nagging. I am 1/2 Mkd, 1/4 Slo, 1/4 Srb, based in Belgrad a.t.m. and I have no problems with any name, just give me good prices amd no plane crashes.

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    8. Fully agree with you

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    9. hm, fair enough, it was decided. but does that change the fact that it was a bad decision?.. just as many decisions in serbia and within serbian government´s influence are not made on some ratio, but instead on some scary unrealistic perception of serbian "tradition" national interestes. A decesion - yes, but still a bad one.

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    10. How do you know who made a decision and what makes you think Etihad would not reject it if they felt it would work against the business model they wanted to introduce?

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  8. Hi guys, anyone can find out phone nbr of Magazin Aeronautika in Croatia. I need to get in touch with PURGER.
    I tried T com imenik on the web but it did not find anything. Thanks

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    1. My e-mail is: Zagreb_majorettes@yahoo.com

      send me e-mail and I will send you my office phone numbers and my mobile number.

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  9. Off topic:

    Air Serbia's frequent flyer cards have been released:

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/61833_10153398812385727_702634927_n.jpg

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    1. Are they going to tie Air Serbia's loyalty program to Etihad's? That would be pretty awesome.

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    2. Yes, you can use the Etihad card on all Air Serbia flights. Also, for all those who had Extra Flight Club can redeem their points until November. I think the cards look pretty awesome!

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    3. And I guess you can use Air Serbia card on Etihad's flights, correct? Are the miles going to be transferable?

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    4. Details regarding the new FF program, already shown on Etihad website ;-)

      Best regards from Novi Sad

      http://www.etihadairways.com/sites/etihad/global/en/guestrecognition/visitor/etihadguest/PartnerDetails/Pages/air-serbia.aspx

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    5. So, it's going to be fully integrated with Etihad Guest, which means points for hotel stays, rent-a-car services etc. Pretty awesome.

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    6. Wow, looks really superb!

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  10. Wow that was it today...
    Again wasted my time with reading coments like "F..k your mom"
    etc etc.

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  11. @EX-YU Would it be possible to have some sort of rolling blog for AirSerbia news so that we somehow avoid OT in all discussions? We end up appearing disrespectful to others, unintentionally. It is just an idea... You are the master. Thanks for the good work done here.

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    1. ...that and to revoke the right to post as anonymous.

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    2. What Nemjee said would actually be very beneficial, since most of us are fed up with comments from trolls, who are here just to make a quarrel..

      Think about it ;)

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    3. well Nemje is the biggest troll here

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  12. Things are like this for us Macedonians: 1. Nobody has anything against Air Serbia or the national label in it's name and we would like to fly with them (also many Albanians living in MK would do so)
    2. At this moment there is nothing spectacular what Air Serbia offers for us and it will remain like this till new JU makes transatlantic hub out of BEG and starts JFK, WAS, YYZ, DTW, MIA.. W6 covers SKP directly with plenty of destinations and so JU will face very very tough price competition which will in turn make very low return for JU. Except this we have JP, OU, OS, TK to transfer so nothing is new here (for you Serbians after flying in old
    planes and ongoing delays it will be the event of your life, but for us its a different story)
    3. Only business model if they want to capture this market is to establish direct flights to main hubs like CDG, AMS, LHR , MAD, AUH, TXL and offer connecetions to Americas and Asia.
    4. Regarding the new carrier I'm very suspicious if it could
    work unless being part of an alliance or a subsidy of some big carrier.
    5. Very good news about OHD-they should try advertising the airport in Albania which has only 1 airport and also offer some good packages for tourists during low season ( the same way Budapest and Slovenia do with their wellness resorts).
    6. And pls pls stop behaving childish with this FYROM because this way you show your frustrations only

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    1. I am sorry but FYROM is the official name of the country, check the UN.
      I fear it is not us who is frustrated.

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    2. You make it sound as if BEG was served by 30 year old Fokkers, Tu-134s and IL 62s. lol

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    3. Imagine this: "us Serbs" also have JP, OU, OS and TK to transfer. We even have LX and LH, and even though it sounds like a pure sci-fi, "us Serbs" are quite used to fly new aircraft. If you feel like the ambassador of the entire Macedonia to judge on what things are like for ALL of you, feel free to go on but you may wish to be more careful when judging what 8 million citizens of another country would consider an event of a lifetime.

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  13. Unfortunatelly it was even worse..Gears were falling apart, for months there was not a punctual flight..

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    1. In Belgrade? What are you talking about? Are you saying that airlines such as Lufthansa, Aeroflot, Turkish Airlines and the others sent old metal which was constantly falling apart and where most flights were delayed?
      Because from the comment above it certainly seems so.

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  14. Of course not about BEG. It was about JU! It's a fact that planes were old and that in the beginning of the year it was highly uncertain if the airline could operate with 6 planes!

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    1. Well, the person who wrote it should be careful how he structures his sentences because it made it sound as if Serbs flew only on Jat's old planes.

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  15. It's not about sentence structure - it's logical when speaking about JU to reffer to JU's fleet. It was about the meaning of JU's change to you Serbians and for ex. Macedonians

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  16. LX to reduce BEG-ZRH flts during Winter 2013-14

    Flight Origin Date DEP ARR AC Eff From Eff To Days of Op
    LX 1417 BEG 10/01/14 14:40 16:35 320 12/12/13 14/02/14 1-345-7
    LX 1417 BEG 11/01/14 14:40 16:35 319 14/12/13 08/02/14 -----6-
    LX 1419 BEG 11/01/14 20:00 21:50 319 28/12/13 08/02/14 -----6-
    LX 1413 BEG 13/01/14 09:30 11:35 320 13/01/14 13/01/14 1------
    LX 1419 BEG 14/01/14 20:00 21:50 320 07/01/14 06/03/14 -2-4---
    LX 1417 BEG 15/02/14 14:40 16:35 320 15/02/14 28/02/14 1-34567
    LX 1417 BEG 01/03/14 14:40 16:35 319 01/03/14 08/03/14 -----6-
    LX 1417 BEG 02/03/14 14:40 16:35 320 02/03/14 07/03/14 1-345-7
    LX 1419 BEG 08/03/14 20:00 21:50 320 08/03/14 13/03/14 -2-4-6-
    LX 1417 BEG 10/03/14 14:40 16:35 320 10/03/14 20/03/14 1-34---
    LX 1419 BEG 15/03/14 20:00 21:50 319 15/03/14 29/03/14 -----6-
    LX 1419 BEG 18/03/14 20:00 21:50 320 18/03/14 27/03/14 -2-4---
    LX 1417 BEG 21/03/14 14:40 16:35 320 21/03/14 30/03/14 1-345-7
    LX 1417 BEG 22/03/14 14:40 16:35 319 22/03/14 29/03/14 -----6-

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  17. I wish Macedonia would get an airline with brand or just new aiplanes and not the old metal from Jat. It is sad how foreign companies are simly avoiding the MKD market.

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  18. MKD is served by 11 foreign airlines, serbian by 23. Population of Serbia ca. 8mil.; pop. MKD ca. 2mil. Wtf?!?

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    1. Good luck to Skopje, whatever you wanted to say with your pointless comment

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    2. But check the variety of destinations from one airport to another. And one might add this, what will actually happen to wizz air when the subsidies dry up? btw till when are the subsidies given to wizzair?

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  19. OT:
    YU-APC Air Serbia entered paintshop at DUB 16sep13 ex EI-EYA.

    http://www.skyliner-aviation.de/regdb.main

    It will be YU-AP* range for A319 :)

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    1. Ah great, so the two aircraft we saw were YU-APA and YU-APB? Thanks for the update.

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