Friday, February 7, 2014

Alitalia to launch Skopje flights

Alitalia returning to Skopje after six years

The Italian national carrier Alitalia will launch services from Rome to Skopje starting May 1. The new service will operate on a daily basis and marks Alitalia’s return to the Macedonian capital for the first time since it suspended daily flights from Milan on January 8, 2008 citing low profitability. The flights will be operated by Alitalia’s subsidiary Alitalia CityLiner on the 88 seat Embraer E175 jet. Further details on the new service can be found here. Tickets are already on sale through the airline’s website. The news comes after the indebted Italian national carrier, which is negotiating a cash injection from Etihad Airways in return for shares, said late last year it was considering launching services from Rome to Skopje, Pristina, Zagreb and Sarajevo, to be implemented between 2013 and 2016.

Alitalia will face direct competition on its Rome route from Italian airline Livingston which launched flights to Skopje last December, stepping in to replace replace the bankrupt Belle Air Europe. Alitalia has a limited presence in the region. It operates flights to Belgrade and last year launched a new service from Rome to Podgorica which has proved sucsesfull. Besides Skopje, the airline once flew to Sarajevo and Zagreb and operated seasonal summer flights to Dubrovnik and Split as well. It is tipped the airline’s next destination in the former Yugoslavia will be Zagreb to which it once operated up to two daily flights prior to its financial problems in late 2008.

The arrival of Alitalia to Skopje is expected to further boost passenger numbers at Macedonia’s busiest airport. During the summer Wizz Air will base a second Airbus A320 in Skopje and launch flights to Charleroi, Beauvais, Cologne and Hahn. In addition, starting this summer, Wizz Air will boost frequencies on its flights to Basel Mulhouse, Dortmund, Eindhoven, Gothenburg, Malmo and Memmingen thanks to the new jet.

42 comments:

  1. ExYU ...when are we going to be able to see the pax number for January 2014?...would be quite interesting to have them and see the trend. Thanks for the good work!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is still not possibile to acquire aitalia tickets to skopje through the company website.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I tried to see it too and you get an ooops. lol

      Delete
    2. Yes you can. Just go to the website and select dates. The tickets are a bit pricy. Over 200 euros.

      Delete
    3. Actually I selected 12 May outbound, 16 May inbound and ticket is 133 euros. Don't know how you guys can't book tickets. Works fine for me.

      Delete
    4. Well i tried 15 min ago it didn't work, now it does i got 133 euros for 15/7 and 120 for the return on 22/7. 254 euros overall.

      Delete
    5. " The tickets are a bit pricy. Over 200 euros. "


      Indeed. Did a quick search on one of these travel search engines

      skopje-rome-skopje

      dep:23/5 ret:26/5

      Alitalia 248 euros

      Air serbia 195 euros

      27% cheaper, that's crazy!!! I mean you can't outdump the abu-dhabian's but that sort of difference in this region is not nothing. The downside ofcourse is its 3 hours longer via belgrade, this extra time may dissuade some but ...

      What makes it more interesting is that for those same dates their ticket to Belgrade is 172 and to Sofia 188 euros, I think they are going to need to adjust prices soon, not the best start but a welcome addition none the less.

      Delete
    6. Well, unfortunately most Macedonians are not wealthy and those going for holidays to Rome might opt to go via Belgrade as €50 is not nothing. No wonder Air Serbia will be sending its A320 here in summer. I am sure this summer will be crazy in Skopje will all these flights!

      Delete
    7. Exactly, thats why i'm surprised they decided to re-open the route with such high prices, considering they offer much cheaper fares to belgrade and sofia (€60-75). There is no way they can be cheaper than the serbs but atleast charge the same as those markets. Weird start. Anyway great news for Skopje, the more the merrier.

      Delete
  3. Good news for Skopje, always nice to see more carriers!

    On a side note, god I love these embraers, so comfy and most importantly no dreaded middle seat. Although Alitalia puts 88 seats which is roughly 30 inches, seat width is greater than both the 737 and A320.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Any info on the reason for cancelled adria airways flight to skopje today???

    ReplyDelete
  5. This will be a great addition to SKP accessibility (and of course will further fuel growth) since the domination of Star* and W6.
    Moreover after the pull out CSA there was not a single Sky Team member at the airport and connections to Spain/Portugal and South America were rather poor. Finally some legacy carrier starts operating.

    @ ex-yu andmin:

    Btw. There are actually 2 flights on Tue/Thu.
    One leaves SKP at 07.00 a.m. and the other at 05.05 p.m. Am I wrong? I find this flights on kayak.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to ex-yu flight info there are indeed 2 flights from SKP on Tuesday but no flight on thursday from Skopje, just an evening flight from Rome. I think its because on Mon/Thu/Fri/Sun the plane arrives 23:20 and will stay overnight in Skopje and depart the following day at 7.

      Delete
  6. Great great news for SKP! Legacy carrier which will improve not only the connection to Latin America but also to USA as well for connecting with Alitalia/Delta which I think will reduce the prices for transatlantic hop from SKP from where I think are the most expensive prices in the region for going over the pond.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Anonymous 10:13 AM

      I don't think SKP can beat SJJ when it comes to high prices for transatlantic flights

      Delete
    2. "Great great news for SKP! Legacy carrier which will improve not only the connection to Latin America"

      LOL. Aren't you a bit desillusioed? Skopje isn't Madrid or Barcelona as a matter of fact. These Skopje topics (comments) remind me more and more of TK Aviation topic on A.net, fulll of drooling lunatics in a race to the moon.

      Delete
    3. Really, out of all the comments we see here on ex-yu you picked this one as the most "desillusioed" as you call it, and full of "drooling lunatics"? Are you sure???

      Delete
    4. @Anonymous 1:51PM I'm checking plane tickets to go over the pond to NYC for March 22nd. Since I live in Southern Macedonia, the best option for me is Thessaloniki, it has great connection through Munich with Aegean and Lufthansa. Now, I'm considering SKP and SOF as well, and SOF by far has the best options both in terms of prices and options to travel, SKP is at this time occupied by only THY and AUA with prices at least 1/4 more expensive to SKG and 1/3 more to SOF. That's why I think the addition of Alitalia will help to trim those prices down a bit.

      Delete
    5. @anon 4:20 you don't sound very delusional or is that disillusioned? But I cant be sure if you are a drooling lunatic or not. lol .

      Your initial point was spot on, transatlantic options are very, very limited and ofcourse Turkish and Austrian know this and (over)charge accordingly. We'll have to wait to see what impact alitalia has on prices in the long run but initial offers are not encouraging.

      Middle of may to new york Austrian is €693, turkish €738, Alitalia €852, hmmm i wonder who I should fly with...

      It gets depressing when you compare to other nearby airports the cheapest available 1 stop flights...

      Skopje €693

      Prishtina €648 7% cheaper

      Belgrade €596 16%

      Thessaloniki €578 20%

      Sofia €490 41% cheaper thats nuts...

      Delete
    6. Oh I forgot to mention SM is right, in my quick search Sarajevo is indeed more expensive, €749 with Turkish, €259 or 53% more expensive than Sofia and 8% against SKP!

      Delete
  7. Good luck, Skopje!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Is anyone else surprised they went daily right off the bat??? I mean its a smaller plane (88 seats) but still its a pretty aggressive move considering their well documented financial troubles. If they are looking for certain amount of transit pax they are doing themselves no favors with the pricing...


    And why is the flight 1:50? I know that sound stupid but distance is roughly same as vienna and that flight is half an hour shorter? weird.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, we do not know what kind of deal they got from TAV. I am sure they are getting considerably reduced charges so having 7 weekly rotations to Rome is not so difficult to pull off.

      Delete
    2. why u think its agressive ? if you seriously want to attract transfer passengers u HAVE to offer daily flights at least ( like Austrian and Turkish).
      Alitalia is obviously not focusing so much at macedonian gastarbeiter in Italy, their main market is West Europe (and beyond) via FCO > Skopje

      i agree, they shoud be cheaper then Austrian to stand a chance.

      The flight SKP-MXP was 2 hours, ( no idea maybe the embraer is slower lol )

      Delete
    3. I agree about needing atleast a daily flight to get a steady flow of transit passengers, in reality they will need double daily to match turkish and austrian.

      My point was that i didn't expect them to go for that strategy, at least not right away as they have been completely absent from Skopje for 5-6 years and there was no indication that they would do something like this, when they announced they were thinking of restarting flights i personally thought they would have the standard 2-3 flights a week to begin with and then expand if they are successful. Thats what I meant by aggressive.

      Don't you dare call the embraer slow!!!

      Delete
    4. Alitalia is not Wizz to start with 2 weekly ! Its a totally different aproach !

      Delete
    5. Well it's definitely not unheard of for a legacy carrier to start slowly with 3 or so flights, just recently klm announced 4 weekly to zagreb and then decided to make it daily. And they dont have Alitalia's terrible financial situation!

      Delete
  9. Dali neko zna sto su jutros u beg ili preusmereni letovi kasnili ili otkazani. Vie, gen, zurich, etc?

    ReplyDelete
  10. OT. Just checked the Happy Friday promotion on Air Serbia... no wonder their transit pax numbers are growing:

    Vienna - Moscow via Belgrade, return trip, all taxes included 119 EUR!

    http://www.airserbia.com/en/home/main_menu/special_offer/happy_friday.html


    Fare 1.279 RSD
    Adult traveller(s)
    Surcharge (YQAP) 4,652 RSD
    CAD Passenger Charge - SERBIA (RFEB) 228 RSD
    Passenger Service Charge - SERBIA (RSLO) 930 RSD
    Security Charge - SERBIA (LGSE) 768 RSD
    Passenger Service Charge (PAX), International ? AUSTRIA (ZYAE) 2,106 RSD
    Tax description unavailable (QDAP) 814 RSD
    Passenger Security Charge - AUSTRIA (ATSE) 895 RSD
    International Terminal Use Charge- RUSSIAN FEDERATION (RIDP) 1,638 RSD
    Security Charge - RUSSIAN FEDERATION (UHSE) 581 RSD
    12,612 RSD
    x 1 adult(s) = 12,612 RSD
    total taxes = 12,612 RSD
    Ticket Service Charge 1.163 RSD

    All in all, JU gets:
    Fare: 1.279 RSD
    Surcharge (Fuel): 4.652 RSD
    TSC: 1.163 RSD
    TOTAL for Air Serbia: 7.094 RSD (~61 EUR) for 4 legs (VIE-BEG, BEG-MOW, MOW-BEG, BEG-VIE)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whats the breakeven LF%, 127% ????

      lol. There will be some happy Muscovites looking for a bargain. Is the cargo hold large enough for all the required vodka!!

      Delete
    2. That is what I call dumping! :-)

      Go AirSerbia Go!!! but be careful please... :)

      Delete
  11. "Alitalia will face direct competition on its Rome route from Italian airline Livingston which launched flights to Skopje"

    There are no Livingston flights anymore! You got it wrong

    ReplyDelete
  12. Finally someone else other than a StartAlliance member. Now, if we can only get a OneWorld carrier to provide daily service...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree, Wonder if BA would consider SKP?

      Delete
    2. No, I don't think BA will consider SKP. W6 flies to SKP and simply the market is not large enough to justify a return by BA. Stranger things have happened though, however BA do not fly to places like VNO or TLL that have very significant pax number out of LON.

      Delete
    3. Can anyone explain to me why CSA pulled out? I presume its because of their own financial problems but as far as I can remember they had really good loads from SKP. Despite Wizz Air, I'm sure Malev's bankruptcy would have provided the additional pax if they were to loose some to Wizz.

      Delete
    4. Macedonians stil need transit visas for UK airports (unless you have permament Schengen Visa or US/Canada residency ) making transiting through LHR (except for north american flights) a NIGHTMARE. the O&D market is well eaten up by Wizz. but who knows

      Delete
  13. Is it true that Alitalia will start flying Rome-Mostar?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Finaly good news for traveling between Detroit and Skopje, after 5 years (shoutdown MAT, and their AMS-SKP) they will have flights with only 1 stop at FCO, with decent time between conecting flights 2 hours on Skp-Dtw, and 5 hours on Dtw-Skp. The only problem that i now is the price 2800 eur (3800 $) for jun/jul. Compare to flights with 2 conections 1300-1500 $ is just too much. so probably it's not good news for DTW-SKP travelers...

    ReplyDelete
  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Does any one have data on the loading numbers on FCO SKP flights?

    ReplyDelete

Before posting a comment be mindful of other participants and readers. EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. Such comments will be deleted as soon as possible. The opinions expressed by those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of EX-YU Aviation News. Thank you for your cooperation.