Sunday, September 28, 2014

Macedonia to extend low cost subsidies

State to provide financial assistance to low cost airlines in 2015

The Macedonian government will continue subsidising low cost flights to the country into 2015 despite plans to create a national carrier. The Ministry for Transport and Communication confirmed that it had approved funds to subsidise budget carriers next year but did not specify the amount. The three-year subsidy scheme, launched in 2012, will end in July next year. The government will call for no frill airlines to apply for state support in 2015 through an international tender. The original scheme proved successful since Wizz Air set up a base at Skopje Airport, which has in turn led to significant passenger and traffic growth. Other low cost airlines which have launched flights to the country since the financial support was introduced include Pegasus Airlines and Flydubai.

This year the Macedonian government offered 4.9 million euros in subsidies to budget airlines as an incentive to launch new routes and increase frequencies on existing services. Airlines were offered a one-off 40.000 euro cash injection for each new route launched for the first six destinations. Each subsequent route launch received an additional 30.000 euro grant from the government. Airlines signing up to the subsidy scheme have also been rewarded for the number of passengers carried. The government subsidises carriers for each passenger flown with nine euros in the first year of operations, eight euros in the second year and seven in the third. Commenting on the financial assistance provided to low cost airlines, the Ministry for Transport and Communication said, “We plan to keep this policy in place as data shows that in the brief period since its introduction it has produced significant results”.

In 2013, low cost airlines handled 440.127 passengers to and from Skopje Airport, a massive increase of 240% compared to the year before. Of those, Wizz Air carried 358.003 passengers, followed by Pegasus Airlines with 57.075 and Flydubai with a further 25.049 travellers. Prior to the launch of the subsidy scheme there were almost no low cost airlines serving Macedonia. The head of the Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency, Dejan Mojsoski, recently said, “Interest from airlines to operate flights to Macedonia is growing, which indicates we are on the right path to creating a fast, efficient, safe and reliable air transport network, accessible to the general public”.

33 comments:

  1. Way too much money. Reducing handling/landing fees by SKP airport would be more than enough if you ask me.

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  2. I wish they did something similar in Sarajevo

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  3. What about easy jet? Why haven't they come to Skopje?

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    Replies
    1. There was some talk about them coming at a previous round of subsidies but nothing happened :(

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  4. OT: today beg-tia 56pax, tia-beg 41. not bad

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    1. LF 73.5% considering it was a 66 seated plane (FR24 says YU-ALP)

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    2. People, who cares ??? Go get a life and do something with it ... sitting and reporting in specific load factors by day by flight tells the world you are hard up for something meaningful to do with your life - seriously, go save rainforests or the endangered white rhino .... no good can come from this however ....

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    3. @ Anonymous September 28, 2014 at 9:11 PM

      Considering you're always talking about how tragic Air Serbia is, how their load factors are low, how their flights are always delayed, you should be happy that things are picking up (plus its a new route). Thank you for caring about Serbia's national airline company.

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  5. In hindsight, a great investment.

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  6. Market economy. People in these parts of the world should learn to deal with it

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    Replies
    1. Yes, as if people in other parts of the world don't subsidize rail/airlines/airports and other infrastructure.

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  7. €4.9m is nothing, when you consider the average spend of an incoming tourist that would otherwise go to some other place in Europe.

    Almost all tourist destinations or otherwise 'not so obvious' destinations in Europe have to compete when it comes to subsidies to attract low cost carriers. It is as simple as that.

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    1. If you seriously believe that the bulk of people travelling as a result of this incentive are genuine bona fide tourists that have decided to come to Skopje instead of going elsewhere, then you have been reading way too many fairy tales ...

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  8. Wizz Air has become the de-facto national airline, and Macedonia and Macedonians are all much better for it.

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  9. What happens if another airline will accept these money? Will wizzair just go away and throw away all the routes?

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  10. If the macedonian taxpayers pay part of my flight and hotel i will come every year !

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  11. I wonder how Alitalia and Austrian is doing in Macedonia with Wizzair in the game? Good/bad LF?

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    1. Alitalia is doing very well. Austrian is still one of the busiest airlines in Skopje.

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  12. Dream on, no tourists mainly Albanians.

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    1. Go to Skopje, Bitola and Ohrid to see that there is tourists in Macedonia! Btw Kosovo and Albania both have airports so i hardly believe that all these passengers are albanians.

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    2. But there are 40% of Albanians in Macedonia.

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    3. No, they are 82,55%.I thought that above was an air transport artical.

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  13. there are 17% procent albanians in macedonia

    flew Skavsta-Skopje this saturday, the plane had 170 passengers and surprisingly very much old swedish people in big groups, they talked about going to skopje, berovo and ohrid

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  14. Znaci posle toga odolazi WZZ iz LWSK =D
    INN-NS

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    Replies
    1. why do you think that? and why so happy about that?

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    2. Pa smesno mi je koliko su para dali za subvencije a posl toga cw WZZ reci goodbye dovidjenja LWSK =DD
      INN-NS

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  15. Just a stupid state do stupid things , all countries are developing domestic companies only Macedonia donated money foreign airline .
    For 5mil . Euros and my grandmother could to carry passengers for 50evra to " London " .
    MK CAA is the largest travel agency in the world , good for fools .
    Otherwise MK CAA is unprofitable and salaries for incompetent general director Dejan Mojsovskog is obtained from MNAV , namely from overflights . Therefore, it is important for him to have more overflights than Z3 airline.
    KRETENIZAM

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  16. Well instead of pumping money into foregin LCC they should start etablishing their own national carrier

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  17. Sad to see so many incompetent and negative posts on the subject.

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  18. It will be good to see companies like RyanAir or EasyJet despite Wizz , more routes , we still don't have Spain, Middle and Eastern Europe and some cities like Geneva or Prague , Budapest, Moscow, Copenhagen which we had it in the previos years

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  19. Subsiding to LCC has proven very profitable for Macedonia. Passenger number at SKP increases every year, and besides Macedonian, Kosovar, Serbian, Bulgarian and Greek citizens (talking on a basis peronal encounters) you can also see many citizens of destination countries. I travel regularly to Stockholm-Skavsta and I see many Swedish people either with their Macedonian-emigrant friends, either on their own.

    Subsiding LLC is much more effective than maintaining loss-making national carrier. Many countries have already sold their flag carriers (SWISS, AUA, JAT/Serbian) or don't sell them because there aren't eligible byers (SAS, Croatia, Adria). In meantime LLC expand and move to primary airports (Norwegian).
    Once lured to SKP by subsides, IMHO airlines will discover good business and stay at SKP. Would Wizz abandon lines with seat factor of 70-80%?
    I am happy that subsiding goes on and I hope that they will think twice (or more times) before they decide about flag carrier.

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