Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Kosovo sues Macedonia over airline subsidies

Pristina moves against Skopje incentives

Kosovo has lodged a complaint with the European Commission and will take legal action over subsidies the Macedonian government is providing to low cost airlines at Skopje Alexander the Great Airport. The Kosovo Civil Aviation Authority says the incentives have created unfair competition in the region. The aviation regulator is convinced it will receive a favourable outcome. The Authority is basing its complaint on the Common Aviation Area Agreement, which the European Union has signed with countries in the Western Balkans. According to the Agreement, “This aviation area implies the adoption of the part of the Acquis containing the European aviation rules … The processes of market opening and regulatory convergence take place in parallel in order to promote fair competition and the implementation of common high safety, security, environmental and other standards”.

The Macedonian Ministry for Transport and Communication has been quick to respond to the complaint. In a statement, it said the incentives policy has been carefully analysed and is in accordance with EU rules and regulations. It added that in 2012 the Kosovan Ministry for Infrastructure was sent additional information on the subsidy policy which, it says, respects all international legal procedures. The Macedonian government launched a three-year subsidy scheme in 2012. It has proved successful with Wizz Air opening a base at Skopje Airport, which has in turn led to significant passenger and traffic growth. The Macedonian government will continue subsidising low cost flights to the country into 2015. This year the government offered 4.9 million euros in subsidies. Airlines have been given a one-off 40.000 euro cash injection for each new route launched for the first six destinations. Each subsequent route launch receives an additional 30.000 euro subsidy from the government and carriers are rewarded for the number of passenger they carry.

The complaint submitted by the Kosovo Civil Aviation Authority comes at a time when Pristina Airport has seen declining passenger numbers for an eleventh consecutive month in October. So far this year, the airport has welcomed 1.217.428 travellers, down 15.5% on 2013. Since the demise of the Pristina-based budget airline Belle Air Europe last November, Skopje has become a popular alternative for travellers from Kosovo seeking cheap flights. However, Kosovo has not been immune to offering subsidies and incentives itself either, making the legal action even more peculiar. On March 27, Pristina Airport introduced its new route development incentive. Airlines willing to operate flights from Pristina to unserved destinations are exempt from landing fees for the first year and enjoy a 50% discount in their second year of operations. Carriers operating at least one additional frequency to Pristina have been freed of landing fees for one year as well. Airlines which have handled over 50.000 passengers from the city in 2013 are now eligible for financial support. Pristina Airport provides 25.000 euros to carierrs which handled between 50.001 - 100.000 passengers last year and 200.000 euros to airlines carrying between 100.001 - 200.000 travellers. Airlines that handle over 200.000 passengers are provided with financial assistance ranging from 300.000 euros onwards. Finally, carriers with an average load factor of less than 50% on their flights to and from Pristina are now cleared of landing fees for a year. In addition, Pristina Airport provides support for marketing and promotion.

69 comments:

  1. This part of the world is an ongoing Benny Hill sketch

    ReplyDelete
  2. I sense a looooong day on the blog. And it will have hardly anything to do with aviation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So don't worry about it drink coffee and relax, then come over later in the day and you will see.

      Delete
  3. Rugala se šerpa loncu.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This supports the assumption I made here last week: the SKP growth has much to do with the Kosovo market and is not purely generated from the local demand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you are wrong, macedonia has over 2 million people living there and a big diaspora around europe (and the world), why do you close your eyes and think that kosovo feeds the routes, there are macedonians flying to cheap destinations for the weekend, 2 weeks ago there was a big macedonian wedding in dubai so around 30 people flied to Dubai, should we blame them for using Skopje airport?

      Delete
    2. I am not denying the local demand in Macedonia, I just think it can normally generate organic, single-digit growth. When the growth exceeds 20% in a 2M market - and there is no such growth in the country's GDP or people's PPP - then there must be some other factors present.

      Don't get me wrong. If I was Macedonian I would be very happy about it. Attracting customers from the wider region and across borders is a dream of any airport.

      Delete
    3. Passengers come at Alexander the Great from all surrounding countries, and there's nothing wrong with that. Also, Macedonian citizens use airports at our neighbours when convenient. What's wrong with that?
      Macedonian ministry of transport together with TAV (the airport operator) had promotional activities in Kosovo and southern Serbia, and it seems to give some result. I only hope that increased passenger number will attract other airlines to start operations from SKP.

      Delete
    4. no need to argue whatsoever the thesis will be checked once asl starts flying to pristina

      Delete
    5. lol @last anon

      Delete
  5. Oh my god! Kosovo has similar routes as Skopje (Stockholm, Malmo, Oslo, Basel, Zurich, London etc) so why complain?
    Wizzair is big in Macedonia as many tourists visits the country (up 10% this month from last year) and many diaspora people can fly home more often, stop the hate!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oslo = gothenbourg, sorry

      Delete
  6. why don't blame thessaloniki airport because many macedonians and bulgarians travels from their airport, or tuzla because many serbs and croatians use that airport, or corfu because many albanians use that airport

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hahahahah I sense a diplomatic cat fight.

    *grabs popcorn*

    ReplyDelete
  8. Kosovo sues Macedonia over airline subsidies because F***K LOGIC !

    There i fixed it

    ReplyDelete
  9. Pazi logike

    1. Mi možemo davat subvencije u Prištini
    2. No istovremeno ćemo tužiti Makedoniju za subvencije.

    Svaka čast. Vrlo logično.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ovo je najveca glupost koju sam video u zadnje cetiri godine.

      Delete
  10. OT: Moze li neko da mi kaze sta se na kraju desilo sa ASL u ZAG? Sme li ASL prevoziti putnike iz ZAG preko BEG dalje ili ne?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Znaci one price da putnici iz ZAG ne smeju da idu na transfer u BEG-u su lazi? Ok, hvala.

      Delete
    2. oh not again, will this question be asked here everyday ??? trolls!

      Delete
    3. the reason why it's being asked again is because yesterday there was another story about it, even Vucic commented on it. Yet, last week announcement said that everything is OK. It would be nice if JU's PR dept. would come out of hiding and let people know.

      Delete
  11. 4.9 milions are not only for this year. its the total amount from 2012 till now. thx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know alot of people who travel regularly to the Middle East from Belgrade and non of them travel Qatar Airways because of the ESB stop. They all go FZ or EY or JU.

      On the other hand, my cousin flew to Australia in July and the flight was full from BEG, just a few people got on in ESB. So I guess its a hit and miss.

      Delete
    2. That is ridiculous, are they all some kind of business people so they can't afford sitting in the plane for one hour? I don't get that.

      Delete
  12. Just flew yesterday TBS-DOH-BEG with technical stops in Baku and Ankara. A320 on the first sector and A321 on the second one with crew change in Ankara. The new airport in Doha is stunning. Qatar Airways always fabulous as it is, from the moment you purchase your ticket till the luggage collecting at the airport - they have a person that makes sure nobody takes your luggage and that all arrived undamaged. Food plentiful and of gourmet quality. On the DOH-BEG sector they told us to ask for as much food items as we wanted, be it main course or other. Crew very professional and respectuful. Perhaps i'll post a more detailed report in a few days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ^what about the loads

      Delete
    2. Oh yes, a more detailed report please!
      Very much appreciated.
      How was LF on BEG-ESB?

      Delete
    3. Loads and other details:

      TBS-GYD 90% full but 75% of those went out in Baku. Once the Baku passengers entered the plane, the plane was maybe 80% full (or less) on the way to Doha. Travellers were mostly Russian tourists and Azerbaijani business people, with a mix of Georgian and Azerbaijani local people going out in Baku (mostly the later).

      DOH-BEG - This time the flight was much more 'multicultural' with a lot of Asian and African people, from all around the world pretty much. The plane (A321) was about 55% full from Doha, where 90% of people went out in Ankara. We were left like 20 people on-board. The crew operated the sector for the first time so didn't know to tell me whether it's always like that but i guess even this was bellow average. On the way back the plane was about to be full hence the upgrade. In the lounge in Belgrade i saw no more than 20 pax as well. Basically, our gate (parked at C4) was the only empty one, all Air Serbia gates were full, especially Tirana. We circled by the way for about 30 minutes over Srem due to the early arrival and landing slots unavailability.

      So you might ask yourself why are they keeping the line at all, but when you see the airport they have built you understand this is not an airline that is backing down. From the eyes of another airline's CEO it looked even threatening. Therefore i see them rather launching 3 p/w directly to Belgrade in the coming future to tackle the competition and eventually codesharing on Air Serbia's regional routes.

      Delete
    4. About loads on DOH-BEG this summer; my friends flew in August both ways and the story was the same. Airplane left Doha with 100% lf, after departing Ankara there were 13 people onboard to BEG. On the way back, 10 people boarded the plane and again from Ankara 100% full. Their number are not very good in Belgrade. Fierce competition with JU and FZ and I guess that people prefere non-stop service rather than 1 stop in ESB. I'm certain that numbers would be much more different if QR could obtain fifth freedom on ESB-BEG sector or to introduce non-stop service.
      Your opinion?

      Delete
    5. I share the same opinion and was very disappointed that Qatar had no leverage on the Turks in securing those rights. On the other hand, the loads are still dramatically low given that when you check on-line, QR offers some of the cheapest tickets to most of places in Asia and Africa while having a much higher standard of service than EY or TK (not even speaking of FZ). I guess they're still not recognized as a brand in this part of the world. Last but not least, i don't see the Ankara stop as any inconvenience, it is actually an aviation delight, just as was the stop in Baku where i saw one of the most beautiful terminals ever. You come to see new airports and some rare birds (the entire Silkway fleet in Baku and the vintage Mahan Air A310 in Ankara). Also, instead of getting one, like on DOH-ZAG, to BEG you actually get two meal services, one full breakfast and one full lunch right after leaving ESB. All that more than compensates the one hour wait on the ground. I'll be looking forward to take the same flight again on my way to Asia.

      Delete
    6. Not everyone wants to waste time by adding an additional hour to the trip. If your theory was right there would be more and more one stop flights, not less and less.

      Delete
  13. what about the loads?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Kosovo CAA has asked a legal opinion from the relevant Commission's services on the competitive effect that Macedonia's Government airline subsidies might have on the regional common aviation market. FYI, this is not only a concern of Kosovan authorities. In the 2014 Progress Report for Macedonia, European Commission states: “A national provision allowing the financing of air operators by providing for a financial incentives scheme for airlines is a point of concern for the application of requirements under phase I of the Agreement”. Kosovo has also been assessed by the Commission on the incentive scheme provided by Prishtina Airport to airlines. Prishtina incentive, according to the Commission, is in line with the EU's acquis on competition and state aid, is is transparent, non-discriminatory and fully complies with the provisions of Art 15 of Chicago Convention.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Kosovo has no basis for the lawsuit. Macedonia offered the incentives to all airlines. Belle Air or any other airline could have taken advantage of the same subsidies and set up shop in SKP.

    What a bunch of whiners!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Macedonian incentive was tailor made for Wizz! I hear some major legacy airlines have also complained. EU Commission is seriously investigating this problem. I wouldn't like to be in MK Govt's shoes now :(

      Delete
    2. lol the EU commision !!!!

      Delete
  16. Neznam kako ljude iz Makedonije ne mrzi da leti sa W6 kad sleces stalno na sporedne aerodrome a karta je slicna kao i kod normalne kompanije radije cu dati jos 50 eur pa cu da letim ko covek .
    INN-NS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nekome znaci tih 50 eura vise nego tebi 2000...

      Delete
    2. Klinac, a jel ti palo na pamet da nekome ti aerodrome odgovaraju vise od glavnih?

      Delete
    3. pa kako bi mu to moglo pasti na pamet kad covek zivi u Inzbruku Centru Galaksije

      Delete
    4. Da ali je to retko jako da nekome odgovara vise drugi aerodrom koji je 100km dalje od grada npr.
      INN nije centar sveta ali ja mogu sa jednim presedanjem ko i vi da odletim bilo gde u svetu.
      Sa W6 vecinom lete ljudi iz inostranstva za SKP pa bolje da platim jos opet kazem i letim ko cocek .
      A taj sto nema nece leteti ni sa W6 sigurno .
      INN-NS

      Delete
    5. Upravo te niskotarifne kompanije su nastale u najrazvijenijim zemljama sveta. Kod nas i one beze sa aerodroma.

      Delete
    6. Nastao je U2 koje je ME3 za W6 po svacemo sad cete sigurno napasti mene kako je to isto.
      FR je isto bolji od W6,
      INN-NS

      Delete
    7. I tvoj niki pobeze posle samo par meseci. Sreca pa sam leteo s njima za 69e fokerom. Kad se samo setim. I na beg-vie i vie-beg manje od pola kabine. Bas mi bilo zao. Nema, srbija je sirotinja. Ode nam i izi za rim. A karta bila i 23e po pravcu. Tuga bozja. Tako da cuti tu i daj boze da se svest o letwnju avionom zitelja srbije apdejtuje malo. Kod nas lasta i dalje vozi 2pw do geteborga. Eeeejjjj preko 2.000km busom. I idu busom. Sacuvaj boze. Kazu ti sto idu busom u swedsku plase se aviona. A kad ih pitas sto, kazu da se ne srusi. Tako da slabo ti srbin koristi avion kao prevozno sredstvo.

      Delete
    8. Ja nikad u zivotu nisam reko da je srbija siromasna narod veseljije zivi u srbiji nego ja i jos mnogi po Inostrannstvu.
      Idem i ja Kombijem za srbiju narod ide vise tako sto moze da ponese sta god hoce.
      Sad ce i Nikolic prevoz voziti iz Srbije za ARN .
      INN-NS

      Delete
    9. Ne kazem da si ti rekao. Ja tebi kazem. Da li znas bilo koju zemlju EU gde je prosecna cena aviokarte do Pariza, Londona ili Amsterdama jednaka visini prosecne plate te zemlje? Dakle, mnogo smo siromasni. Upoznao sam mnogo ljudi iz Beograda koji se 'plase' letenja. Po meni je to dijagnoza loseg obrazovanja, percepcije stvarnosti i nerazumevanja, dakle ne mislim na edukaciju. I kad spojis neobrazovanost i losu finansijsku situaciju, dobijes i losu statistiku na beg-u. Koliko god da su memmingen, ancona ili cluj mali, njihove cifre su preko mil putnika i to bez lufthanse, alitalie ili taroma. Itd itd.. Srecan sam da postoji W6 u beogradu jer je to jedina kompanija u Srbiji koja mi daje sansu da provedem vikend u Minhenu, Cirihu ili Strazburu, bez da potrosim celu platu. Bas me briga i za sendvic i za sok na letu koji traje 1h. Pozz!

      Delete
    10. Znam da je nazalost takvo stanje u drzavi.
      Ali vi idete samo na vikend npr ne trebaju vam stvari to je onda jeftino skoro za dzabe.
      To da se edukuje narod to nebi uspelo nikako zato sto ce svi radije ici kombijem zato sto mogu da vuku smece iz Austrije za Srbiju a to mi se gadi kad vidim pa prodaju po srpskim pijacama.
      Ali kad se putuje na duze vise se isplati doplatiti a putovati ko gospodin.Ali izbor je uvek sta sam covek hoce
      INN-NS

      Delete
    11. Tako je. Ali samo da ti kazem da gospodin se moze biti i leteci sa w6. Ljudi se sve mogu dogovoriti, ako ima volje i zelje za tim. Vidis npr.kako rajan poceo sa atr, a sada u floti preko 300 komada 738 i to svi novi, a jedan nije ispod 70mil$. I sta fali rajanu. Leti i na Barahas i na Keln, Berlin, pa i Ciampino je blizi centru od Fiumicina itd itd.. I vole ljudi da prodju jeftinije. To je normalno. Pozz.

      Delete
    12. Mozese biti Gospodin i u Jugu nego je meni licno malo neprijatno sedeti u tim LCC varijantama i koju nazalost ima i AUA na svojim A321 (skoro LCC varijanta)
      Nego radi se o mnogim stbarima ali ljudi su razliciti neko voli LCC neko ne.Pozdrav =D
      INN-NS

      Delete
    13. Only students and gastos fly with LCC.

      Delete
    14. What a load of BS. I am a professional living in Sydney, making well over 6 figures in any currency and I still fly LCC...

      Delete
  17. Tomorrow flight JU212 BEG-TIA with A320 YU-APH

    ReplyDelete
  18. Kako je ono bilo "Porasnashe pilci...". Kosovar Government should better invest its time and energy to realize why their strategy is not working rather than disputing what is going on in the neighborhood yard. SKP is growing and I understand that it's hard from Kosovo to watch that. However, perhaps it's time for Kosovars to roll their sleeves- this time they have to do their homework, on their own.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Why is there flight to Brussels from Belgrade with Adria today?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because YU-APH is not flying as well. Seems like it broke down seriously. Air Serbia has no A320s in operations, disgusting and unprofessional.

      Delete
    2. Then it would be JU flight to Brussel using JP plane, not JP flight.
      As for YU-APH, we see that it is scheduled for tomorrow Paris + Tirana.

      Delete
    3. beg.aero tends to be unpredictable, remember when they used to put that JU would have three A320 flights per wave. :(

      Delete
  20. Neither country's subsidies/incentive schemes are in line with EU law. Even if they ever were, they aren't anymore. See 2014 EU guidelines for state aid to airlines: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:52014XC0404(01)&from=EN (Annex, table 2)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that applies for member states, FYROM is not a member state and Kosovo is not even a real state.

      Delete
    2. You are repeatedly being asked not to call Macedonia like you called it. What is your problem???

      Delete
    3. FYROM FYROM FYROM ahahhahaha

      Delete
    4. MORON MORON MORON ahahaaa

      Delete
  21. Sorry guys, little mistake! Yes, that applies for member states, Macedonia is an EU candidate state and Kosovo is a real state.

    ReplyDelete
  22. just blogwalking.. Nice post and have a nice day :)

    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.