Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Skopje to add four new destinations in 2015

Macedonian airports anticipate busy 2015

Macedonia’s two international airports, Skopje and Ohrid, are set to see the launch of several new routes and the arrival of new airlines next year following a record breaking 2014. Skopje Alexander the Great Airport is working on establishing links to Spain, Norway and several other European countries by mid 2015. “We are looking at adding four new destinations from Skopje, including flights to Spain and Norway, as well as new destinations from Ohrid”, the Macedonian Minister for Transport and Communication, Mile Janakieski, says. “We will again provide subsidies for these routes to the amount of five million euros over the next three years. This should result in more flights and better options for travellers, and at the same time increase passenger numbers”, the minister adds.

Besides flights to Spain and Norway, Skopje Airport also expects to see new services to Germany, Switzerland and Russia next year. On Monday, Swiss International Air Lines announced it would inaugurate flights from Geneva to Skopje during the summer. Zoran Kristeski, the head of TAV Macedonia, which runs the country’s two international airports, says, “TAV Macedonia took over operations at Skopje and Ohrid in 2010. Since then, traffic has increased significantly, from 560.000 to 1.2 million passengers. We plan to keep charter flights operating out of Ohrid, and, as a result, encourage tourists to come to Macedonia. However, we are also anticipating the launch of four new scheduled flights”. He adds, “We are looking at establishing services from Ohrid to Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom”. Earlier this year, airlines expressed no interest to operate two weekly subsidised flights between Ohrid and London. The service was meant to run on a seasonal summer basis until 2016. Local authorities launched a public tender for airlines to apply for the new subsidised service.

Skopje Airport has already overtaken last year’s passenger numbers and has registered its busiest year on record. In October alone it handled 107.517 passengers, an impressive 21.2% increase compared to the same month last year. Overall, the airport has welcomed 1.034.013 travellers through its doors so far this year, up 21%. “This is tremendous growth, especially when compared to other European countries where the average passenger increase stands between five and eight percent”, Alper Tunga Ersoy, TAV Macedonia’s Deputy General Manager, says. He adds, “Skopje Airport should handle 1.2 million passengers by the end of the year”.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN62.362 1.4
FEB65.22320.4
MAR76.58912.3
APR105.59642.0
MAY109.02924.3
JUN116.35220.8
JUL132.22717.5
AUG143.42425.4
SEP115.79421.6
OCT107.51721.2

66 comments:

  1. I wonder if they would give money to Air Serbia to operate Belgrade to Ohrid Service,

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    1. That's a valid point. Has it been longer than12m since dropping it?

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    2. Air Serbia should base an aircraft or two in Skopje and operate as a quasi-national carrier.

      NS|SAN

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    3. yes it is, but i think they aim for direct flights to west europe

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  2. All these extra routes means less connecting pax for YU and BEG.

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    1. Not only for JU but for all carriers aiming for transfer passengers in Macedonia. It goes under market competition so no problem. There will always be transfer passengers who woud prefer a legacy airline ower lowcost so there will be some money in it for everyone.

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    2. Not only that but Wizz Air might have a lot of destinations but they do not have many frequencies which is an important factor for many travellers.

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  3. With so much money the macedonian government throws out out their pockets, they could have established a national carrier in the meantime. Hey, YM is selling 2 Fokker for a 1 million € ......

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    1. haha good call

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    2. Not really. Any airline is a much bigger money sinkhole.

      Look at the numbers. They have spent on average 1.5 mil per year. Look at BEG / Air Serbia and make an estimate what only 2014 will cost. Ballpark 20-25 mil EUR at least, and that's with super low taxes.

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    3. You gotta spend money in order to make money. Seems like you missed the memo where it was announced that Air Serbia actually managed to become profitable in late October. So actually the Serbian government will start to reep the benfits of its investment. ;)

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    4. The Serbian government and people have been reaping the benefits since day one. Thousands of people employed directly or indirectly, and Belgrade has been put on the map and been much more easily accesible for investors and tourists,

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  4. Wow i am really impressed what the macedonians are doing to improve their aviation business... They are a just how to do example to other countries in the region...
    I am happy for them especially for the new routes to russia and spain...
    I think wizz air will base an aircraft in Ohrid or operate some flights out of there...
    What macedonia now needs is a own national carrier and not air serbia...

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    1. And what countries in the region are you referring to? Certainly not Serbia or Greece as both of them have competitive markets with strong local carriers.

      Bulgaria has their own national carrier plus Wizz Air has a four aircraft base in Sofia.

      Albania gave up on having a national carrier but as with anything else, they are slightly behind others in terms of LCC presence.

      So I fear that this particular country is no example to its neighbours. ;)

      And no, there is no need for a national carrier. The moment the government would start making one, it would be the end of Wizz Air there.

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    2. Albania and BiH should adopt similar practices as Macedonia. If Bosnia used the money they waste on keeping B&H alive to invest into developing Sarajevo into a low cost base, they could easily have 1.5 million or more passengers per year.

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    3. Well, Albania did the right thing by giving up on funding failed airlines. Plus, they have Adria which will launch additional flights so I think they have a better deal than Skoplje does. I would rather have an airline like Adria than Wizz Air.

      Bosnia has Stapic so they will do well. lol

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    4. @Anon 10:20 pm

      Just look at the passenger increase macedonia gets month by month year by year... These are numbers you can not compare to others in the region, maybe Belgrade but thats it...
      Skopje ist doing better than Sofia airport even if they have more airplanes based there or a national carrier... Skp ist i a developing phase with special measurments which proof succsesfull and can be copied by other citiys as well... And to he honest if there was no Etihad Airways to run Air Serbia Belgrade would have become nothing more than shit...

      The modell macedonia is working on to etablish new routes and workplaces is a how to do guide for developing Airports in the region... You will see SKP will rise to an main hub in 10-15 years

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    5. So what would SKP be without Wizz Air? Since you are wasting no breath to attack Belgrade and Air Serbia.

      I find it hilarious that you are saying how Sofia should implement your model, especially since SOF is more than three times the size of SKP. If logic is to be applied then it should be you copying their own model.

      Yes, Skopje is recording historic growth but even this growth will slow down at some point, probably in 2015 when it will be between 5% and 15%. I highly doubt SKP will pass the 2 million mark in the next five to seven years.

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    6. 'maybe Belgrade but thats it...'

      Let me correct you right away. It's not 'maybe Belgrade' but Belgrade's growth is much higher than that in Skopje and it currently stands at 31%. I would also like to add that Belgrade is among the fastest growing European airports and is currently number 77 in Europe, up from 110 last year.

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    7. ok will you come here now every day and tell us about 77? thanks for your info, but please not every day

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    8. Is there any info on the structure of pax in SKP? All locals or some of them come from neighbouring countries? There are probably passengers from South Serbia (Vranje region) and a lot more from Kosovo, not sure about Bulgaria since SOF is very close... Anyway, it is probably the Kosovo market that creates additional demand and, consequently, growth. Furthermore, SKP's growth this year may be related to what happened in PRN. So once PRN starts recovering, SKP growth will likely slow down. I don't think the local demand in Macedonia can create double digit growth, let alone 20%.

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    9. i can assure you its mainly local demand. pozdrav

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    10. If it's local demand then the future growth of SKP looks even more gloom. With the population of 2M and strictly local demand for flights, Macedonia would have to triple its GDP in order to sustain double digit growth of passengers in the following years. I hope you are wrong and there are a lot of pax from Kosovo in SKP because it is the only hope for SKP to go over 2M pax and maintain it.

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    11. ... and I forgot to add that either way this year's numbers are impressive! SKP deserves to open champagne in January and after that they can start thinking long term. Congratulations and regards.

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    12. Anonymous November 12, 2014 at 1:20 PM

      Yes, i flew from Skopje to Stockholm Skavsta (LF 100%) 16th August this year and I started to talk to 2 serbian families that used this route.
      There were also albanians and a lot of swedes on the plane but mostly Macedonians

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    13. I travel to Stockholm Skavsta very often and I can see many Swedish passengers. Sometimes the tickets are so cheap so it is quite affordable to spend a weekend in Skopje.
      People from Kosovo and southern Serbia are very common which is partly a result of promotional activities of Skopje Airport in these countries/regions (there is a direct bus line from Prishtina to "Alexander the Great").
      I have also seen some Greek passengers also, but probably it will be less likely after Ryanair started to fly trom Thessaloniki to Skavsta.

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  5. Does anyone know how often JAT used to fly to Ohrid and when the service was stopped?

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    1. summer season 2013 . up to 4-5 weekly, some flown in triangle with SKP

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    2. JAT from what city?

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  6. Germany, Russia, Switzerland...All of those would be potential deatinations that you could reach via Belgrade. Collecting all those transfer pax from Macedonia won't be easy for Air Serbia...

    The battle has just begun.

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    1. Hmm if I am not mistaken there are currently no direct flights between SKP and MOW and air Serbia offers the fastest and most convenient route.

      One of the most popular destination for JU ex SKP is Frankfurt and Berlin. At times there are like 15-20 passengers continuing to these two cities, each.

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    2. Which makes the situation for Air Serbia even worse.

      I hope passengers would profit from this fight. Having such strong players on a relatively small market could only bring cheaper fares.

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    3. Hmm... Air Serbia managed to position itself in far more competitive markets, I am sure it will do just fine in Skopje, even if Wizz Air adds more flights/destinations.

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    4. Wizz will not start North America flights any time soon, so Air Serbia will be able to offer more choices in SKP.

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    5. Having more direct flights from Skopje might draw passengers away from JU and transferring in Belgrade, which is why as Skopje continues to grow, I really think JU should take advantage and offer more out of Macedonia. The same could be done in Bosnia where people are clearly travelling (as shown by new Wizz Air base in Tuzla). Although growth in Sarajevo is not as big as in Skopje, so there is still a greater reliance in using Belgrade to transfer.

      NS|SAN

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    6. Actually Macedonian passengers transit mostly via Vienna and Istanbul. Transiting service has some advantages because most destinations are available daily. Having direct flights often for very affordable price has benefits too. I'm happy having a choice.

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  7. 155.000 pax incrase outside of Geneva to Belgrade compared to last year.

    Second daily flight to be added as of March 2015.

    Aviokarta.

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    Replies
    1. Yes but the second daily will be from Zurich and the route is currently operated 9 times per week, not 7.

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    2. Is Swiss now the only carrier on the GVA-BEG route?

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    3. No, there is also easyJet.

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    4. Not true. You should re-read the article. The lady clearly said that they don't disclose individual route information. This was the increase overall in Geneva (for ALL destinations).

      Furthermore, common sense, and primary school maths would prove that 155K pax with two weekly flights is impossible.

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  8. Can't wait for the summer 2015 in Skopje and Macedonia! Hope for many new airlines and routes and finally SKP-Barcelona route!
    Pozdrav ex-yu!

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  9. Congratulations to Skopje and all the best in 2015.
    Just don't understand some pity comments above regarding SKP and JU on both sides. I guess Balkan mentality is hard to get rid of... Good old saying "Da komsiji crkne krava...".
    Regards from BEG.

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    Replies
    1. ha thats common , but dont read too much into it ;)

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  10. There were like 10 aircraft waiting to land while another two took off. Many aircraft (among which Norwegian and two Lufty) were forced to circle west of Belgrade thus landing 20 minutes late. As air traffic keeps on increasing I think it is becoming quite obvious that we will require a second runway soon, especially during rush hours. Of course, if we still want to remain competitive and efficient. ;)

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    1. If you can pay it go with it. GVA has only one and 14 M passengers.

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    2. ...add a W6 to NYO to the list of take offs.

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    3. I thought GVA does not have the necessary space around it to expand? Or am I wrong?

      Belgrade should do it while there is still room around... several neighbourhoods are expanding its way and it could be a problem, especially in the coming years.

      The situation is getting quite bad during the noon period. A lot of times planes have to wait to take off, at times even up to 15 minutes.

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    4. Belgrade must look so hot now! Imagine all the tails lined up. It's also quite colourful with Aeroflot A320, Lufthansa E-195, Lufthansa A319, TAP A319, Qatar A320, Norwegian B738 and a whole army of Air Serbia aircraft!

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    5. you mean arabian aircrafts (mala sala)

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    6. Haha... talking of Arabian aircraft, Air Serbia is operating the EY 071/2 flight now in addition to the MCT route.

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    7. Arrrgh!!! Conchita, it's Belgrade airport 2nd RWY conundrum redux. For starters, IATA has effective guidelines on airport slots and regulatory bodies. How is LYBE doing with implementing recommendations so far? Let's start with that.

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  11. I don't know what happened, but Skopje killed Pristina!!
    There is no way for PRN to get back like before and beat SKP anymore.

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  12. OT: Air Serbia YU-API was seen without installed wifi. A.net user Joker was only joking about imminent installation.

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    1. Imminent in Air Serbia terms can be relative, this person may still be right :)

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    2. That is not true. Here is pic from Beg 7 pm YU API, source skyscrapercity forum
      http://postimg.org/image/y9o31ep3x/

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    3. Yes and there is still no bump on its back, the internet bump that is.

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  13. A short video of Air Serbia's new catering trucks.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7sLbttWTrY

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    1. I feel like Air Serbia got them in order to prepare for across the pond flights. Those trucks are definetly able to cater all wide body airplanes other than airbus 380

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  14. Purger/Alen interview at tangosix.rs

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  15. Well done Skopje! Keep up the good work~

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