Sunday, December 7, 2014

Five airlines vying for Macedonian subsidies

New low cost flights to Skopje by July 1, 2015

The Macedonian government launched international tender procedures on Thursday to provide financial assistance to a European budget carrier willing to open a base at Skopje Alexander the Great Airport and launch at least four new routes by July 1, 2015. Airlines applying for state subsidies, which will run for three years, must have achieved a profit of at least 25 million euros and carried over ten million passengers in 2013. Only a handful of airlines meet these requirements and they include Ryanair, easyJet, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Pegasus Airlines and Wizz Air. The winning airline will have to launch at least four new routes by next summer from Skopje to continental Europe, Spain and Scandinavia, as well as one new destination from Ohrid. Furthermore, it will also have to base an aircraft in the Macedonian capital. All of the newly launched destinations must be served at least twice per week throughout the year and cannot have been operated by any other airline over the past two years.

The financial support includes a lump sum of 40.000 euros for each new destination launched and an additional thirteen euros for each departing passenger in the first year of operations, twelve euros in the second and eleven euros in the third year of operations. According to the Macedonian Ministry for Transport and Communication, the airline which offers the greatest number of new routes will be selected. No frill carriers have until December 26 to submit their bids. “Financial support is being provided in order to cater for the rapid development in air transport”, the ministry says. It adds, “Competative and affordable prices result in more available direct flights for Macedonian citizens”.

Skopje Airport has already overtaken last year’s passenger numbers and has registered its busiest year on record. The fresh subsidies and new routes will help insure even further traffic and passenger growth in 2015. “We will again provide subsidies 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 Macedonian Minister for Transport and Communication, Mile Janakieski, says. Last year, low cost airlines handled 440.127 passengers to and from Skopje Airport, a massive increase of 240% compared to the year before.

38 comments:

  1. Definitely cheaper and more effective than establish its own national airline.

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  2. Yesterday the wizz flights from Stockholm to Skopje diverted to Pristina with 170 passengers, an then the airplane came back to Skopje around 02.38, did it come back with all the passengers or did they wait in Pristina?

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    1. What was the reason for diverting?

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    2. There was no real fog (it was between 600-1000 m visibility) but the local minima is still 1300 m visibility. It cleared up after 2 Wizz and AUA diverted to PRN.

      The good news is that from the next AIRAC cycle (11 December 2014) the minimums of SKP airport will decrease for certain type (pending on the performance of the aircraft type). For an A-320 the visibility minima will be 750 m with 200odd feet of desiion height. That (while it's still nowhere close to even a crappy CAT I. minima) will be a big step forward.

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    3. So after the 11 december there will be bigger chances that you land in Skopje and not in other airports?

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    4. What is the current SKP CAT level?

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    5. CAT I. With the worst CAT I. minima on Earth. ))

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    6. It would be quite an investment to remove the mountains around and demolish the road junction next to the runway end...

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  3. does this mean that the wizz destinations will be cut of and replaced?

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  4. No, I thinj they are looking for new destinations to add to wizz ones.

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    1. I don't think Wizz Air will be too happy to share. I see them leaving Skopje if they are not offered the exclusive deal.

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    2. wizzair is making a lot of money in macedonia so they will not leave!

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    3. to share what? there will be no competition on existing Wizz routes, so they are really not worried if they got the deal or not

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    4. The tender clearly states that new destinations must not have been served last 2 years. So present lines served by Wizz or any other any airline shall not be granted subsidies. Therefore bidders must offer new destinations. Whether Wizz shall keep present lines without subsidies depends on profitability.
      One thing to note is that main portion of subsidies [present as well as future] is dependent on passengers - so they don't give tax-payer's money in order to compensate for low load factor. This implies that wizz air should be profitable without subsidies.

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    5. a 3rd aircraft from WIzz at SKP would be amazing.I mean who would have thought of it!

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    6. To Anon @ 3:23 PM

      +1

      Finally someone who understands the Wizz Air deal in SKP. Please stick around.

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  5. Would Pegasus have the rights to fly from Macedonia to West Europe?

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  6. Why is the GoM subsidizing SKP in the first place? Why are they not subsidizing foreign bus, and rail carriers or telekoms? They gave the concession to TAV, but I do not see TAV offering incentives. It seems the more the gov offers incentives, the more people use the airport, the less money the gov gets from TAV.

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  7. Does anybody know where this international tender was actually published? Any link?

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    1. its on the ministry web page, only in macedonian language so far. tender starts officially on dec 26th

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    2. No. 26th is the deadline to submit requests. So, it has to be published somewhere officialy, if it is an international tender.

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  8. Ubedljivo najbolje resenje za SKP je DY zbog jeftinih letova za JFK preko LGW.
    INN-NS

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    1. Veliki problem s toliko lcc u SKP je sto za dijasporu ko sto sam ja recimo, lcc nije prihvatljiv kad se vracamo kuci zbog konekcija, prtljaga, usluge na letu, i frequent flyer programa.

      NS|SAN

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    2. DY ima frequent flyer cak se dobije i jelo nadugoliniskim letovima to sam procitao u nekim Engleskim novinama kad su testirali DY na liniji LGW-JFK-LGW letise udomnim 788.
      INN - NS

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    3. Ja sam takodje cuo dosta dobre stvari od DY od nekih Norvezana ovde na mom faksu u Berliju. Oni redovno lete iz Oakland-a u Norvesku DY-om i kazu da je totalno pristojno narocito za tu cenu.

      NS|SAN

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  9. Which are the favourite new destinations from Skopje?

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    1. Was thinking Amsterdam might be a shout. Although I think Eindhoven is already served by WizzAir

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  10. Pristina plans are cancelled for the time being (ASL).

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    1. Kad bi hteli umesto toga da leze za INN :P
      INN - NS

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  11. Tomorrow's asl flight to BRU is canceled. Does anyone know why?

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    1. Strike at bru. Visit bru homepage

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    2. Good. Air Serbia's fleet shortage will be a bit relieved for a day.

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  12. As for easyjet applying - I'd be surprised if they did considering the dirty deal they did with the Kosovars back in 2010...but who knows, maybe they found a moral compass!

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    1. oh tell us more about it please

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  13. Does anybody eventually know where exactly will fly to Norway? Oslo, Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim? I would so muchhh appreciate if they could fly to Stavanger, as it is something to believe in since it is called as city of Oil.... Please if anyone has such information share...

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