Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wizz Air soars in Skopje

Wizz Air handles close to half a million passengers on Skopje flights

Wizz Air has seen its passenger numbers soar at Skopje Alexander the Great Airport this year after basing a second aircraft in the city and introducing four new routes. The low cost carrier handled 469.227 passengers on its flights to and from Macedonia during the first ten months of the year, up over 40% on 2013. Wizz has already welcomed more passengers on board its Skopje flights by the end of October than it did for the whole of last year when it saw 358.003 travellers. The airline’s spokesman, Daniel De Carvlaho, says, “Wizz Air has constantly expanded its network from Macedonia since it started operating in the country in 2012. Wizz Air is dedicated to further expanding its Macedonian network, which will lead to the creation of new jobs and the development of the tourism sector”. Mr. Carvlaho adds, “Wizz has directly created fifty new jobs in the country and indirectly contributed to the creation of a number of jobs at the airport and in the hospitality industry”.

However, Wizz Air’s success in Macedonia does come at a price. In 2012, the government concluded a three year contract under which the state has provided the airline with a one off payment of 40.000 euros each for the introduction of flights to Basel, Bergamo, Dortmund, Eindhoven, Malmo and Memmingen. A further payment of 30.000 years was given for the launch of flights to Beauvais, Charleroi, Cologne, Gothenburg, Frankfurt Hahn and Stockholm. The government has also forked out an additional nine euros for each departing passenger in the first year of operations, eight in the second and seven in the third year. Despite the subsidies, the government believes the return of such an investment will be much greater than the initial cost. Kosovo recently accused the Macedonian government of creating unfair competition in the region through its subsidy policy and has lodged a complaint with the European Commission.

Wizz Air now holds a commanding 45.5% market share in Macedonia. In comparison, the low cost airline handled 326.960 passengers on its Belgrade flights during the first nine months of the year and just over 50.000 passengers on its Ljubljana services. Furthermore, it estimates it will handle 153.000 travellers in and out of Tuzla this year. With its subsidy scheme coming to an end in July 2015, the Macedonian government has called on no frill airlines to apply for state support for next year through an international tender. Last year, low cost airlines handled 440.127 passengers to and from Skopje Airport, a massive increase of 240% compared to the year before.

66 comments:

  1. Are the Government crazy agreeing payments to Wizz air for 30,000 years?

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    1. Result - half a million people flying at cheap prices and half a million passengers more for SKP

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  2. OT: ZAG

    November 2014:
    2013. 151.760
    2014. 175.692, +15,8%

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    1. Hmm where did the extra 20,000 passengers come from? EuroLot? KLM?
      I doubt it's thanks to OU.

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    2. Great job, Zagreb, finally some great numbers!

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. How many passengers so far? What's the growth in percentages?

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    5. First off, there was a strike last year in November (5 to 6.000 pax lost), the other 17.000 comes from TK increased double daily frequency, KLM, Eurolot, and increased Antalya charters (2 x week for the entire month).
      OU's addition of 7 frequencies roughly compensated easyJet's absence. Aeroflot and BA seemed to have been using their 320s in November, plus OU's flights to Split and DBK were full due to the increased number of Asian tourists... I believe all the airlines have seen at least a slight increase in loads... but yes mostly it was KLM, Eurolot, TK...

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    6. I am curious to find out how OU is doing in Amsterdam since KL launched their own flights. I am sure they lost a considerable share of the market. Have they reduced the fares?

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    7. Yes, OU did adjust their fares. I wouldn't say they lost a huge share, perhaps some... but they probably lost some of the revenue (since they had to reduce their prices).
      Amsterdam is a popular destination as it is, and with KLM, this probably opened up some other markets (Dutch tourists, connecting pax from US./Canada, more regional pax from CRO, BiH, SLO who use KLM's connection network)... etc.
      I would say it's healthy to have 2 carriers on the same route. 3 carriers woul perhaps be too much...

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    8. I think the biggest problem for OU is that KL will provide another alternative for passengers heading to the Americas. So if anything was potentially affected then it's OU's loads to big Star Alliance hubs such as Vienna, Munich and Frankfurt.

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    9. Yap but they can't do anything against it. OPEN SKY.

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    10. Of course, I didn't imply they could. I am happy because every time we get a new carrier our fares go down.

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    11. KLM offers connections maybe to the east certainly not to the Americas, because their flight departs ZAG around 5 if I am right... that is too late for Americas flights...

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    12. Good result for Zagreb. I expect Zagreb will handle 2.425 million in 2014, with 2015 set for real growth, projected 15-17.5% in 2015.

      Great times ahead for Zagreb.

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  3. Does anyone have the loads for this morning's Ljubljana flight? It was operated by a B737-300 (YU-ANK) so I am curious if it was because of good loads or an Atr breaking down. Thank you.

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    1. YU-ALU went to Prague, YU-ALN to Podgorica and YU-ALP to Vienna so most likely an Atr broke down. YU-ALO and YU-ALT did not fly this morning.

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    2. Aegean is sending its A320 again today! They must be making a killing in Belgrade. Until a month ago the route was operated by the Q400, such a large increase in capacity.

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    3. No broken down ATR's... its demand related

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    4. Do you have the loads to back that up?

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    5. 51 to lju, 66 to beg this morning. These are atr loads on boeing.

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    6. Thank you, great loads for the Atr, shame it broke down this morning.

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    7. Wow so the Atr on the way back would have been 100% full, 66/66!
      No wonder they are adding additional frequencies since the loads are that fantastic during the slow season. I can't wait for Zagreb flights to start.

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    8. be suspicious with numbers posted on here!

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    9. I just checked and those numbers match the status of booked passengers. Now, that's the booked number, the actual might be different.

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    10. please give us the whole nubers like u(?) did few months ago. thx

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  4. OT: Italy's Air Vallée to start services to Portorož, Slovenia

    http://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/33331-italys-air-valle-to-start-services-to-portoro-slovenia

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  5. I really hope both Macedonia, and Wizzair let other airlines enter the macedonian market like KLM (amsterdam) vueling (barcelona) or lufthansa (berlin) or some other more serious airlines...

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    Replies
    1. I suppose you mean Germanwings from Berlin?

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    2. Wizz are not stopping them, but I get your point

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  6. So €4.000.000 or so in taxpayers' money went to the project of reviving the Skopje Airport? Plus additional fees for each additional line Wizz opened, plus the subsidies it pays TAV for running the airport!
    DAMIEN

    On one hand it is good to have an increase of passengers, but in the long run this is not a viable nor a long-term solutions. The bubble has to burst soon than later.
    This LCC model for smaller airports is good for tourist places such as Zadar, which paid over a million euros to Ryanair to set up the base there. However, the said airline brings in tourists which actually do leave money in the Zadar region. I think I read somewhere that for every euro the Zadar county invests in Ryanair they get 7 euros back. That is a good and viable model for smaller airports.
    Somehow, I doubt it that Skopje (or entire Macedonia) attracts the number of tourists that the Zadar region does, and on top of that Macedonian government pays Wizz 4 times!!! more than Zadar pays Ryianair! Definitely not a long term solution.

    Besides, having a LCC as the main carrier, leaves the passengers without the benefit of seamless connections to further destinations, accruing miles, extra luggage without additional costs, and score of other benefits which come with legacy airlines.

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    1. the first part of your post (until Damien) is not correct

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    2. So correct it if it's wrong.

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    3. 1. thats subsidies for 3 years in total (incl. fees for new routes etc.)
      2. TAV is a private investition

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    4. ZAD is a great example to compare to.

      In the case of ZAD, Ryanair is lifting anchor as soon as the subsidies stop.

      In the case of SKP, Wizz Air is receiving subsidies for opening new routes only. The scheme covering current routes is phasing out next year - next round of subsidies is for another based aircraft.

      A pretty solid investment, if you ask me.

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    5. @ Anon 12:59

      Did you read the above article? If not, here is an important quote:
      "The government has also forked out an additional nine euros for each departing passenger in the first year of operations, eight in the second and seven in the third year."

      Now, take the number of passengers in this year alone and do some math. A figure of 4 million is a conservative one, they have spent even more.

      And no, this is not viable long term - as soon as subsidies dry up so will Wizz's flying to Skopje.
      It would have been more prudent to extend some subsidies too ALL companies who wanted to fly there, especially the legacy carriers.

      DAMIEN

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    6. ZAD 1 million EUR for 21 flights ih top season

      SKP 4 million EUR for 60 flights all yaer.

      So what is better?

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    7. "And no, this is not viable long term - as soon as subsidies dry up so will Wizz's flying to Skopje. "

      - the worst assumption ever made. No facts or comparable examples to support it. Look at anon @ 2:05 for a correct assumption.

      "Now, take the number of passengers in this year alone and do some math. A figure of 4 million is a conservative one, they have spent even more. "

      - Your credibility is really hurt by this statement. This year they are paying 7 EUR per departing pax from SKP. We're looking at roughly 270-280k departing pax for the current year, which means 1.8-1.9 milion. Considering the increased capacity, this fits well into the originally projected figures.

      I hope this will be sufficient to disprove your false statements and dissuade you from posting further false statements.

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    8. ZAD is better. First, because it's not 21 flights in top season, it's 31 (6 w Charelroi, 3 w Dublin, Stanstead, Oslo Rygge, and 2 w Baden Baden, Dusseldorf Weeze, Frankfurt Hahn, Gothenborg City, Manchester, Marseilles, Paris Beauvais, Stockholm Skavsta, total 31). So it's 50% more than you stated. In addition to that, those Ryanair flights bring in mostly tourist who spend big time and contribute to both local and state economy, unlike most of the passengers who fly in with Wizz to SKP

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    9. @Anon 3:39PM

      "I hope this will be sufficient to disprove your false statements and dissuade you from posting further false statements."

      You are trying to use your superciliousness to hide your feeble attempt to defend what is not defendable.
      Again, use math! How many passengers do you think Wizz will carry in 3 years? A million? Even more? Use that figure and multiply it with 7, 8, or 9 euros per passenger and you will get a much higher figure than the one I stated.

      Also, the only false statement in regards to Skopje Airport is its very name; Alexander the Great.

      P.S. Like I said in my first post, it is great to use subsidies to increase airport traffic as long as it covers multiple airlines and as long as it is not a permanent business practice. And no, despite its new 'old' baroque, renaissance, classical buildings, or a fake Arc de Triomphe (Skopje 2014 project) this city will never attract enough foreign tourists to warrant such substantial subsidies.

      DAMIEN

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    10. Calculate it on yearly basis. ..count sum of all flights per year or period and divide it with money inputs...This way you can get a result on average basis per flight

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    11. Vice versa. ... mony with number of flights. ...sorry

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    12. Let's see shall we:

      1'000'000 pax over 3 years, half of which departing.
      Multiply that by 8 EUR per pax.
      You get 4 mil EUR, just as the initial figures suggested.

      You've been found out, my friend.

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  7. I think people need to step back and remember what the situation was like in SKP before the subsidies. Extremely overpriced and infrequent service. Yes there are faults and expenses with this model but there are faults and much much bigger expenses with the alternative models.

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  8. I wonder why WizzAir doesn't open routes destinations to/from Pristina ?

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    Replies
    1. They are afraid they loose Skopje!

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    2. Airport charges sum up to 40 EUR per pax. Enough said.

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    3. Any idea whether airports charge penalties to airlines for cancelling scheduled flights?

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  9. I still think JU should push for a greater market share in SKP. I know they are suffering from fleet shortages at the moment, but why not base an aircraft in SKP and see how it does? Obviously they can't do that at the moment, but who's to say it wouldn't work in the future? Just speculating here.

    NS|SAN

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    1. I think JU should do a bigger efford to attract more passengers from skopje, this airport is still missing a lot of destinations that airserbia serves, with good promotion and good prices they will be able to fill at least 70 or 80% of an a319

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    2. I think the next logical step would be for SKP to receive a night flight throughout the year. I still don't understand why JU kept the day flight when the night flight always used to have fantastic loads.

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  10. BTW airserbia is sending its boeing tomorrow to skp, does that have to do with their lack of planes or good loads?

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  11. It's so depressing to see just three midnight departures out of BEG. The board looked so much better in summer. :/

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  12. Why were the comments about Abu Dhabi loads deleted?

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    1. probably deleted because of false information about AUH being suspended. And because it has nothing to do with Wizz Air, Skopje, Macedonia

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    2. Hmm doubt it, especially about the last part, then other posts on here would be deleted as well.

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    3. probably false information then because flights for AUH-BEG-AUH on EY are in the GDS for all of next year. I doubt they were deleted because of a sentence about loads since other loads today like LJU haven't been deleted either.

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    4. Tipical ASL propaganda. Good LF can be published, but bad one can not.

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    5. It's not bad, it's just wrong. Look it up in the reservation systems.

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    6. It has absolutely nothing to do with any loads. They can post it again. I try to limit the spread of false information here as much as possible, so if you are not aware of the original comment please don't go around making claims of propaganda. Also, I would like to remind everyone that there was ample opportunity to discuss Air Serbia yesterday, on Monday, in the flash news section yesterday etc.

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    7. Yeah but the problem is most people forget to check the topics on the left. By the way, the EY A320 was not a rumour. They needed the extra seats due to helthy loads.

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  13. OT": Is anyone aware why for this summer you can't book Aeroflot flights from JFK (New York) or IAD (Washington Dulles) to Moscow which connect to Air Serbia flights to Belgrade? Last summer I flew Aeroflot from DC to Moscow and then Air Serbia to Belgrade, same way back. And all the flights are still planned for the same times for next summer.... And they still codeshare. Should I wait and see if they eventually come up??

    But for anyone else planning on flying to the EX-YU from the east coast of America, check out aeroflot.com where you can buy a RT ticket for 773 USD including tax for the summer!!!

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    1. Even west coast- Los Angeles you can get dirt cheap flights!! But they only connect with Aeroflot's flights to Belgrade!

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  14. WOW,

    Dec 6, Wizz Air 7710
    GOT-SKP diverted to Pristine!!
    Dec 7, at 6am PRN-SKP.

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