Sunday, December 28, 2014

Wizz Air to launch new Skopje and Ohrid flights

Wizz Air to introduce six new routes from Macedonia next year

Wizz Air has won an international tender to introduce new state-subsidised flights from Skopje and Ohrid next year. The budget carrier was the only one to apply for the benefits despite another four - Ryanair, easyJet, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Pegasus Airlines - all eligible to take part. According to local media, Wizz Air will launch five new routes from the Macedonian capital and will add year-long flights from Ohrid. The airline will operate services from Skopje to Sandefjord, Barcelona, Nuremberg, Lubeck (near Hamburg) and another destination in Germany, which is yet to be named. In addition, the budget carrier will inaugurate flights from Ohrid to Basel. Services will begin in June, with an official announcement expected tomorrow. According to the tender conditions, all of the newly launched destinations must be served at least twice per week.

The financial support for the new flights 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, “Financial support is being provided in order to cater for the rapid development in air transport”. It adds, “Competitive and affordable prices result in more available direct flights for Macedonian citizens. 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”.

Wizz Air will operate flights from the Macedonian capital to a total of nineteen destinations next summer. Its passenger numbers at Skopje Airport have soared 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. 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.

69 comments:

  1. Well done! Next year will be huge for Skopje again

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  2. I'm wondering whather Wizz would ever venture to operate some flights between ex-yu countries, like Skopje-Belgrade for example. They would take a huge amount on non-transit passengers away from Air Serbia, same with Skopje-Ljubljana and Adria.

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    1. Doubt it because of bilateral air agreement since neither Macedonia or Serbia are in the EU. With Ljubljana it could be possible. I would love this to happen. ex-Yu airlines have high fares. Even Air Serbia which had dumping fares at the start has now become pricey. And imagine just how many people would finally stop using a bus and get on a plane. Would be great.

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    2. BEG-TIV as seasonal would be great

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    3. Serbia and Macedonia are both in ECAA so no hurdles for Wizz to launch BEG-SKP or any other ExYU route. The problem is, there is no demand for such routes (except seasonal flights to the coastline) so they could only work with government subsidies. Probably not a single ExYU country is currently willing to subsidize flights to another ExYU country. That would be too luxurious for a generally poor region. In Europe and the US aircraft may be just another mean of transport, here it will never take significant share from bus. Sad but true.

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    4. I don't know if it pays off for low cost carriers to fly such short routes. I don't know if there is any that short route within Wizz air network.

      We read aviokarta article where Wizz officials stated these kind of flights pay off.

      Also, Serbia-Montenegro lines are the main lines for both Air Serbia and YM, so I doubt that would happen.

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    5. Sorry, I meant to say we read aviokarta article saying these kind of flights in Ukraine DO NOT pay off.

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    6. how about twice weekly SKP-LJU year round ?

      Danzig-Malmö and Posen-Malmö are probably their shortest routes (equivalent to SKP-BEG)

      SKP-BEG is a huge bus market (lol) so many busses roll that route everyday, you dont win much time when flying, thats the main concern

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    7. there aren't such cities or airports like Posen or Danzig. We have Gdańsk (GDN) and Poznań (POZ). Plese use official names not old German ones. Grettings from WAW.

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  3. OT: Any other airports, besides Belgrade, are affected by snow storms this morning?

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    1. Sarajevo was affected 2 days ago.

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    2. Zagreb and Ljubljana are covered by a 50cm snow blanket, airport still works but that's cause of airport services are working hard to clear the runway and platforms, but yeah much of the Europe has been hit by a heavy snow.

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  4. Wow, Wizzair is definitely not joking, serious moves. Great news for Skopje and Ohrid. I am especially happy because of Ohrid, not only it is getting scheduled flights but it is all year around. Brilliant. I assume it won't be too long before Nis sees the same or similar steps as Tuzla. 2015 will be a great year in ex Yu.

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  5. Does this mean that they will base a third A320 in SKP?

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    1. this is obviously and mandatory for the company who like to take the money - in agreement have poin(the company how like to take subsidies must open minimum 4 routs from SKP and min. 1 from OHD and based 1 new airplane in SKP ! So Wizz Air in Skp from June gona have 3 airplane !

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  6. Great news, this will give me few more options to run marathons and not worry about the pricy plane ticket :) With the introduction of these flights, I would assume SKP will hit the 1.5 mil passengers mark next year. What do you guys think? Happy holidays everyone!

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  7. Off topic. Disastrous start to de icing season this morning...my JU to Warsaw delayed an hour waiting for de icing. Has to be better than this.....

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    1. I think its a lack of de-icing equipment. Below is what is available for clearing snow:

      2 x trucks with snowplough
      10 x snow removal units
      4 x tractors with plough
      5 x snow cutters
      2 x RWY de-icers (solid)
      1 x RWY de-icer (liquid)
      1 x platform de-icer (solid)

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    2. Should have been in FRA yesterday - 8 hrs delay!

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  8. Barcelona with subsides? Perfect O&D route. I'm jealous.

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  9. Postujem W6 kao kompaniju ali nikad nebi oni mogli da me privuku pre CTN ili ASL pogotovu sto sleces na druge Aerodrome a o usluzi da ne pricamo posto je glupo uporedjivati sa LCC.
    Ali cudi me kako ti stranci iz SKP nece da lete sa normalnom kompanijom zbog prtljaga.
    INN-NS

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    1. Ako letiš sam onda ušteda i nije neka, recimo nekih 30EUR u jednom pravcu. Ali ako vodiš četvoročlanu porodicu na povratni let i računaj da ti je dovoljan jedan čekirani kofer od 30kg plus četiri male torbe koje mogu da izbegnu naplatu kabinskog prtljaga, onda već govorimo o sumi koja lako može da pređe 250EUR, a to već bitno menja situaciju. Na balkanu je taksi do 100km bi trebalo da bude do 50EUR ( nemojte me držati za reč ) tako da LCC ima puno smisla. Ne znam kakve su cene taksija u drugim zemljama Evrope ali grupno bi trebalo lepo da pariraju cenama voza ili autobusa.

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  10. Zagreb Airport today:

    http://89.164.90.200/local/viewer/SlikeZaWeb/image.jpg?t=1419767513130

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    1. Does all this snow mean that the work on new terminal is suspended?

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    2. Maybe for a few days or so, but they're really doing a great job!

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    3. a few pictures from Zagreb airport today.

      http://www.dodaj.rs/f/3U/13x/2vj9gdB8/108963641015289973205328.jpg

      http://www.dodaj.rs/f/3p/9p/4FL1V6jg/aaaaa.jpg

      http://www.dodaj.rs/f/2Y/rm/1eHJEt7A/aaaa.jpg

      http://www.dodaj.rs/f/3X/zA/2I9e8hqM/aa.jpg

      http://www.dodaj.rs/f/29/DD/3vTUUbtG/aaa.jpg

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  11. Im happy for macedonia but i would rather choose Bratislava instead of Nürnberg and Moscow instead of Freiburg but i wish Skopje and Ohrid all the best with these new routes.. macedonia has never been so good connected to Germany...
    They will overtake Pristina next year and maybe Ljublijana...

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    1. Freiburg?It's part of Basel/Mulhouse airport.In Switzerland,there is an important macedonian diaspora and OHD is verry interesting for albanian citizens.
      Happy new year from Mulhouse!

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    2. Never, they can't take Pristina and Ljubjana for ever, that's a dream.

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    3. LJU has only 100k more pax then SKP
      PRN has only 200k more pax then SKP

      if SKP repeats the +20% growth then calculate ...

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    4. 2015 should be very good year for Ljubljana, they might have a growth of 8% in 2015, not initially, but from April onward...

      Skopje might repeat its last year, but Skopje's numbers are based on blatant subsidy, Ljubljana's numbers are based on organic growth, and shift in the markets, a few years ago Ljubljana handled 1.7 million passengers, I think this is where Ljubljana should be in 2016.

      New airport management might be keen on Ljubljana to grow fast from next year on, they need to recuperate investments.

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    5. Seriously, if it continues like that, Skopje may overtake Zagreb in a few years, unless Zagreb applies the same LCC model.

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    6. Not onli zag, beg too ;-)

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    7. hahahah good one... They are closing the gap with ZAG but BEG in five leagues ahead of them.

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    8. If we r talking about the goal and not the means:
      even it is based on "blatant subsidies" with a 20% passenger growth n 2015 it might be possible that SKP overtakes LJU.
      It seems that FRA has no big plans for LJU - except to have it serve as a provincial CARGO airport.

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    9. oh and "few years ago" when LJU handled 1,7 mio Pax were the "few years ago" when there were no LCCs in ex-yu so LJU had a lot of transit passengers.
      How is LJU going to attract these passengers again?
      Adria flies to Poland and Slovakia- and not through LJU. So, how is LJU going to achieve these 1,7mio again?

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  12. Cool i can choose now between Memmingen and Nürnberg to fly to Skopje.. thank u Wizzair for makeing it more easy for me to get to Macedonia :)

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    1. Nürnberg is a better option then Memmingen, much bigger airport, easy U-Bahn access and so on and on .... generally a more pleasent experience then FMM

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  13. Pristina is so going down....Oh yeah
    What's next? Another complain from their side or maybe court reaction? ah ah
    Rock on Macedonia and hello Barcelona :)

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    1. Is there a bus that goes from Pristina straight to SKP?

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    2. Yes there are busses from pristina to SKP

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    3. Thanks, I am sure they are making great $$$ on them.

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  14. Does Wizz plan on introducing any new flights from LJU?

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    1. Maybe if they pay. But don't think they will. Brnik options are poor.

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    2. What a pity, LJU is severely underserved..

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  15. Replies
    1. Yawn!
      same happens to Air Serbia ,and happened with JP and OU. so what?

      Relax, but haters gonna hate anyway

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    2. @AnonymousDecember 28, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      OU gets subsidies from the state for routes that aren't profitable for OU to run, this support in 2014 was around 40 million kuna, of which some 10 million went to Trade Air, now you could argue that this is state support, but under EU rules it is allowed, in fact it is encouraged to support routes to less developed airports, to spur the regional development, what AS and Macedonia are doing is blatant subsidies in tune of 60 million euros in case of AS and no idea how much aid Macedonia gives to Wizz.

      any of these nations ever decide to join the EU, they;'ll find transportation chapter really difficult to adopt or implement, in fact it might be one of the reasons why the EU might have really protracted negotiations with these two nations should they ever decide to join the EU.

      EU is kind of tough on state subsidies, when OU's debts were paid off by the State the EU stepped in and ordered OU to pay it all back, reason why OU has to implement all sorts of shit and had to cut nearly a dozen routes and reduce its network. Something I am sure of many on this blog are fully aware of by now. ;)

      Just a hint of what's to come in case of AS.







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    3. You do realise that the 'subsidies' Air Serbia receives are only temporary until the airline is back on its feet. Your argument would be valid if we were talking of Jat Airways...

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    4. @ 5:03
      Molim te da nepises gluposti i CTN DOBIJA subsidies !!!
      I da znas IATA kodove znao bi da si to gore napisao za Alaska Airlines .
      Molim Admina da ne obrise ovo.
      INN-NS

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    5. @Anonymous Dec 28 at 5:03

      "Just a hint of what's to come in case of AS."

      Why not Wizzair too? Is EU going to step in and order Wizz to pay it all back? They are already in the EU and Wizz subsidies have been going on all over the place for years, so why did EU avoid punishing Wizz?

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    6. @AnonymousDecember 28, 2014 at 6:31 PM

      What Wizzair and other lccs are doing is against the EU rules, but there's a loophole in the EU legislation which is being abused by LCCs, in fact one of these loopholes is subsidy for commercially nonviable routes, under which OU gets is 20-40 million kuna per year, although LCCs must prove these routes aren't viable and can't seek more than certain amount in subsidies, don't know the exact figures but it is around $1.50-2.00 per passenger per flight, many LCCs can make decent living of that when you have low margins like most LCCs do, but high pax turnover.

      Also EU can't enforce the rules on on EU members or EU airlines that are being subsidized outside the EU, so Macedonia can in fact give $20 million to Wizz and still be with its rights to do so and EU can only be angry about that.

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    7. ^ The part of your comment which has absolutely nothing to do with aviation, rather with politics, has been removed. Please stick to aviation.

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    8. " EU can't enforce the rules on EU members or EU airlines that are being subsidized outside the EU"

      That's interesting. I wasn't able to find any source to confirm your statement. If that was true, Etihad (outside of EU) would for example be able to endlessly subsidize AirBerlin or Alitalia (EU airlines) even to the point where Lufthansa or some other airline are pushed to bankruptcy. I find it hard to believe EU would allow something like that. Can you please provide another source or link with more info? thanks!

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    9. @AnonymousDecember 29, 2014 at 1:19 AM


      No, an EU airline can't get subsidies from its Government, if Ethiad wishes to splash billions on Alitalia than there's little the EU can do unless it impedes on other airliners commercial
      activity on Italian markets, EU articles 84 and 88, now someone like Lufthansa could argue that Aliatalia is getting unfair advantage by receiving investments from Ethiad as Ethiad is a state airline of UAE, in that case the EU must look at structure of such deal and how much investment is coming in to Alitalia, would the investment give Alitalia considerable commercial advantage over others in Italy, if so the EU could rule not allow Ethiad purchase or invest in to Alitalia.

      But if lets say Air Serbia was to receive money from Ethiad, and is applying for the EU membership at the same time, than the EU can again say, no this is not allowed under EU's competition rules and transport policy, as was the case with Croatian Airlines which received massive structural loan, in mean time Croatian government to minimize the problem converted this loan in to a capital injection and stock recapitalization, but again this deal came under fire from the EU and EU ordered Croatian Airlines under new terms to allow competition on Croatian market, namely Zagreb where OU literally was stifling the competition. OU has to reduce number of routes, operations and so on as a result for certain period of time to give others room to grow and expand, which is what is happening at Zagreb now, and Croatian market in general.

      Anyhow, if Wizz air wants to establish base in Macedonia and Macedonian Government is subsidizing Wizz to do that, its entirely legal in Macedonia, but against the EU rules, if Macedonia was to apply for the EU membership at some point this issue would come at forefront of any chapter negotiations.

      What non-EU member does with in its borders is their business, if they want to subsidize their national airline, there's nothing the EU can do, but should this member apply for EU membership, that is a whole new ball game now.

      hope that clears it.







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    10. 'But if lets say Air Serbia was to receive money from Ethiad, and is applying for the EU membership at the same time, than the EU can again say, no this is not allowed under EU's competition rules and transport policy'

      Yes and the Serbian government will say thank you for your opinion now leave us alone. Just because Serbia is a candidate country doesn't mean it is under any obligation to follow EU rules and regulations.
      Furthermore, I hope you are not seriously believing that EU state aid regulation as mentioned in the Lisbon Treaty is followed to the letter.
      Just take a look at what the Slovenian government did with Adria, the Latvian one with airBaltic and the Polish with Lot. All these states openly gave money to their national carriers and the EU ruled that there was nothing wrong with that. We can also remember how many tricks (mostly illegal) the Italians pulled over the years just to save Alitalia. The same with Olympic when Brussels ignored all the billions that were thrown into the airline by the Greek government the moment MIG showed up as a potential investor.

      So yes, the EU rules on subsidies are strict... in theory. In practice they are not as we could see from many, many examples listed above.

      Just because Croatia decided to follow the regulation to the letter doesn't mean it's good for its national carrier. While Croatia Airlines is forced to remain idle until the end of last year, competition from all around will steal a considerable amount of its traffic.

      I know you are overly optimistic about OU's future but I am not. To me they are a slightly better version of Jat Airways and we all remember what happened in Belgrade in late 2009 and all throughout 2010.

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    11. @NemjeeDecember 29, 2014 at 9:25 AM @ Just because Serbia is a candidate country doesn't mean it is under any obligation to follow EU rules and regulations.@


      Actually it is, it is a prerequisite of any future EU membership for a candidate country to adopt and implement EU legislation to the fullest, otherwise the candidate will only remain so, a candidate. Turkey has been in the Que to join the EU for almost 30 years, did you ever wonder why ?

      As to LOT, Allitalia, Adria, I really can't comment for I am not familiar with their cases, I know that EU rules are enforced by the EU, how much latitude there is for negotiations is case based, and EU will normally look at things, after all the last thing the EU Commission wants is to close the business down, but clearly if a free market there should be a free market competition, this is hardly possible with one player getting massive advantage over others in form of tax rebates and massive subsidies.

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  16. I really hope that the government is giving up on the idea of setting up a national airline... they don't need it and it would only chase Wizz Air away. There is no way in Hell they would co-exist with a new MAT.

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    1. I was just thinking about this. Subsidize Wizz so that they are even bigger competition if and when the flag carrier is introduced. Doesn't make sense at all!

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  17. Still owe u guys flight reports from LJUTGD 26DEC YM 181 E190 4O-AOD 20 Pax and TGDLJU YM 180 E195 4O-AOB 29 Pax
    both flights with apx 20 min delays, serving drinks and coffee. While many flights today in SJJ PRN SKP were delayed due to snow, wind etc, TGD had only rain. LJU airport stopped snowing this morning, so clean runways and flight today operated without problem

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    1. Thanks and ouch.. that's a light load, especially now during the Christmas period.

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    2. Terrible loads... I wonder how is Adria doing on that route

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    3. Thank you for the flight report. Are you going to fly again from/to TGD anytime soon? If so can you inform us about the loads please. When you were boarding/deboarding at TGD did you have to walk to the aircraft or did the bus drive you to it?

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  18. They have one Bus to carry passengers. Today we used Bus, Friday walking. Not regularly in TGD but might go this year again. Airport Terminal between Checkin and Coffee, the roof is leaking. Today it was raining, so suddenly u feel some rain drops.....
    To enter airside they hve only one counter to check docs. So long queue, especially when there is BEG flights
    JP flights doing better but also no top dest for them.

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    1. I traveled a year ago and it was leaking also. I can't believe they haven't fixed it...

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  19. Does anybody has a clue whether wizz is going to operate from Skopje to stavanger in near future???? it is called the norwegian city of oil, one of the largest foreign oil community in Norway... Macedonia could have huge benefits specifically when it comes to different oil business in that regiaon... as well as me...

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  20. do you know when Wizzair will annonce the news flights from Basel to Ohrid ?

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  21. we need more destinations to Ohrid, Wizz should definitly open Malmö-Ohrid Connections since there is a huge diaspora from Bitola/Resen area in Malmo/Copenhagen region...
    Malmö-Skopje has the worst timetable for this people who have at least 2-3 hours drive from Skopje aiport, the late arrival to Skopje makes me and others who have children to finde other solutions for our holiday...

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