|Wizz Air fuels competition at Skopje Airport|
European legacy carriers have been hit by increased competition at Skopje Alexander the Great Airport from low cost airline Wizz Air. Austrian, Adria and Croatia Airlines, which rely on a significant number of transfer passengers from Macedonia, saw their numbers decrease in Skopje last year while budget carrier Wizz Air more than doubled its figures. In 2014, Wizz Air handled 557.376 passengers to and from Macedonia’s capital, up 55.7% on the year before. During 2014, Wizz Air based a second aircraft in Skopje and launched flights to four new destinations – Paris Beauvais, Frankfurt Hahn, Cologne and Charleroi, bringing the total number of destinations served from the Macedonian capital to fourteen. The airline’s passenger share in Skopje jumped over 10% last year.
|Wizz Air||557.376||▲ 55.7|
|Turkish Airlines||136.200||▲ 6.5|
|Air Serbia||60.039||▲ 34.3|
|Pegasus Airlines||57.374||▲ 0.5|
|Edelweiss Air||45.632||▲ 27.4|
Performing well on the Macedonian market in 2014 were also Turkish Airlines, Air Serbia and Edelweiss Air. Turkey’s national carrier welcomed 136.200 travellers to and from Skopje, up 6.5% on the year before, while Air Serbia became the fourth busiest airline operating out of Macedonia, up from seventh position in 2013. Air Serbia handled 60.039 passengers on its Skopje flights, an increase of 34.3%. On the other hand, Adria Airways suffered one of the biggest declines in numbers. It welcomed 46.964 passengers on board its aircraft, down 11.7% on 2013. Adria’s CEO, Mark Anžur, recently said, “In Skopje, our 6% market share is declining as a result of subsidies offered to Wizz Air”. Croatia Airlines also saw its numbers decrease marginally, handling 45.632 travellers on its flights to and from Macedonia, down 3.1%. However, the carrier says it is content with its results. “Croatia Airlines operates daily flights to Skopje during the winter and eight weekly flights during the summer. The offered frequencies and capacity meets the demand. Croatia Airlines’ passenger numbers to Skopje are stable, despite increased competition”, the carrier says.
|Austrian Airlines||98.602||▼ 6.1|
|Adria Airways||46.964||▼ 11.7|
|Croatia Airlines||45.632||▼ 3.1|
|Helvetic Airways||26.682||▼ 24.3|
Last week, Wizz Air announced the launch of five new destinations from the Macedonian capital starting this summer, three of which are in Germany. The new routes will likely further impact Austrian Airlines which in 2014 welcomed 98.602 passengers on its Skopje flights, a decrease of 6.1%. The Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency recently said the country is moving forward with plans to create its own national carrier which could commence operations at the end of year. Its launch could further impact airlines present on the Macedonian market. Croatia Airlines says it is closely monitoring developments in the country. “If Macedonia’s new carrier takes off and its model is similar to ours, we believe we will be among the first airlines to offer some form of cooperation if we see an interest in it”, the Croatian carrier says.
Skopje Airport handled 1.208.359 passengers in 2014, up 22.7%. The number of operated flights increased by 11%. All statistics used in this article have been provided by Portline Airport Media Solutions and authorised by TAV Airport Holdings.