Saturday, April 18, 2015

Pristina awaits Macedonia subsidy ruling

Kosovo confident in favourable outcome against Macedonian airline subsidies

Kosovo is awaiting the outcome of a European Commission investigation into a complaint it lodged late last year over subsidies provided by the Macedonian government to low cost airlines, primarily Wizz Air, at Skopje Alexander the Great Airport. The Kosovo Civil Aviation Authority says the incentives have created unfair competition in the region. The CEO of Limak Kosovo Airport, the operator of Pristina Airport, Haldun Fırat Kokturk, says, “We as an airport operator can compete with another airport operator - competition is normal, it is good. But we cannot compete with a government. If the European Commission tells the Macedonian government that these incentives are permitted then we will approach the Kosovo government to say, if the Macedonian government is doing this - can we do the same”? Pristina Airport itself is offering a range of subsidies to stimulate traffic and passenger numbers, however, these are being offered by the airport’s operator, rather than the government, as is the case in Macedonia.

The Macedonian Ministry for Transport and Communication says its incentives policy has been carefully analysed and is in accordance with EU rules and regulations. It adds that in 2012 the Kosovan Ministry for Infrastructure was sent additional information on the subsidy policy which, it says, respects all international legal procedures. The Macedonian government launched a three-year subsidy scheme in 2012. It has proved successful with Wizz Air opening a base at Skopje Airport, which has in turn led to significant passenger and traffic growth. The government has offered fresh subsidies this year which has led to Wizz Air’s decision to base a third aircraft in the Macedonian capital, launch a handful of new routes and introduce services from Ohrid as well.

Earlier this year, Wizz Air said that the subsidies it receives from the Macedonian government are in line with EU regulations. “Financial support is provided on a transparent basis through public tenders. We are fine and we have no issues with Brussels”, Wizz Air’s CEO, Jozsef Varadi, said. However, the head of Pristina Airport insists, “In this competitive environment we cannot catch significant growth without the support of the government. We can do our best with incentives, but in the end the government has to support it”. The Kosovo Civil Aviation Authority is basing its complaint against Macedonia on the Common Aviation Area Agreement, which the European Union has signed with countries in the Western Balkans. According to the Agreement, “This aviation area implies the adoption of the part of the Acquis containing the European aviation rules … The processes of market opening and regulatory convergence take place in parallel in order to promote fair competition and the implementation of common high safety, security, environmental and other standards”.

15 comments:

  1. I thought this was just a joke but they are actually serious.

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  2. It seems to me they want the EX to rule in Macedonia's favor so they can also ask the government for help.

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  3. Idiots. What if the EC rules in favour of Kosovo? Then neither one could give subsidies.

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  4. Moze li neko da pojasni oko Eurowings:a. Je li se "ukida" Germanwings i svi letovi se prebacivaju na Eurowings? Kad? Hoce li imati bazu u EX Y?

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    1. The name Germanwings will disappear. Eurowings has 40% cheaper costs structure than LH. 20% less than 4U. The 20% of 4U against LH; were LH not enough in order to compete with the LCCs in Europe. The logo Germanwings on the planes might remain for a while, not finally decided. But pilots union contract of Eurowings is different than 4U

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    2. Najbliza baza bivsoj Jugoslaviji bice VIE.
      Tamo ce biti 2 A320 Ceo u bazi.
      INN-NS

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    3. VIE je bliže.

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    4. Vi samo zelite da provocirate ne znam cemu svrha.

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  5. If it rules in favour of Kosova, then SKP will decline as w6 will at the very least cut some flights. Before the subsidies, PRN was twice the size of SKP.

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  6. Roughly a year ago i said that PRN decline has much to do with SKP growth and most ppl said Im wrong. Note that most people from Urosevac (Ferizaj), Gnjilan and other parts of southern and eastern Kosovo primarily use SKP now because its not any farther than PRN and offers greater number of flights and destinations at a much lower price. Recently SKP drew people from all parts of Kosovo, both Serbs and Albanians.
    What Kosovar aviation authority does now is really lame. The entire Eastern Europe gives subsidies to W6 and similar carriers. Kosovar government is highly corrupt and at any cost they avoid giving subsidies to low costers. The result is that most frequencies at PRN are now held by hybrid companies such as Germanwings and Adria.

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  7. Pa niko nije kriv sto nece da plate svaka cast Makedoniji sto se trudi u opste.
    I da odgovorim za juce znam ja vrlo dobro kako zive ljudi u Srbiji samo sam pricao o sebi da cu radije da doplatim.
    INN-NS

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    Replies
    1. Nikad manje komentara nije bilo

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    2. Ko je pravi INN-NS

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  8. OOOOOOOOHHH DAMN! INN-NS upgraded from signature at the end of the post to a profile!!!!!!! HELL YEAH! The hilarious part is the pic of airbus 380 with ASL colors. I bet he is going to claim that ASL will get them in a few years :P

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