Thursday, July 16, 2015

Skopje - Budapest link anticipated by year’s end

Wizz Air eyed for new Budapest - Skopje route

Macedonia and Hungary plan to establish nonstop flights between their respective capital cities by the end of 2015, three years after the last scheduled service was operated between the two. Following talks in Skopje, the Hungarian Minister of State for Economic Diplomacy, Levente Magyar, said that plans for this year include launching direct flights between Budapest and the Macedonian capital as it currently takes some seven to eight hours to travel between the two cities. A direct air link would slash travel time to just ninety minutes. “Flights will facilitate the development of tourism, cooperation between enterprises and people to people exchanges”, Mr Magyar said. Hungary is currently the fifth largest investor in Macedonia.

The Hungarian-registered Wizz Air, which boasts an extensive network from Skopje and has its own base in the city, is most likely to operate the service, according to government officials. The Macedonian Economy Minister, Valon Saracini, said, “We discussed the opening of direct Wizz Air flights between Skopje and Budapest, as well as charter flights to cater for Hungary’s largest tour operator”. The Minister added that flights to Budapest would allow Macedonian travellers to connect onto Wizz Air’s network of over thirty destinations from the Hungarian capital. The no frills airline currently operates nineteen destinations out of Skopje. Meetings held between the Macedonia - Hungary joint committee on economic cooperation, which has pushed for the new service, have been attended by Wizz Air officials in the past. However, the low cost carrier has given no official comment on the issue.

Malév Hungarian Airlines served Skopje until its collapse in early 2012. It was one of the busiest carriers operating to the airport, carrying a significant number of transit passengers continuing onwards to Western Europe. Malév’s services from Budapest to Paris, London, Copenhagen and destinations in Germany were most popular with transit passengers from Skopje. The airline launched flights to the Macedonian capital in 1998 and maintained services until its demise in February 2012. Just prior to its collapse, Malév operated thirteen weekly flights between the two capital cities, although market conditions have changed significantly since.

45 comments:

  1. The minister is wrong. You can't just transit on to a connecting Wizz Air flight in Budapest. You actually have to buy another ticket. But I doubt the minister knows or understands that at all.

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  2. Politicians are the same everywhere when it comes to civil aviation...

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  3. Malev was a great airline. Sad the EU decided to destroy it. I wonder what their ex-yu operations would be like today.

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    1. Sad that EU decided to stop employees stealing millions of euros and huge losses of overpaid pilots and ever changing management to be founded by hungarian taxpayers which was going on for decades. No one is missing them in Hungary except the low quality ex-employees who are still unemployed...

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    2. EU decided to stop employees stealing millions

      In normal countries that's a job for police.

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    3. I personaly know for a fact that Malev flights between NewYork City and Budapest would carry jetskis bought by pilots in the plane`s belly, unload at Budapest with pay offs to ground staff, no tax, no duty, no customs and then sold by the pilots to their wealthy friends..great way to operate an airline!!

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  4. I think the A320 would be too big on this route. What did Malrv fly with? Turboprops or Boeing?

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    1. mix with q400 and 737

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    2. Anyone know that make up of their passenger base? Was it all just transits?

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    3. Malev for me was the best way to connect to the BA network with their 5AM flight from Skopje to Bud, and once in BUD, there was a flight to Gatwick with Malev and Heathrow with BA, both departing around 7AM, still missing them as an option from SKP.

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    4. from my numerous flights with them from SKP I would say that 2/3 were transit pax

      I loved their F70 :)
      kao u fotelji! :D

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    5. I wonder who picked up most of their passengers after they went bankrupt

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    6. Austrian probably

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    7. Didn't MA's Fokkers also have the telephone installed in the middle seat? They were such a cool little aircraft!

      Actually, one of the main reasons why Malév failed was because of the unfavourable leasing terms of their NG aircraft. Go and look who was the CEO of Malév when that order was negotiated. ;)
      Also, was it a coincidence that the airline was killed about a year before the lease expired? I don't think so. There was no need for them to switch to NG, the older Boeings were still fine.

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    8. The lease contract of the NGs were the best possible for very low cost, signed right after 9.11 when no one wanted to lease aircraft. The management not allocating money in the next 10 years for necessary maintenance and engine overhauls required by the owner (ILFC) had nothing ti do with the lease contract,

      The "phones" on the Fokkers inherited from the original operatir (Alitalia) were only dummy and not used for a single minute. That's the way Malev was: a pile of crap pretending to be a real airline.

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  5. I think this is good decision to make nonstop flights :)

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  6. Смешки. :)

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  7. Really happy with all these positive developments for Skopje over the past few days. I think this will be a great year for aviation in Macedonia :)

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  8. I takes about 10 hrs to get from Budapest to Skopje and vice versa and there are plenty of people traveling this relation. I truly hope this plan will be realized soon.

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  9. Skopje-Budapest direct link makes me think one thing: LOL.

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    1. im sure it made u think LOL for every route that was planned from Skopje , pathetic!

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    2. No routes were planned from Skopje. They were all planned from Budapest or more precisely from Geneva. That's were future of Macedonian aviation is controlled. Great place!

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    3. this is certainly not lol, but I also find it hard to believe that Wizz or whoever would fill this flights. Is there really that much point to point pax from these two cities? Look at what happened with ASL daily ATR flights, a epic fail even though they also targeted transfer pax. Skopje is further distance wise from Belgrade, but anyhow I dont see the potential for this specific line.
      The only reason why Wizz is doing great in Tuzla, Skopje, and Belgrade is largely due to picking destinations were there is a big chunk of diaspora ( some will find it hard to accept this!!)

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    4. Ne bih poredio neuspeh ASL sa ovim. Na relaciji BEG-BUD ima putnika, ali oni nisu spremni da plate vise od 60 eur za kartu, koliko placaju kombi. S druge strane, SKP ce da koristi taj let do BUD za konekciju na neke druge LCC destinacije kojih BUD ima ne zna im se broj.
      ASL nije uspela zbog lose politike i odnosa prema toj ruti.
      Cesto smo u situaciji da slusamo kako nesto nema sanse, pa Wizz dokaze suprotno. Ima milion primera, tako da ocekujte uspesnu rutu za BUD.

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    5. I agree that I should have not compared ASL case with Wizz. Also you do have to admit that BUD is not same as Italian, German, Nordic and Swiss market were there are large number of immigrants from the region ( I know a few who come from Stockholm more than 5 times a year with Wizz). From all the routes out of SKP only Barcelona is not "gastabajter" route. Anyhow I agree with you that Wizz can make things happen and time will tell who is right.

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    6. as for transferring in BUD, which routes would you imagine people would transfer to? I feel like most routes are already covered. Maybe Moscow and possibly Dubai?

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  10. Jako mi je drago za SKP sto imaju tako ogroman rast i uspeh ali se bojim da narodu koji mora da leti izvan Evrope da ce placati veliki ceh za tu LCC taktiku.
    INN-NS

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    1. Hehe.. da, kako reče pre neki dan, 2.000 eur do ORD?!?

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    2. Razumem kako INN-NS razmislja i donekle je u pravo, zato sto je veoma tesko da na jedan aerodrom opstoje i LCCs i legacy carriers. Medjutim, ne slazem se potpuno s njime, zato sto karta od Skoplja do Moskve kosta oko 180-220E sa AZ preku Rima. E sad, moze da se desi da preko-okeanski letovi budu malo skuplji (SKP-JFK preko istanbula sa turkishem je oko 500-600E), ali najgore sto moze da bude je da putnici plate 40evra extra (koliko kosta povrtana Skopje-Beograd busem) i da lete preku Beograda.

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  11. OT:

    Wow, look a this!

    https://scontent-mxp1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/t31.0-8/11217943_559944647477913_3608833985265799818_o.jpg

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    1. It looks nice, happy for Zg

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    2. Amazing job, I'll be there for the terminal opening for sure. Regards from BEG.

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    3. I would love to be part of the first day of operation too.

      I have been following the new terminal saga since the 90's!!

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  12. Adria goes 8 weekly PRN - MLH - PRN from now on with A320

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  13. ...and guess who's gonna subsidize that? Macedonian taxpayers.

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    1. There's no way in hell that those flights are going to be profitable.

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    2. You are all very very very wrong. The service will go daily until mid September. During this 2 months, July 15 - Sep 15, there is MASSIVE movement of Macedonian citizens, predominantly ethnic Albanians, who live and work in Switzerland. It has been like that allways, just the airlines operating the flights are changing. Some 10 years ago, for example, between Skopje and Zurich, there were :
      - 2 DAILY flights operated by ex-Jat DC-10
      - 2 DAILY flights operated by Avioimpex MD-80
      - DAILY flight operated by MAT B737
      - 2 DALY flights operated by Swiss operators
      + few weekly to Basel and Geneva.
      All of them earned money on those flights, there were no subventions, and the tickets were not dirty cheap, au contraire

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    3. Wait a minute, there were 5 daily fligths from Zurich to SKP?

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    4. The topic is Skopje - Budapest. Where does the above come into the picture?

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    5. No, there were minimum 7 (SEVEN) daily SKP-ZRH-SKP, two out of which operated by 300-seater. But limited to 2 summer months.

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  14. If Wizz Air can offer prices in the 20-30 euro range for SKP-BUD, I think it will be successful.

    JU (and Air Croatia also) failed because their prices were way too high and it caused people to continue to drive or ride a bus/train. JU also failed because you can't buy a one way ticket for a reasonable price.

    If Wizz can offer prices which are similar to buses and trains, they will capture the business traffic between SKP and BUD, which does exist.

    Lets not forget that people in both Budapest and Skopje are very familiar with both LCCs and Wizz.

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    1. 20-30 eur? how did you come up with this number? was there detailed trip cost analysys i missed?

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    2. Why does everyone think that Wizz is so cheap? I tried to book the ticket with them with one suitcase... and then I realized that Air Serbia was cheaper. It was Belgrade - London btw

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    3. No there was no analysis, just I figure off of what the starting prices are of other Wizz flights. They tend to start around that price and then they get a bit more expensive as they fill up.

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