|Foreign carriers eye Skopje flights|
Skopje Alexander the Great Airport attracted strong interest at last week's World Route Development Forum in Durban, where the most senior representatives from airlines, airports and tourism authorities met, planned and discussed new and existing global air services. TAV, which operates fourteen airports, among which are Skopje and Ohrid, says the two are becoming increasingly appealing to foreign carriers. "We’ve held numerous productive meetings with airline representatives from more than fifty airline companies during the event", TAV Airports Marketing Director, Aslıhan Çörtük, told EX-YU Aviation News. She added, "Airlines’ interest in all fourteen airports we operate remain high. However, Skopje Airport, with its significant traffic development over recent years, arises strong interest on behalf of airlines".
Skopje Airport recently said it was “highly interested” in new market opportunities and has identified several unserved or underserved European countries as its focus point. “The latest studies show us that there are still many opportunities in the unserved or underserved markets of Germany, Denmark, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom in Europe. Hence, we can say that all markets are important for operator TAV Macedonia, however we are focusing now on those listed here the most”, the airport said. Skopje Airport currently offers nonstop flights to 31 destinations, up from 26 last year but the majority of its passengers use services provided by low cost carriers, with Wizz Air holding a 50% market share. Several airlines recently independently confirmed their intent to fly to Skopje in the future including Montenegro Airlines, Ryanair and Express Airways, which plans to run services from Maribor next year.
Ms Çörtük notes, "Route Development events are always crucial, in order to observe the latest global trends in the aviation sector, as well as to scale airlines’ interest in operating to our airports. The World Route Development Forum held in Durban was very beneficial in this view". She added, "We work diligently to promote Macedonian airports and we are very happy to see that Skopje and Ohrid are becoming more attractive markets for airlines. We are very confident that Macedonian aviation will continue its strong growth into the future, too ". In 2014, Skopje Airport added almost 224.000 passengers and recorded growth of in excess of 22%. The airport is on course for another record year, with its current annual growth rate at almost 17%.
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