|EX-YU airlines struggle in Skopje as Wizz Air soars|
Skopje Alexander the Great Airport registered its busiest year on record in 2015, however, national carriers from the former Yugoslavia have seen their passenger numbers decline in the Macedonian capital over the past few years at the hand of strong completion. Whereas Adria Airways, Air Serbia/Jat Airways and Croatia Airlines could once rely on a sizable share of transfer passengers from Macedonia, new carriers flying out of Skopje now offer travellers more competitive pricing, convenient scheduling and direct flights. In 2015, Air Serbia carried 47.912 passengers to and from Skopje, a decrease of 20.2% on the year before, which is in sharp contrast to 2014s strong growth. The decline came following a notable decrease in the number of operated flights. On the other hand, Croatia Airlines saw a slight boost in figures, with a new seasonal service from Split, in addition to its existing flights from Zagreb, attributing to the growth. Adria Airways' passenger decline steadied at 1.9%, after its numbers dived almost 12% in 2014 compared to the year before.
During 2012, Wizz Air's first full year of service at Skopje Airport, Air Serbia's predecessor, Jat Airways, welcomed 70.000 passengers on board its aircraft to/from the Macedonian capital and was the fourth busiest at the airport. That year, Croatia Airlines managed to handle 60.000 travellers, positioning itself as the sixth busiest carrier, while Adria followed suit with 50.000 passengers. Last year, Adria's CEO, Mark Anžur, said, "In Skopje, our 6% market share is declining as a result of subsidies offered to Wizz Air”. The budget airline handled 734.931 passengers on its Skopje flights last year, up 31.9% over 2014. Its overall passenger share at Macedonia's busiest airport stood at 50.6%.
|Air Serbia||47.912||▼ 20.2|
|Croatia Airlines||46.809||▲ 2.6|
|Adria Airways||46.449||▼ 1.1|
Performing well on the Macedonian market in 2015 were also Turkish Airlines, Pegasus and Edelweiss. Turkey’s national carrier welcomed 140.638 travellers to and from Skopje, up 3.2% on the year before, while its counterpart Pegasus registered a 12.5% jump in passengers. Istanbul remained the most popular route out of Skopje, followed by Zurich, Vienna, Malmo, Basel, London, Munich, Gothenburg, Dortmund, Belgrade, Zagreb and Ljubljana. Skopje Airport handled 1.452.465 travellers in 2015, up 22.2%, positioning itself as one of the fastest growing in the former Yugoslavia. This year, Wizz Air will launch three new routes out of the Macedonian capital (Bratislava, Berlin and Copenhagen), while Czech Airlines will introduce services from Prague.
|Wizz Air||734.931||▲ 31.9|
|Turkish Airlines||140.638||▲ 3.3|
|Austrian Airlines||97.980||▼ 0.6|
|Pegasus Airlines||64.522||▲ 12.5|
|Edelweiss Airlines||53.699||▲ 17.7|
All statistics used in this article have been provided by Portline Airport Media Solutions.