Friday, March 11, 2016

Macedonia considers transatlantic flights

Regulator sees greater potential in Canada flights over US

The Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency says the country is continuing to study the possibility of introducing transatlantic services to and from Skopje. It comes two years after the Agency's former head, Dejan Mojsoski, announced that two airlines from North America have shown interest in flying to the Macedonian capital. However, the regulator now claims that long haul flights from Skopje are still some way off. "Direct flights from Macedonia to North America have long been discussed. However, there is still no reliable evidence that such a service could be viable. Canada has more potential than the United States because there is a bigger Macedonian diaspora. However, this argument is still not strong enough to begin procedures for the introduction of flights", the Director General of the Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency, Goran Jandreoski, says.

Macedonia has been in contact with the United States' Federal Aviation Administration, which is responsible for the advancement, safety and regulation of civil aviation in the US, and the two countries have signed an Open Skies Agreement. This allows for unrestricted access by airlines from each side to fly to, from and beyond the other’s territory, without restriction on how often they fly, the kind of aircraft they use and the prices they charge. "Recently, we have been in contact with the FAA's office in Moscow, which oversees the Balkans. They want to help us prepare for transatlantic flights, so, if there is interest in the future, we can be ready to undergo checks and inspections", Mr Jandreoski says. He adds, "Last year, both Serbia and Air Serbia underwent these checks. However, it remains to be seen whether these flights [Belgrade - New York] will be sustainable".

The Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency first expressed hope for the introduction of services to the United States back in 2011. Two years later, Mr Mojsoski, who now serves as the Pan European Coordinator at Eurocontrol in Brussels, said two airlines, one from the United States and the other from Canada, were interested in launching transatlantic flights to Skopje. “Two companies have shown interest and they are not typical low budget airlines, instead, they offer a mixed product. Their initial interest is a good indicator for us”, Mr Mojsoski said at the time. Furthermore, Skopje Airport's operator, TAV, as well as the Macedonian government, were to carry out a feasibility study into the potential of transatlantic flights to the Macedonian capital.

92 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Actually the General Manager makes good points and doesn't advocate for US flights. He just says Canada would make more sense but that these flights are unlikely in the short-term.

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  2. SKP doesn't have direct flights to major cities in Europe such as CDG, LHR or even MUC or FRA leave alone a flight to North America. Let them stick to their LCC concept and try to be more humble. First, ensure you attract airlines such as BA, AF/KL or LH at least and then we can talk...

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    1. Well if you read the text it says that they don't think flights to the US would be viable.

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    2. Never say never :D a few years ago it was unthinkable that Qatar Airways would fly anywhere in the ex-Yu and now they are going to be flying to four cities.

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    3. We're not saying never, but you must be able to walk before you try to run.

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    4. True the Macedonian CAA GM doesn't even think Air Serbia's flights to the US will be profitable.

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    5. Just imagine Skopje - Toronto actually worked with no subsidies because P2P demand is huge.

      It is you who should be eating the humble pie, but I won't hold my breath. We've got bigger fish to fry.

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    6. Nobody thinks Air Serbia's flights to the US will be profitable.
      It is a prestige route.
      O&D between SKP and Toronto is bigger than O&D between BEG and New York...

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    7. Air Transat opens routes everywhere, so one flight per week in top season to SKP it more than real. I find it possible in near future.

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    8. I think Air Serbia flights to the US will be profitable in a couple of years.

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    9. I think Deda Mraz exists!

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    10. hahahaha +1000 :)

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    11. Air Serbia JFK and future YYZ and ORD flights also mean tens of thousands passengers less for OS, LH, LX, not just on their intercontinental routes but more importantly on their Ex Yu regional feeds. If they are making thinner yields and having less presence in the region, ASL will keep making more money.

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    12. What about Miami?

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    13. evo ga jos jedan sto veruje u Deda Mraza, ili jos bolje u Gazda Acu :) :) :)

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    14. Hau jes nou, i Solt lejk siti, pa Denver, Portland bi bio dobar, bilo bi mnogo biznisa za oregon, jaka je saradnja, i tako, Savana Dzordzija isto dolazi u obzir, ama nek' se zna ko je lider u regijonu

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    15. Ma važno je da Wizz počne da leti za Šabac a sve ostalo može da propadne. Tipičan profil hejtera.

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    16. @ 9:35
      tipican profil hejtera koji zna ponesto o avijaciji i ekonomiji, za razliku od cirlidera fanboja koji ne zna da Sabac treba prvo da sagradi aerodrom da bi Viz mogao sa njega da krene da leti, ili bar maketu aerodroma, da ostanemo " na liniji"

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    17. Wizz Air is flying from Skopje to London, Frankfurt, Paris and Munich, you couldn't say that if you are new in aviation...

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    18. @10:16

      Nisam znao da Sabac nema aerodrom! Pa neka plati drzava da se napravi aerodrom, uvede navigacija makar CAT III-IV, i nek drzava placa sve troskove samo da se Wizzu daje da leti za dzabe ili skoro dzabe. Samo da mi u Sapcu dobijemo da letimo za 10 eur po svetu, sta nas briga za sve druge. Ali ako vidimo da drzava nekom drugom pomaze ko nije iz Sapca, onda drvljem i kamenjem na njega!

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  3. ukrao si mi riječ iz usta... :)

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  4. Sorry but I think Zagreb and Dubrovnik will get flights to North America ahead of Skopje and other cities in the region.

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    1. ZAG doesn't need to "get" North America flights-it alread has Air Transat to YYZ, which are, btw. not "subject to gvt approval". In addition to that, and with the new terminal, starting 2017, ZAG will get more North American flights, to the US precisely, year-round, and it's highly likely that DBV will have some seasonal US flights starting next summer as well

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    2. Name one US carrrier with the right plane for DBV?

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    3. Air Transat will fly once per week for 3 months. There is a difference between year-round and seasonal one weekly flights which cater solely for tourists. But yes, I do believe ZAG will get flights to the US probably next year.

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    4. Korean Air is in talks with Zagreb Airport over year round service from Seoul to Zagreb starting mid 2017. Air Transat will have 3 months service which might be upgraded to 6 months service in 2017, perhaps even full year round service in 2020.

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    5. @ 6:47
      "right plane" ? what do you mean by that?
      why don't you think 767-200/300, or A330, or Dreamliner, or even 777-200 are not "right planes" to fly DBV during summer season? And each and every of the US airlines has at least one of the mentioned types.

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    6. why do you think or don't you think - correction 1; major us airlines - correction 2

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    7. Premium heavy cabin on all those US planes, you can't fill 40-60 combined business and premium economy seats on each flight to DBV. Some of them even have first class. DBV needs Air Transat type of cabin mix.

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  5. Ok I don't think there is a chance of it happening but Skopje could serve Albanian and Kosovo passengers too and that market is quite big.

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  6. I don´t even think BEG flights will work properly, but SKP flights I think this is just a joke

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    1. There were flights from JFK to Pristina a few years back so I don't think it's crazy to think that Skopje could have flights to the US.

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    2. Yes and what happened to those JFK flights to Pristina? They obviously weren't that sustainable if they no longer operate.

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    3. Actually, there is more P2P demand between Toronto and Skopje than NY and BEG. The king has no clothes, and the joke's on you.

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    4. There is more O&D between YYZ and BEG than YYZ and SKP.

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    5. I love the way people make assumptions based on the fact that their aunt is coming once a year from Toronto and says "Oh the plane was full of ours, I could hear them in every row"..

      In all due fairness, Belgrade almost has the population like the whole Macedonia, so you can't say that a city that's 3-4 times smaller has a higher demand to a trans-atlantic city where both respective population have a solid number of immigrants.

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    6. Based on my observations here in Toronto I would say the following are most spoken foreign languages from our region and beyond (E.Europe):
      1) Polish 2) Ukrainian 3) Greek 4) Romanian 5) Croatian 6) Albanian 7) Serbian 8) Hungarian ( I think more recent immigration) 9) Czech 10 ) Slovakian 11) Bulgarian
      I would not even put Macedonia on the list, but I guess some of those people I classified in Albanian language.

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    7. I agree with you when it comes to Poles, Ukrainians/Russians and Greeks. I would say that there is about the same number of Croats, Romanians and Serbians with the latter two being more recent immigrants and more likely to travel back on a regular basis. Croatia on the other hand is much more attractive to non-Croats visiting the coast. In my estimate, there is definitely a place for Macedonians. If I was to estimate, the number is similar to Albanians. The rest, Hungarians OK, there is a lot of them but there is definitely not that many recent ones. As far as Slovaks are concerned, my good friend is of a Slovak decent and he says that there is very little of them. One has to only look at number of their churches, ethnic stores etc to estimate the size of those communities.

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    8. Obviously the list I made is VERY arguable, but I was trying to make a general idea of the population from this part of the world here in Toronto. It is biased as well since I have not been in every area in Toronto. Lastly, this are my stats based on my 7 years living in Toronto.

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    9. Let them get flights to LHR first and then we can talk :D

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    10. Anon 5:32,

      I apologize, I thought you are making definite estimate as far as the numbers are concerned. Listen, Toronto is a big city, full of immigrants and they just keep coming. I read somewhere that there is 138 different native languages being spoken by Torontonians. One thing is true for sure that there is a lot of Eastern Europeans in this area YYZ is limited when it comes to flights to secondary European airports. Also, I think it’s limited in frequencies to the major ones as well for the market of this size (7-8 million). JU naturally gravitates towards east so are they going to be able use to curve up the niche for themselves is a big question. During the summer they’ll have no problem but yearlong might be an issue. Many have tried and failed, I hope JU would fear better.

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  7. Last time I checked airlines launch routes, not CAAs.

    Oh yeah, I am considering the color of my Ferrari, shall I go red, yellow or white? But I only have 50 Euros in my bank account.

    It would have been more informative if SKP and OHD traffic figures for February were published.

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  8. First connect with europe then connect with North America.

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  9. I wonder who were the two airlines that "expressed interest". Air Transat and some American charter airline?

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  10. US-based airline aren't at all interested in this region. The only way Skopje or any other ex-Yu city could get flights to the US is that either their own airline starts flights (example Air Serbia) or some mafiosi leases an aircraft and starts flying (example Skygreece, Scanderbeg Air)

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    Replies
    1. Could Air Serbia A330 get permission to also fly SKP-JFK or SKP-YYZ?

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    2. @ Anon March 11, 2016 at 1:00 PM
      No. That's impossible, because Serbia don't have open skies aggreament with the US.

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    3. Serbia DOES infact have an open skies agreement with the US. BUT, this only covers traffic between the USA and the Republic of Serbia

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    4. @ Anon March 11, 2016 at 5:14 PM
      If Serbia had this agreement, Air Serbia wouldn't be writting *Subject to goverment approval. You can read a bit more about what "Open Skies" means. For example tomorrow Air France can start direct flights between Budapest and Los Angeles.

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    5. Google a bit before posting

      Open Skies Partners - US Department of State

      Serbia
      In Force
      5/29/15

      http://www.state.gov/e/eb/rls/othr/ata/114805.htm

      Flights are subject to gov. approval because the airline and airport have to pass necessary checks (same as Macedonia would have to if it had its own airline which wanted to start flights).

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    6. Subject to govt approval has NOTHING to do with JU's traffic rights in flying to the US, or for that matter, any other carrier frm the US or Serbia who wants to fly between the 2 countries. This is now a matter of the FAA approving JU's Ops Spec submission - simply a matter of working through the bureaucracy. The US Ambassador wouldn't have bought a ticket and been a part of the sales launch if it was an issue.... Sorry to disappoint all the haters out there - i know it hurts like hell

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  11. There have been plenty of examples of things that didn't make sense to experts who make comments here actually happening.... and working out.

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    Replies
    1. +1

      Карванот врви, кучињата лаат.

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  12. Has anybody of you actualy read the article ????

    "However, there is still no reliable evidence that such a service could be viable"

    I thnk the title of this article including the word "considered" is so misleading

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    1. CONSIDER - think carefully about (something), typically before making a decision.

      Don't see a problem with the title. That's exactly what they are doing.

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    2. far-fetched IMHO. We are no way near it

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  13. "However, there is still no reliable evidence that such a service could be viable"

    Are you talking about North American flights to SKP or BEG? ;)

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  14. OT

    First charter flight from Tehran to Belgrade will start at the end of March. Flights will be operated by Qeshm Air's A300-600.

    It's a missed opportunity for JU as they could have carried these passengers had they had regular flights.

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    1. It's a single flight not flights.

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    2. It's first of many flights to come.

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    3. What kind of a flight is it? Bringing athletes, tourists?

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    4. U pitanju je tek jedna čarter rotacija kojom će biti prevezena grupa iranskih turista koji će posetiti Srbiju, ali bi to mogao biti samo početak dugotrajne saradnje sudeći prema interesovanju koje vlada u Iranu.

      Kako je potvrđeno u Direktoratu civilnog vazduhoplovstva pre nekoliko dana je izdata dozvola iranskoj avio kompaniji "Qeshm Air", koja planira da 17. marta obavi prvi čarter let između Teherana i Beograda.

      Postoji mogućnost da iranski turisti tog dana u Srbiju dolete širokotrupnim avionom "Airbus A300-600" koji ima nešto više od 300 putničkih mesta.

      Nedavno je u Novom Sadu iranski ambasador u Srbiji njegova ekselencija Madžid Fahim Pur izjavio kako najveći iranski turoperator radi na dovođenju iranskih turista u Srbiju.

      U Direktoratu ozbiljno računaju na skoro uspostavljanje avio saobraćaja i to ne samo čarter letova već i redovne linije između dve zemlje.

      Evropska unija i SAD su se složili početkom godine da ukinu sankcije Iranu što će značajno doprineti razvoju avio saobraćaja i turizma.

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    5. Great news for Serbian tourism!
      It s a ashame that JU did not started flights to IKA.
      Aegean will be going daily there from June and also Ukraine international.
      It is a booming market of 80 million people thirsty to travel abroad and with great economic development potential.

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    6. Aeroflot also will increase IKA to daily.

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    7. There is a party going on in IKA but JU doesn't want to go.

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    8. Ako vide da su letovi puni mozda ih to motivise da uvedu sami letove .
      Mada mislim da bi zanimljivije bilo da dodje neka Iranska Aviokompanija .
      INN-NS

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    9. HAHAHHAHAH @last anon

      Great comment!

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    10. Anon 10:20
      The party in Iran is without any alcoholic drinks.
      That's why JU doesn't want to go.

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  15. OT: Construction at Belgrade airport has started. Don't get too excited, it's airside fast food restaurant at A gates :)

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    1. Well, it will finally have a smokers area in that restaurant, za ljubitelje duvana.

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    2. You can see the photos here: http://beobuild.rs/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=138&start=3550

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    3. What restaurant will be there? I just hope its not another overpriced sandwich and ice cream shop, but an restaurant will actual food even if expensive. Bakery would also be cool.

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    4. Probably typical airport food: burek, pihtije, pečenje itd.

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    5. On beobuild it says that there will be a "izlaz na terasu gde će "smokeri" do mile volje moći da duvaju." Will the balcony be something like a viewing platform? Will it be on the airside or landside of the terminal?

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    6. Finally!

      Transit pax until now had to clear passport control and customs to smoke, and once again clear passport control when re-entering the transit zone.

      And then there was the option to smoke in one of the toilets, although technically not allowed but never enforced.

      Hope they do things right and ventilate it well. Minus so far is that they are covering the windows blocking natural light.

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    7. @Aleksandar

      Unfortunately, no, it's across the A6 gate, next to the JU lounge - the balcony overlooks a small enclosed yard, resembling a prison yard to be quite honest, with terminal building on one, and control tower and JU offices on the other side. It's actually quite narrow, perhaps around 10 meters.

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    8. ^^ Thanks. I think I am familiar with that spot. I departed from A7 last summer on Austrian's Fokker 70.

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    9. A smoking area at the terminal was not possible until now because of the ministry of health, not because of the airport authorities.

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  16. SKP getting flights to North America??? Are they joking? lol

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    1. Read the article.

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    2. Yeah... Very logical - cities like Athens, Bucharest, Budapest don't have year-round service to the US and North America (BUD have to Canada), but Skopje will have lol

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    3. If BEG can have why not SKP?

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  17. As the man says for Gods sake stop. This is a silly non story.

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  18. Actually, Macedonia had transatlantic (Charter) flights to Canada 'once upon a time'(2pM), but with one stop.The route was YYZ-SPU-OHD operated by some Canadian company (767).The official info's were that it was quite succesfull the way it went, via SPU but the company went bancrupt shortly after.It was 2008 or 2009.
    Maybe admin or Purger can find something from their archive about this line...

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    Replies
    1. It was so successful that the airline went bankrupt.

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    2. There was no YYZ-SPU flights in 2008 or 2009.

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