Sunday, March 6, 2016

Macedonia in search for national airline partner

Macedonian government seeks foreign partner for national airline project

Macedonia is continuing its search for a foreign partner in order for it to assist in the establishment of the country's new national carrier. Although the process has been somewhat delayed, the head of the Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency, Goran Jandreoski, says the country is still committed to the project. "We have not put the process on hold. We are looking for the right partner", Mr Jandreoski told the "Denar" portal. Last year, the Dutch-based InterVistas Consulting Group compiled a detailed traffic forecast for the government, as well as a financial feasibility study, and gave recommendations on whether a new national airline is needed and whether the company could be financially viable. Furthermore, the consulting firm devised a timetable outlining the pace at which the new airline should be formed. Mr Jandreoski notes that the findings of the study are confidential. "Data from the report is classified. I can only say that if a foreign carrier is interested, they can be involved, but must sign a letter of confidentiality".

The Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency believes a new national carrier will further develop the country’s aviation sector and enhance Macedonia’s socio-economic development. A new national airline will have to comprise of at least 51% local capital and have no less than one aircraft registered in the country, either owned or leased. However, Macedonia remains committed to subsidising low cost carriers, a policy which has attracted the likes of Wizz Air, which has carried over two million passengers to and from the country over the past four and a half years. "Cheap flights, which enjoy financial support from the government, are of great importance to both the economy and our citizens. On the one hand, they bring a great number of foreign tourists to Macedonia, boosting earnings in tourism and twenty other industries, that are either directly or indirectly linked to the tourism sector. On the other hand, for us, it is very important to provide greater opportunities and enhance mobility among our citizens, in order for them to travel across Europe at affordable prices", Aleksandar Georgiev, the government's spokesperson, said.

Macedonia's previous national airline, MAT, which folded in 2009, handled 215.409 passengers on 3.021 flights with two aircraft during its last year of normal operations. It registered an average cabin load factor of 71% that year and maintained scheduled flights from Skopje to Zurich, Vienna, Istanbul, Rome, Berlin and Hamburg, as well as seasonal summer flights to Amsterdam. Furthermore, the carrier operated services from Ohrid to Zurich throughout 2008. In addition, the Macedonian carrier maintained charter flights to Sharm el Sheik and Hurghada in Egypt, Antalya and Bodrum in Turkey, as well as Monastir in Tunisia. MAT was only the second flag carrier in the former Yugoslavia, after Croatia Airlines, to introduce electronic ticketing and online booking.

46 comments:

  1. They really need to give up on this idea.

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    1. Why? Because we should invest in a Hungarian airline that loves us so much they don't want to even create a Macedonian registered subsidiary so they can avoid any tax.

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    2. This is a common practice with LCCs. Wizz Air is a low cost carrier, not a national airline, even in Hungary. Tax efficiencies aside, they've been instrumental to the economical growth in Macedonia.

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    3. Anonymous 11:36 AM
      +1000

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  2. I actually think there is enough space for a national airline. LCC attract a completely different market. If they took out two regional jets I think a new national airline could work.

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  3. Obviously they had no interest from anyone otherwise it wouldn't be delayed.

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    1. We are stuck with Wizz. No national airline. Looks like Ryan air is no longer coming. We might get Qatar and probably Fly dubai will leave. That's about it.

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    2. OT: danas Qatar u ZAG s A321, lijepo lijepo s obzirom da je tek 3. mjesec i nije sezona.

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    3. OT
      Danas TK sa A321 u BEG.
      INN-NS

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    4. This is also nothing special for ZAG and LJU. TK sends A321 sometines.

      Haplek

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    5. TK danas A321 u ZAG također.

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    6. TK sve vise i vise preuzima ovo trziste od LH-OS bice zanimljivo videti dalji razvoj dali ce DBV ostati preko cele godine.
      INN-NS

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    7. Timtam odakle ti taj info da bi British trebao potvrditi noćne letove za ZAG ?

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    8. Spekuliralo se o uvodenju jos jedne rotacije BA za Zagreb, uz popodnevni let koji je u 12:30, uvodila bi se jedna rotacija koja bi iz Zagreba polazila u 19:00, no ipak ocito jos cekaju s konacnom odlukom.

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  4. Jedino da ptvore kompaniju sa sa dva E195 i to bi bilo previse posto bi se mozda naljutio W6.
    INN-NS

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  5. Why would they? They can offer destinations that aren’t covered by W6, for example AMS could be a great destination for connection flights. Do you think this would be a viable option?

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    1. Easier to try convince KLM to send an Embraer than start up an airline for an AMS connection, no? Virtually no flag carrier in Europe started from scratch this millenium has survived, it would be like burning money.

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    2. It would be much, MUCH cheaper if they just offered subsidies to KLM or Transavia for this flight.
      Same as in CDG or LHR airports if it is such a pressing need for SKP to be directly connected with these particular airports..

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    3. Da pogotovu mogu HV da ponude isto sto i W6 .
      INN-NS

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    4. Ryanair also has a base in AMS now. Just make them an offer and they will fly to SKP.

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    5. HV je mnogo bolja opcija i ako je verovatno skuplji zbog konekcija KL.
      INN-NS

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    6. Yes, that was my original thought. I was just guessing on which routes this "national carrier" could fly. Although, I'm highly skeptical about this idea from our government.

      PS: I've been wondering recently why there isn't a direct flight between SKP and AMS! There are many Dutch tourists here in the summer months, and also AMS could serve as a connection to other destinations, mostly those across the Atlantic.

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    7. Anon 2:18 pm
      There are direct flights between AMS and OHD, in the are where they are usually headed.Why SKP?It could work year round for KLM's transatlantic network, USA and Canada in particular.Not tourists.Or maybe someone in the government is planing to move the lake in Skopje, like everything else...

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  6. If they do set a airline it should be with a foreign partner with a 49% share. That would be a completely different ball game then to that of MAT.

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  7. I guess now FR is out of combination.
    Still,there is a chance for national airline with small fleet (ERJ95/75 or SSJ) flying to ZRH,FRA,AMS,BRU,LHR,CDG,SVO,MXP,(FCO),(IST),TXL,CPH.Even places like MBX, PRG, ATH something like 2-3pw.Especially the last one, despite all the issues.
    On the other hand, not sure they'll work out just on such basis without combination of other high LF routes like EAP,CGN/DTM,CRL,EIN,MMX/AGH,LNZ or/and BTS,ACH for ZRH comb...
    Let's not forget the main reason that MAT went down - the state didn't covered up all the depts they had for home and abroad airports taxes, fees and jet fuel.

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  8. Just another financial disaster waiting to happen.
    A vanity political project that would be used for prestige and for hiring hundreds of party faithful friends.
    Huge losses will have to be covered by tax payers who in all probability would never set foot in a new MAT flight in their life.

    Just keep doing what you are currently doing with W6, it is bringing fantastic results into the country and its economy.

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  9. IMHO, they would have to serve destinations that are not operated by W6. Maybe they could offer Moscow, but what else is there for offering? Plus they would have to rely on O&D passengers, as they would be in no possition to rely on transfer pax and build a hub model. And lets not forget, W6 has take most of the gastos and O&D routes. Just in Germany they have, like 5 or 6 routes. I would like to see a flag carrier in Macedonia, but lets be realistic - there is no way it will be profitable without some serious investments which Macedonia is not able to offer

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  10. A flag carrier in Macedonia would be as profitable as Montenegro's or Bosnia's flag carriers are/were. So not at all.
    We would just have a new entrant in the ex-Yu competition of who's national carrier is the most loss making.
    For the shake of the Mac. citizens I hope this idiotic idea stays in the head of the politician who came up with and does not become reality.

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  11. Gluposti. Sto sve nece izmisliti da bi prali novac.

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  12. Please NO national carrier (I am Macedonian). Continue the today-way with LCC, it's a sucess! Fight for more LCC (RYANAIR & EASYJET or maybe also germanwings, vueling, norwegian, transavia and pobeda), give them a time-limited subsidies. Please, that's for sure the best solution for a poor country like Macedonia.

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  13. Does anyone know when will JU announce official new destinations?

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  14. new Wizz-route Skopje-Maastricht Aachen from 2.june. See wizzair.cim

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    Replies
    1. It's a replacement for Eindhoven (runway repairs) and operates for 2 weeks in total.

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    2. ahahahahah, calm down....

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  15. EU3 and LCC can't cover all needs within ex yu and small national airlines in B&H, Montenegro, Macedonia etc are not the sustainable solution. Solution would be for JAT-like airline to cover all of ex yu needs. Croatian Airlines and Air Serbia are closest to that goal, with Air Serbia most likely to make it in the long run if ex yu countries support them.

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  16. I think a national carrier for macedonia will be profitable only if they have a good partner. There are still some routes which are underserved. Building growth only on (one) LCC is not a healthy strategy.

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  17. They should work with Air Serbia and base some aircraft in Macedonia. Also, hopefully more direct flights from Ohrid this summer!

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    1. Didnt some AirSerbia officials anounce that they would acquire some airline from the region? This might be the best solution - setting theor own subsidiary

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    2. Bacanje novca na cokalije, ko je lud da to radi? Slicno je i sa MNE i Pristinom. Jako malo putnika imaju.

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    3. Actually it would be good idea. 2-3 Embraer 195 for routes to:
      - BEG
      - TXL, DUS, FCO, MXP
      - FRA, MUC, ZRH, AMS, CDG

      and one A319 for routes to
      - AUH
      - LHR
      - SVO

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    4. ASL want only to feed it's flights, not to give charity for other countries.

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