Wizz Air plans to base a fourth aircraft at Skopje Alexander the Great Airport, according to operator TAV Airports Holding. The comments were made by the company's Marketing Coordinator, Aslıhan Cortuk , for "Anna Aero" during the recent Routes Europe forum, which brings together a wide range of airlines, airports and tourism authorities. "This year Wizz Air will base a fourth aircraft in Skopje", Ms Cortuk said, noting that the Macedonian capital was the airport operator's star performer in 2015 with passenger growth exceeding 20%. Wizz Air itself has neither confirmed nor denied the claims. The budget airline based its third aircraft in Skopje last year and added three new routes from the city in 2016 - to Berlin, Bratislava and Copenhagen. Furthermore, it shifted its flights from Lubeck to Hamburg.
The low cost carrier is seen as the strongest contender for the introduction of flights between Budapest and Skopje after the Hungarian government announced plans to subsidies the route. The Macedonian Economy Minister previously 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”. Last year, Skopje Airport's operator, TAV Macedonia, told EX-YU Aviation News it was “highly interested” in new market opportunities and identified several unserved or underserved European countries as its focus point. These include Germany, Denmark, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Last week, Amsterdam Airport's Head of Aviation Marketing, Hanne Buis, noted that the Dutch city is still missing a link to Skopje and that the airport is working towards establishing flights between the two.
Wizz Air is Macedonia's leading airline, with a total country market share of 58%, offering 27 routes to thirteen countries from its two Macedonian airports - Skopje and Ohrid. Last year, the carrier handled 734.931 travellers on its flights to and from Alexander the Great Airport, an increase of 31.9% compared to 2014, accounting for a passenger share of 50%. Furthermore, from Ohrid it carried an additional 60.000 travellers during its first year of operations. With three new routes from Skopje this summer, the carrier has more than one million seats on sale for 2016, representing capacity growth of 22% on 2015. Since launching flights from the Macedonian capital in 2011, the airline has carried over two million travellers to and from the country.