Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Skopje Airport overtakes Pristina in May


Skopje Alexander the Great Airport has overtaken its traditionally busier counterpart in Pristina during the month of May. Macedonia's busiest airport handled 148.562 passengers, compared to Pristina's 141.000. Skopje Airport improved its figures by 26.9% compared to the same month last year. It welcomed 615.518 travellers between January and May, which is some 19.000 passengers behind Pristina during the same period. Last year, Skopje overtook Ljubljana Airport to position itself as the sixth busiest in the former Yugoslavia. Over the past five months, Wizz Air launched three new routes from the Macedonian capital and replaced its service to Lubeck with Hamburg. Furthermore, Czech Airlines introduced flights from Prague. Meanwhile, Wizz Air recently applied for Hungarian-backed subsidies to operate flights from Budapest to the Macedonian capital later this year, while Croatia Airlines has announced plans to open a base in both Skopje and Pristina in 2017.

Both Pristina and Skopje airports have been involved in a tussle over passengers. Earlier this year, the General Manager of airport operator TAV Macedonia, Zoran Krstevski, said that an increasing number of travellers from Kosovo, Albania and southern Serbia were using Skopje as their point of origin. Meanwhile, Alper Ersoy, TAV Macedonia's Deputy General Manager for Operations, told EX-YU Aviation News, "An important highlight in 2015 was that the number of passengers coming from neighbouring countries, or the so-called catchment area, increased dramatically. This confirms our aim for Skopje Airport to become a main traffic hub in the region". Pristina Airport has fired back, requesting for the European Commission to investigate state subsidies offered to low cost airlines operating out of Skopje. The Commission recently said it had opened an investigation into the matter to determine whether the policy is in line with European Common Aviation Area regulations.

Skopje continues to maintain its position as the fastest growing capital city airport in the former Yugoslavia for a second year in a row. Meanwhile, Belgrade is the busiest and has reduced its overall passenger decline thanks to stronger numbers in May. On the other hand, Ljubljana Airport's results have weakened due to a notable decrease in passenger numbers over the past two months, following a solid first quarter. Pristina and Dubrovnik continue to see double digit growth, while Podgorica is attempting to catch up to Sarajevo with stronger numbers this year. Overall, the ten busiest airports in the former Yugoslavia handled over 6.2 million passengers during the first five months of 2016.

JANUARY - MAY
AirportPAXChange (%)
Belgrade1.651.670 1.5
Zagreb958.630 5.2
Pristina634.314 13.5
Skopje615.518 25.4
Ljubljana462.514 3.0
Dubrovnik387.898 13.3
Split365.039 7.8
Sarajevo291.036 5.0
Podgorica246.135 8.9
Tivat144.420  1.7

90 comments:

  1. Great news for SKP!! Once Qatar will start flying in 2017, along with the planned base for Croatia Airlines and Ryanair, SKP will become third busiest airport with excellent chance to land long haul flights, at least seasonal in the next couple years.

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    Replies
    1. FR has never announced plans for opening a base in SKP. Maybe we can see a few routes just like INI but a whole base..don´t think so.

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    2. I think SKP is pretty low on Ryanair's list of priorities, Bulgaria and Serbia are much higher given the fact that Wizz Air is weaker there and there is more room for expansion.

      It's not by chance that Ryanair's presence in Nis exploded overnight. They knew that they had to contain Wizz Air's expansion and what better way than to outshine them with constant media events and so on.

      I am sure that once KVO becomes operational they will also add flights, especially since both the airport and the region are desperate for an airline to operate out of there.

      I think it's only a matter of time before Ryanair starts to attack Belgrade for its high fees. Once they defeat Wizz Air in the region, next off are the legacy carriers. They've already complained about Air Serbia and Air Bulgaria- Ryanair wants it all or nothing.

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    3. "Once they defeat Wizz Air in the region...".

      Well, let's see them start by winning in any one country in the region - let's exclude Croatia as demand there is purely WE driven. Fatalistic narratives do add excitement and drama, but in this case I'm not exactly convinced it's warranted.

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    4. As far as Ryanair and BEG go, look no further than here -

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2016/05/ryanair-slams-air-serbia-airport-debt.html

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    5. Well, for one they've already positioned themselves really well in Greece making it next to impossible for Wizz Air to even think of entering that market.

      Furthermore, Ryanair is Europe's most profitable and most popular airline. They gotta be doing something right.

      Also, the fight has only begun. If you had to bet on someone, would you really put your money on Wizz Air?

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    6. Greece is (almost) the same as Croatia. :)

      The fight has been on for some time now, it's just that the exYu crowd has only taken notice as of late. There is no clear bet to be made - Ryanair has won some (Poland), lost some (Hungary), so I guess we'll see. The jury is out, and all I'm saying is one can't prematurely announce the winner just yet.

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    7. Ryanair's Corfu base is comparable to Croatia, Athens is not. The city has over 4 million people living there and no alternative airport for hundreds of kilometers.

      The fight for the Balkans has only recently begun. Of course they have been fighting elsewhere and I would also add Latvia to the list of countries where Ryanair was defeated. That said, they did return as part of their larger 'attack' on the east.

      If Wizz Air loses Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania then their fortress hubs in Hungary and Macedonia will be far more exposed and vulnerable. Wizz Air is at a disadvantage as they don't have as many spare aircraft to adequately respond to every attack by Ryanair.

      Let's see how things unfold. One thing is certain, it will get messy.

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    8. i've read somewhere that FR gets 5 new planes every month. no wonder they attack aggressively W6

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    9. I read somewhere that at one point they've been getting a new plane each month!

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    10. That is just crazy!!! They are a monster.

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    11. FR received 8 new b738 in april 2016 alone...

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    12. Hahahah that's the entire JU's A319 fleet. They are coming, winter is coming.

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  2. Good news for Skopje. That growth is crazy!

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  3. It will be interesting to see Skopje's numbers in July when we can finally compare year on year without new Wizz Air routes (the ones from earlier this year were just substitutes for decreased frequencied on other flights).

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  4. Looking at the table, Podgorica is also doing well and with new flights from Ryanair they could even overtake Sarajevo.

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  5. I hope Ryan will come to Skopje. It's more important than Croatian or Qatar!

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    Replies
    1. Not sure how it would fit with Nis... It looks to me like they wanted to flt to SKP and then chose INI instead.

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  6. OMG the gap between the top 3 is incredible! BEG and ZAG for sure will take the lead for at least 3-4 years. They are the big boys feeding the smaller ones :)

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  7. Pristina obviously ain't happy with Skopje's growth as it seems SKP is eating into their passenger base. That's why the complained to the European Comission.

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  8. it is important that Pristina lowers prices
    Pristina absolutely must wake up
    must be new routes from easyJet 'm Ryanair, Wizzair , etc ...

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  9. Really good work by Skopje. Could it take over PRN by the end of the year? Seems possible now.

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    Replies
    1. Not really. This kind of growth will stop after June. Plus, PRN is knows for its seasonal spike in summer, when most of the "gasterbajteri" come to town. In other words, PRN might reach 200k in August, while SKP will be around 180k.

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    2. Exactly! + probably Visa free access to EU this year for Kosovar citizens!

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  10. I think that in a couple of years Skopje COULD easily reach 2 mil. passengers.

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    Replies
    1. Well not in couple of years but next year it will reach 2 milion. Of course, if fhey manage 20 percent growth. Next year will be even more interesting!

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  11. If Croatia Airlines opens a base there next year, it will probably add some 200,000 passengers to SKP at first.

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  12. The gap between Skopje and Zagreb isn't that big actually.

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  13. If no new routes are launched, Skopje's growth will probably slow this month because Wizz didn't add capacity. It just rearranged its flights to allow three new routes. But we will see.

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    Replies
    1. Wizz Air is expected to base a fourth aircraft in Skopje this year.

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    2. Is there a chance to see Wizz Air's A321 in Skopje any time soon?

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    3. https://www.facebook.com/SkopjeAirport/photos/pcb.1189049427773850/1189047384440721/?type=3

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    4. Ah thanks. Missed it.

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  14. And what if EU bans these subsidies?

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    Replies
    1. Most of the subsidies have ended.

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  15. What's the capacity of Skopje's terminal?

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    Replies
    1. Ok thanks. So no need to expand at this time.

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    2. To be honest, I dont think that the whole terminal is used at the moment. There is rather large part of the check in part that sits empty and is closed.

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    3. I think terminal can easily handle 6 million, capacity is around 4 million.

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  16. I still hope Ryanair and Easyjet will come.

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  17. The good thing about Skopje is that there is still a lot of room to grow. The airport still lacks direct flights to a lot of important points like Amsterdam and Moscow.

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    Replies
    1. True. There is also a lot of potential to other eastern European countries.

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    2. If there were 'a lot of potential' somebody would have capitalized on it by now. AMS (CDG/FRA/LHR) and MOW are where it's at, and the first one only if there is at least a weekly service in order to facilitate intercontinental and business traffic.

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    3. LOL. Obviously daily. Thanks.

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  18. There is gonna be a real fight between SKP and PRN really soon. Because they share a market and SKP's unstoppable desire to grow will start "eating" PRN's numbers. I doubt that they will settle on these 50/50 shares of the market, as it is right now. And if not smart, PRN could lose a lot to SKP, because the market is what it is, and in order for SKP to grow, it would have to pull everything around it to itself. But PRN is on it's way.

    Till now, the focus was only to satisfy the needs of Macedonia, and passengers from Kosovo and Serbia were only a side-effect. But having the "mission" almost accomplished, SKP might turn its focus on the whole region and start thinking about offering connections to more significant destinations.

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  19. A bit OT and not meant as an offense in any kind of way, just a wish for the future:
    I would very much like and appreciate if such overview tables about the performances about all ex yu airports could include the Top20 (or ideally all 23) instead of only Top10.

    I don't think I am the only one who is missing airports with regular scheduled and/or charter traffic:
    - MBX
    - POW
    - OHD
    - RJK
    - OSI
    - BWK
    - PUY
    - LSZ
    - ZAD
    - INI
    - TZL
    - OMO
    - BNX
    (Sorry in advance if I forgot another airport.)

    Admin, keep up the great work!

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    Replies
    1. In general Id like reading more about those secondary airports too!

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  20. When the highway between Pristina and Skopje is completed, competition will be even bigger between the airports.

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    Replies
    1. Although I am not sure if that highway is in favor of PRN or SKP...

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    2. It is in favour of passengers :)

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    3. Well it's interesting question.. But the fact is that PRN is much more focused on Germany/Switzerland whereas SKP can offer a wider choice of destinations. The deatinations that are offered from PRN are already covered by SKP otherweise than many destinations offered only from SKP (BCN, FCO, EIN, PRG..). In order for PRN to grow they must have a visa liberalisation. This is hindering them a lot!

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    4. This is why i am voting for Brexit-we already have enough of these immigrants in the UK.

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    5. What are you talking about?!? Highway from Pristina to Skopje and immigrants..?!?

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  21. if its continuous as his Pristina will see down more .
    Skopje wants to do what?
    Skopje wants Pristina closes its airport. it is not beautiful

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  22. I would love to see some airlines other than Wizz Air opening flights from Skopje but this is a great result. Congratulations.

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    Replies
    1. and when Wizz leaves, pufff. SKP is gone

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    2. OMG. How'd you figure that out Anon? Of course if they leave SKP will suffer. But they are the biggest airline on the airport... Why would they possibly leave?

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    3. @ 3:52

      You couldn't be more wrong.

      The real challenge was uncovering and testing SKP's potential. Now that the cat is out of the bag, even if Wizz ever left, Ryan would be there the next day with replicated frequencies. The only way is up.

      Or, as we say on one popular tennis forum - Haters in ruins.

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  23. This puts to rest the theory that all of Skopje's growth is generate purely by locals. No wonder PRN is complaining.

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  24. Why is Ljubljana shrinking so rapidly?

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  25. BEG &LJU are the only losers in ex-yu airports.
    Why?

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    Replies
    1. well, LJU because of JP. BEG had huge growth last year, and JU reduced lot of flights this winter. however, BEG will grow from June. the question is will LJU grow

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    2. koji si ti mozak

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    3. BEG had a small increase in May, tomorrow starts Hamburg and Ohrid. June should be in plus, July and August should be record breaking numbers.

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    4. It may be so that BEG numbers grow in teh coming nonths, but again, this i sdue to Air Serbia's efforts alone. BEG airport mgt have done zero to help fuel any growth. Instead, they sit back and rely solely on what Air Serbia does. Unhealthy and reinforces the lack of accountability that exists on the part of what benefit BEG airport mgt brings to the table

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    5. BEG airport has really done nothing in terms of fueling its growth. While it may be more difficult to bring a company into a JU "hub", I am sure they could have tried to bring companies such as Iberia,Air Baltic, Rossiya, SAS,Ukraine Intenrational , and the list goes on. Bringing Iberia or Vueling long term would do no harm.

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    6. ^^^

      harm or not to JU, BEG is a business at the end of the day and must be run as such. It is Serbias main entry point for foreigners. Unfortunately it paints a negative image of Serbia, not that much more is different in our country anyways. Without even having to introduce foreign companies, alot of retail opportunties go to waste, and at the end of the day it is what the traveller wants. As well, the Serbian market is limited to only so much O&D pax due to the weak Serbian economy, while JU has expanded alot thanks to a growing transfer market.

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  26. I'm really glad for Skopje knowing how many passengers they had only 5 years ago. But I agree with others, I just wish there was a bit more variety at the airport other than Wizz.

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  27. OT - Tomorrow is the first flight of JU's Bombardier leased from Adria, JU630 to WAW.

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    Replies
    1. I'll pray that it departs full. Air Serbia needs more passengers to bring in more cash flow. :)

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    2. A319 planned for both OHD and HAM tomorrow.

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    3. I have no info on loads, but I can confidently say HAM is doing better than WAW. I will be very surprised if they keep WAW in winter

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    4. @JATBEGMEL
      Is it because of fleet shortage or high demand?

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    5. It's because it's the inaugural flight where there will be media and they didn't want to send a white Adria plane to Hamburg and an ATR to Ohrid.

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    6. Anonymous 1:51 PM, why is that? Are you air serbia share holder?

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    7. @ 6,43pm

      as mentioned above, JU always has started its new destinations on the A319. JFK will be the first time it will be with a different ac.

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    8. @JATBEGMEL

      Thanks :)

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    9. Both Varna and Budapest were launched with the Atr...

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    10. Anon 7.01. If he is a citizen of Serbia, he is a kind of shareholder, because the Republic of Serbia owns 51% of the company. I am surprised you are not aware of it.

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  28. dose anyone know what is happening with Qatar Airways if they are still coming to Skopje and what date are they operating.

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    Replies
    1. It has been delayed until 2017 according to ex-yu aviation

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2016/05/qatar-airways-delays-skopje-launch.html

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    2. Qatar has serious fleet shortage issues thanks to the delays with the A320NEO (reason why Skopje is delayed) and the A350 deliveries.

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  29. you all forgot ATH.

    defo more potential then MOW

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  30. Delavska hranilnica sold Maribor Airport to undisclosed buyer for undisclosed fee.
    http://www.delo.si/gospodarstvo/podjetja/ponovna-menjava-lastnistva-aerodroma-maribor.html

    ReplyDelete

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