Skopje Alexander the Great Airport, which is currently the former Yugoslavia's fastest growing capital city airport, expects to record yet another busy winter season with several airlines to boost their frequencies and offer additional new routes. Wizz Air plans to launch operations from Skopje to Hannover on October 31 and will double frequencies on its flights to Berlin from two to four per week. The service was inaugurated at the start of the summer season along with Bratislava, Copenhagen and Hamburg which will be maintained throughout the winter months. Furthermore, Wizz Air is expected to introduce services from Budapest to Skopje, after it was the only airline to apply for a four-year contract to maintain flights between the two capital cities. The route will be subsidised by the Hungarian government although the launch date is yet to be set.
Legacy carriers will also strengthen their operations in Skopje. Earlier this week ČSA Czech Airlines announced it would upgrade its seasonal summer service from Prague to the Macedonian capital to year-round operations. Flights will be operated twice per week with a mix of Boeing 737-500 and Airbus A319/320 aircraft. They will be timed so as to offer connections onto ČSA's European network. Swiss International Air Lines, which will considerably reduce its presence in the region this year after it suspends flights to Zagreb and Sarajevo in October, will see its subsidiary Edelweiss Air increase operations to Skopje. As a result, the airline will operate six weekly flights from Zurich during the winter, compared to last year's four. Qatar Airways, which was to introduce three weekly services to Skopje on October 2 has pushed back its launch to next year due to an ongoing fleet shortage. A new date is yet to be set.
Skopje Airport is expected to handle its one-millionth passenger of the year this August, which is a month ahead of last year. It welcomed 931.565 travellers through its doors during the January - July period, an increase of 20.5% on 2015. During this time, Istanbul maintained its position as the busiest route (operated by Turkish Airlines and Pegasus), accounting for 12.8% of all passengers passing through the airport. It was followed by Zurich (operated by Belair, Edelweiss, Helvetic Airways and Germania Flug on a charter basis), Vienna (run by Austrian), then Malmo, Basel and London (all maintained by Wizz Air).