Thursday, January 26, 2017

Wizz Air sees strong Skopje growth


Wizz Air handled a record 903.856 passengers at Skopje Alexander the Great Airport during 2016, maintaining its position as Macedonia's leading airline. The figure represents growth of 23% compared to the previous year. During 2016, Wizz launched four new routes from Skopje including Berlin, Bratislava, Copenhagen and Hannover and offered more than one million seats for sale over the summer season. Furthermore, it substituted its Lubeck service with Hamburg. The carrier's best performing route out of Skopje was Basel, where it welcomed 82.468 travellers, followed by Malmo with 79.169 passengers and London Luton with 70.923 travellers. The airline carried 54.8% of all passengers flying in and out of the Macedonian capital last year. Wizz played an instrumental role in boosting the country's overall available seat capacity by 14.8% in 2016, making it the fastest growing market in the former Yugoslavia based on the number of available seats for sale.

Within the next few days, Wizz Air is expected to welcome its third-millionth traveller on flights to and from Macedonia since launching services there five and a half years ago. "We started our operations in 2011 in Macedonia and since then, we have earned the trust and loyalty of our Macedonian passengers, becoming the airline of choice in the country. With the establishment of our Skopje base and the continuous expansion of our low-fare network, we created a number of local jobs while stimulating tourism and the aviation industry", the carrier said recently. In addition to Skopje, the airline also maintains operations from Ohrid with year-round flights to Basel and seasonal services to London. Initially, Wizz Air was to run flights to the British capital throughout the winter but on January 11 downgraded the route to summer seasonal.

Skopje Airport continues to maintain its position as Wizz Air's largest base in the former Yugoslavia with three aircraft stationed in the city. The airline will launch a new two weekly service between Budapest and the Macedonian capital this April. There are reports that the carrier may also base a fourth aircraft in Skopje, however, neither the airline nor the airport have confirmed such plans yet. The Macedonian government is expected to offer fresh financial subsidies for new routes, which Wizz Air could see as an opportunity to further expand its network from the country. Potential markets which have been identified for future expansion out of Skopje include Belgium, France and the United Kingdom.

118 comments:

  1. I'm hoping in 2017 Wizz Air will base a fourth aircraft in Skopje.

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  2. Impressive numbers. Well done Wizz.

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  3. If they plan to base fourth plane in SKP they need to introduce some "unorthodox" routes such as Malta, Israel, Russia, northern England, Portugal. I think the other countries are well covered. Rome might be included as well.

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    1. forget about Russia and Israel

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    2. Why you think that @Anon 10:35?

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    3. To introduce that, Wizz would need to register subsidiary in Skopje and to pay taxes there, since Macedonia is not a part of EU.
      Theoretically possible, but practically not.

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  4. Great results. It seems that numbers for London went down a bit (2,000 passengers). Anyone know what may have been the reason?

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    1. London-Ohrid was launched. Naturally took away some passengers from the Skopje route

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    2. Ah yes forgot about that. Makes sense.

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    3. I assume the same happened on Basel route?

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    4. No actually :) SKP-BSL was 76,540 last year. This year over 82,460 like it is written in the article.

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    5. Do you know on which routes they have the lowest average LF on? Just out of interest

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    6. I don't know for sure but I think Barcelona had the lowest LF for some time but its still quite good actually.

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  5. But this year doesn't look promising for SKP. Alitalia left, ČSA seasonal, Swiss left. Nothing new to come to over-gap those who left.

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    1. It also seems Belair/Air Berlin will end Zurich-Skopje at the end of the winter season.

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    2. So there will be no airline flying between Zurich and Skopje anymore?!

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    3. Germania Flug still flies some charters from ZRH but no more regular flights.

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    4. Interesting since Zurich has a big diaspora - Macedonians and Albanians. Perhaps Swiss reconsiders and returns.

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    5. Germania 6x a week and Edelweiss 3x a week, increasing to 4 or 5x in summer. Belair operates only 1x a week.

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    6. Oh ok, thanks. That sound more logical.

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    7. Alitalia left because of internal problems. Qatar Airways will start 4 weekly flights this summer, CSA will return in the summer and could continue over the winter, plus Wizz Air starts 2 weekly Budapest.

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    8. But still Alitalia opens Split route. So it is not just about financial problem but also termination of those routes that are unprofitable.

      That is 3rd time for Qatar to start route. I hope this time they will start at last.

      ČSA is nothing new but as it is seasonal flight that will not increase number of passengers on yearly basics.

      Even if Qatar happen + Wizz air 2 weekly Budapest will for sure not eliminate negative effect of Alitalia, Swiss and Belair termination.

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    9. lol, the MYTH of "internal problems". Alitalia was strugling on their SKP route, period! Why dont they discontinue Tirana, Podgorica, Belgrade, Sofia because of "internal problems" and why do they start seasonal DBV and SPU? Alitalia always had good intention with SKP but their somewhat strange schedule nearly made it impossible to build a consistent and flexible transfer market SKP-West Europe (e.g Germany)

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    10. Well Alitalia is cancelling 12 weekly Buchrest flights from FEB 1.

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    11. because Ryanair,Wizz and Blue Air opened flights from Italy to every single village in Romania and Alitalia simply cannot comepete with them. A wise decision!

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    12. I onda pricaju da treba AS leteti za Rumuniju pored Bukuresta.

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    13. Bucharest from 14 to 0?? oh wow, loads must have been a disaster
      Sofia is not cancelled tho...despite ryanair and wizz?

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    14. Bucharest is safe for now. They also cut daily Milan Liante - Berlin, 6x weekly Rome-Valencia and daily Rome-Istanbul.

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    15. also FMM is one frequency down

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    16. I don't understand the drama about Swiss. It didn't terminate the route but it just handled over to Edelweiss which was always like that in that past. Only last summer LX machine was operating the flights but still it has a zero imapct on passengers, connections and quality!

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  6. I doubt it was planned this way by then Macedonian government (given their policy of spending all money on cheap statues and ferris wheels) but the Skopje Base has really turned into a sleeper success. Local economy and jobs boosted and enticing foreign investment thanks to reliable air services. Well done!

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    1. and booming tourism to see what has been built!

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    2. its the one and only positive thing that came out of the government

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    3. What Wizz Air or Skopje 2014?

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  7. Well done Wizz, great solid growth. Wizz is such a modern contemporary funky airline. Keep up the good work.

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  8. 3 million passengers in 5 years. That's more than MAT handled during their whole existence.

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    1. Imagine if we were still stuck with a national airline with 5 destinations, paying EUR 300+ tickets every single time. Thank god the government did something and got Wizz to open a base in Skopje.

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    2. +11111 long live wizz

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    3. You're all welcome. Cheers.

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  9. When you look at how much traffic Wizz has in Macedonia, I can only say that Air Serbia, Croatia Airlines and Adria Airways have failed in Macedonia. They had plenty of chances to dominate in that market but failed to do so.

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    1. They weren't able to compete with the heavily price-sensitive market.

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    2. It does not make sense to compare legacies with different business model (transfer hubs, no based aircraft) with a LCC that has aircraft based in SKP. They are after different market segments there.

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    3. Pay them for each passanger like Wizz Air was paid and they will have much better results.

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    4. @last anon your comment doesnt make sense at all really

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    5. Simply, all three are quite expensive and their product and services below average.

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    6. @9:42 AM
      keep repeating that line about different segments and in the end you will be flying with lf of 15%, bc that will be your segment.

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    7. None of the other carriers would add any traffic at 5 EUR / pax discount. Their business model is just too expensive for this type of support.

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  10. Good job, I really wish LH would start flying, Austrian's network is not good enough

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  11. Well done Skopje. Maybe it surpasses Pristina this year.

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    1. If Wizz doesn't launch new routes I think the difference will remain the same.

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  12. I'm a bit worried for 2017. Except for the 2 weekly Budapest flight it doesn't seem Wizz have any expansion planned.

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    1. There could be new route later on in the year. There probably wont be any at the start of summer as they usually announce those in December.

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    2. Kad dodje do raspada u Sofiji krajem godine Wizz ce morati da salje avione u Skopje Nis Pristinu.

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    3. Raspad sistema (Wizz low cost monopolist in East Europe)

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    4. Alen Šćuric PurgerJanuary 26, 2017 at 10:51 PM

      Pa u Budimpešti je Ryanair podvukao rep pod noge i Wizz je pobijedio!

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    5. pobijedio kaze ekspert... pa Ryanair jos leti na 22 linija za BUD. Zar je to malo?

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    6. Alen Šćuric PurgerJanuary 27, 2017 at 1:21 AM

      Iako je 2012. Ryanair imao veći tržini udio (23,2% sjedala) u Budimpešti od Wizzaira (20,8% sjedala), te gotovo isti broj destinacija (Ryanair 30, Wizzair 31), Ryanair je u međuvremenu smanjio broj letova i sjedala dok je Wizz povećao. Ljetos je Wizz dominirao i bio skoro tri puta veći od Ryanaira u Budimpešti. Tako je nudio 40 destinacija i 28,6% sjedala, dok Ryanair nudi tek 15 destinacija i 11,1% sjedala.

      Od 4. mjeseca Wizz će imati 60 linija, Ryanair tek 24. A kad su krenuli u sukob Ryanair je imao više u Budimpešti. Nije da Wizz baš gubi, zar ne?

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    7. BUD nije relevantan, zašto Wizz je u Mađarskoj de facto national carrier. To je kao da Wizz stavi avione u Dublin, neće imat nikad više putnika od Ryanaira.

      Vidjet čemo šta se dešava u SOF, OTP i drugima bazama na istoku Evrope, nadam se da bude vrlo interesantno 2017...

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    8. Alen Šćuric PurgerJanuary 27, 2017 at 8:47 AM

      Pa isto nije. Ryanair je ogromna kompanija sa ogromnim financijskim zalihama. Obzriom na to kako su krenuli u BUD bilo je za očekivati da ozbiljno naštete Wizzairu. Eto nisu.

      Hoće li Wizz uspjeti istu stvar napraviti u SOF, OTP i drugdje ostaje za vidjeti. Činjenica je da odgovaraju Ryanairu na identičan način kao i u BUD. Povečanjem baziranih aviona i linija.

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    9. Lepo vam je Purger objasnio. I on je neko vreme svirao isto pesmu, ali ocigledno ima vrlinu da pogleda statistiku u uveri se u ono sto fakti govore.

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    10. stil, having 24 routes from BUD (-6 from their peak) doesnt mean "podvukao rep pod noge" as Purger said.

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    11. S obzirom na to da su bili podrzani od Madjarske vlade i koliki je bio potencijal (samo pogledaj Wizz u Budimpesti trenutno), i te kako znaci. Wizz je teskim radom osvojio titulu de fakto nacionalnog prevoznika, nista nije bilo na tacni.

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    12. hey, no doubts about it

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  13. Would be great if they introduced Moscow and Tel Aviv. Not sure how this works out in terms of bilaterals.

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    1. or some Eastern European country in general.

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    2. not possible. only EU

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    3. It would be possible if Wizz registered company in Macedonia, like they did in Ukraine. But then they would need to pay taxes there, so this is not a real option.
      They are used to receive taxes from Macedonia.

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    4. W6 don't offer east Europe-east Europe routes.

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    5. ^ That's not true actually. They fly a lot of eastern euro routes from Bucharest and Budapest as well.

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    6. Inter ex-yu flights would be welcome too :)

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    7. Well unless it's Skopje-Croatia or Skopje-Slovenia it would not be possible. But they would crush Croatia Airlines if they started Skopje-Zagreb.

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    8. Not really. Most passangers on that route are transfers.

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  14. I fail to see how they will make SKP-BUD work unless they introduce a hub transfer system like Ryanair. I know the route will be subsidised but still, those subsidies will run out at some point.

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    1. Me too. These Budapest - ex-yu routes make no sense. It will be interesting to see which one of them does best.

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  15. Wizz Air is doing really well in Skopje. De facto Macedonia's national airline.

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  16. Eurowings: DUS - SKP is one of the two cash cows on the Macedonian market (the other being Switzerland). I really dont understand why Eurowings is not starting this route!

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    1. I would really love to see Eurowings introduce flights to Skopje.

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  17. Will they be adding some new routes from Ohrid. Ohrid-Basel seems to have turned out well for them.

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    1. They could add Malmo or another destination in Scandinavia.

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  18. Wizz has done wonders for Skopje and has really shaped the market.

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  19. While I am all for LCCs and congratulate Wizz and Skopje Airport, I really think the management at SKP must attract more legacies. There are a lot of people who want to fly to places other than Memmingen and Friedrichshafen and want transfer options. The only legacy airlines now left in Skopje are Adria, Air Serbia, Austrian, Turkish and Croatia Airlines.

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  20. OT

    On 18.05 Arkia will operate two flights between TLV and BEG, both operated by the B753 with a capacity of 265 seats!

    Seems like both Arkia and Israir are really doing well in BEG! Glad to hear it.

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    1. You are joking? Nothing big! Even in Zagreb there are 2-3 flights in one day by 757 all season.

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    2. Where did he say it was big? Tune down the hate.

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    3. Btw Arkia, Israir and Air Serbia operate year round flights between Belgrade and Tel Aviv.

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    4. From what I know, the air service agreement between Serbia and Israel designates El Al and Air Serbia as the official carriers for scheduled flights.


      If there was Open Sky in place then I am sure both of these carriers would operate scheduled flights with sales being possible in Serbia.

      Just another example of how protectionism harms the consumer.

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  21. What about Skopje-Sofia flights by Wizz? Could it wotk? I assume there is enough demand... Bulgaria Air used to fly this route once upon a time.

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    1. Skopje - Sofia would be a great idea, but only if the ticket is around 30 euro, a return-ticket.

      Also, it would be great if there are at least summer seasonal flight Skopje - Burgas and Sofia - Ohrid.

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    2. Buses SKP-SOF are half empty. I can only see seasonal demand for SOF-OHD

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  22. wow well done. They added capacity each year which is great. I wish them all the best

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  23. Wizz seems to have increased their prices from Skopje by a fare bit over the last couple of years.

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    1. Probably as subsidies for some routes end, the prices increase.

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    2. @1:44

      No. Pricing at Wizz is exclusively driven by demand.

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  24. Wizz has it easy in Skopje. I would love for another LCC to come and for some healthy competition to start. Ryanair and/or easy jet would be great.

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    1. +1 easyjet maintains a few weekly flights to PRN. It can do the same with SKP. It's a similar passengers structure.

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  25. 4th aircraft would be good to add 1 or 2 new routes and increase frequencies. Most routes are still only served twice per week.

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    1. Agree. Most new routes from last year were at the expense of frequencies on existing routes at the time.

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  26. A few more lines and they will have one million passengers from Skopje alone.

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  27. Without any major increase in capacity from Wizz this year, let's see how SKP does.

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  28. Svakako odlican rast ali trebalo bi se sad fokusirati malo ma druge stvari i dolazak legacy carrier-a sto bi bilo bolje za putnike .
    INN-NS

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    1. Zasto je legacy carrier bolji za putnike? Jedina razlika ovih dana su transferi ( a i ta prednost ce uskoro da nestane) i jedan inch vise prostora za noge.


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    2. Loyalty programi, sletanje na glavne aerodrome, code share ugovori, komfor, biznis klasa... to su samo neke od prednosti legacy kompanija u odnosu na low cost. Uglavnom, mesta ima i za jedne i za druge pa neka bira ko šta hoće

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  29. silly or not Wizz is reducing Memmingen SKP because of operational resons. Ryanair could easily step in and take over but do they want at all?

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  30. What wizz needs to do need is to add new more touristy routes beside the predominantly diaspora destinations so that we dont need to bother go to Sofia or Thessaloniki for other destinations.
    My suggestions for new wizz destinations are capitals Rome, Prague, Warsaw, Madrid, Lisbon, Bucharest but also summer winter holiday or business destinations such as Torino, Nice, Bari, Pisa, Napoli Malaga and Malta which have certain diaspora but also can serve throughout the year as a basis for good ski city break or summer swim destinations or business. Of corse we need link to Moscow and Tel Aviv

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    1. Unfortunately, no. Sadly, there are no routes that can be supported by demand coming from Macedonia.

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    2. same was said for BCN

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    3. And you actually have no clue how hard it was to get it launched in the first place. Nor how it's really performing. :)

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    4. Of course i have no insides, but im sure they are not flying to BCN just for kejf

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    5. BCN is a miracle. And a dream come true. I'm the happiest person ever it saw the light of day. And I live in neither of the two countries.

      For better or worse, it's also a very strong indicator as to how many of the above recommendations would pan out. I hope you can take a hint, I've dropped plenty.

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  31. I wonder how a SKP-DBV route would do?

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  32. Overall a nice comment section this time around. Much appreciated.

    U pozadini postoji jos jedna prica kako je Wizz Air-ova ekspanzija u Jugi i konkretnije u Makedoniji bila vodjena + podrzana ucestvom naseg menadzera za razvoj mreze i prihoda (cena), koju ovaj portal nije ispratio. Sad je nazalost malo kasno, ali u svakom slucaju drago mi je da konacno vidim vecinu konstruktivnih komentara ispod clanka na temu Wizz-a i Skoplja.

    Pozdrav i svako dobro
    DG

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    1. Tranquilis = Anon ?!? Im quiet shocked tbh

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