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.