Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Eurowings eyes Macedonia flights


Low cost carrier Eurowings has held talks with TAV, the operator of Macedonia's two international airports, regarding the introduction of flights to the country. The Lufthansa subsidiary has expressed interest in launching services from Munich and Dusseldorf to Skopje. "The negotiations with Eurowings form part of our marketing activities, which we constantly undertake with the purpose of expanding our destination network from our two airports in Macedonia", the General Manager of TAV Macedonia, Alper Ersoy, said. He added, "We are currently discussing the introduction of services to primary airports in Dusseldorf and Munich with the German carrier. If the talks prove successful, passengers will not only benefit from new flights to Germany but also from intercontinental links, offered by parent company Lufthansa".

Eurowings would face no direct competition on its potential new services between Munich, Dusseldorf and Skopje. However, Wizz Air operates flights between the Macedonian capital and Memmingen, which serves as a low cost alternative to Munich. Furthermore, it maintains flights to several cities near Dusseldorf. Eurowings will expand its operations in the former Yugoslavia this summer, with its focus being primarily on the Croatian leisure market. In addition, the airline is currently in discussions over the introduction of flights between Stuttgart and Mostar and has expressed interest to launch operations to the Croatian island of Brač next year. Apart from Croatia, the carrier also serves Belgrade, Pristina and Sarajevo within the former Yugoslavia and will commence services to Tivat this summer as well. Germany is one of Macedonia's main country markets. Skopje Airport currently boasts flights to nine cities in Germany, including Berlin, Cologne, Dortmund, Friedrichshafen, Hahn, Hamburg, Hannover, Memmingen and Nuremberg. All of them are operated by Wizz Air. 

Meanwhile, Skopje Airport has started the year off strongly by handling 122.521 passengers this January, representing an increase of 12.3% compared to 2016. TAV Macedonia expects for its passenger figures to continue growing in 2017 above both the European and regional average. "We will keep our strategy of route expansion and attracting new airlines to the Macedonian aviation market as the fundamental condition for our continued development. Aviation is a highly cyclical business and it is very sensitive to external factors. Therefore, we do not want to estimate how many passengers we will handle this year, but instead, we can say that according to our projections, we expect an increase bigger than the European Union average and greater than the region’s average", Mr Ersoy told EX-YU Aviation News last month.

94 comments:

  1. Good news. I think they could also introduce a seasonal flight to Ohrid.

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  2. Finally something other than Wizz!

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    1. They won't be happy about it ;)

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    2. Wizz has a monopoly on many markets from Skopje so this is good. It's crazy that not a single other company flies between Skopje and Germany. Like someone said this Eurowings flight also opens the opportunity for transfers.

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    3. Could somebody be kind enough to offer an example where one's able to buy a ticket combining Eurowings and Lufthansa flights? Is this achievable on their own website? I haven't been able to figure it out.

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    4. You can go to the Lufthansa website and do a booking. For example I chose Frankfurt - Pristina and it offered me LH flight to Stuttgart and onward connection to Pristina with Eurowings.

      Also Eurowings lets you transfer onto their own flights on a single ticket.

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    5. Thanks. I see Luftahnsa's website does offer some options including Eurowings. I am still looking to find an example though for improved connectivity beyond Europe. That would be true added value indeed.

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    6. You won't find such intercontinental connections with EW before summer 2017 (as of yet) as intercontinental flights with LH are restricted to FRA+MUC only - all feeders to FRA are LH+other Star Alliance full members and for MUC the same, although MUC will start EW flights from summer 17 onwards.

      However, I am able to find e.g. Exyu-DUS with EW and connection onwards to TYO with ANA (Star Alliance member) hence you can see the connectivity is already given between low coster EW and Star Alliance full service member airlines.

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    7. Sounds good, I appreciate it. Let's hope there is an announcement for SKP flights on sale from EW soon so we can confirm this in practice. This will help with both international connectivity and serve main airports in Germany.

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    8. Are the connecting flights LH-EW sold as one ticket or 2 separate?

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    9. Same like combination LH/OS, LH/4U or LH/LH Cityline: all in one booking, luggage will be checked through

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  3. 2x per week to each Munich and Dusseldorf could work, especially because unlike Wizz they can attract transfer passengers.

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  4. I really hope they will start flying to SKP. Macedonia is the only country in the region not served by Lufthansa/Eurowings. Also Munich and Düsseldorf are big european Hubs, which would offer high benefits for people travelling to or from both countries.

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    1. Never understood why Lufthansa doesn't just start flights. Have they ever flown from SKP?

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    2. I don´t think that they ever flew to SKP.

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    3. Germanwings did.

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    4. Also OS as LHG member airlines is present at SKP.

      EW will again be a LHG member airline - the clear and major lack are network airlines from Europe which are not part of *A!!!

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    5. LH used to fly to SKP at the end of the 90ties.
      LH does not fly to SKP now because they don't want to get in the way of OS.

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    6. Here's a slightly cynical view.

      It's pretty obvious LH considers SKP a low yielding market unworthy of its flag carrier presence. They're not too happy about OS' performance, so instead they send their "LCC" brand to cover some obvious holes now that they have a surplus of aircraft. Consequently, by doing this they also put to rest any chance of seeing LH there.

      I guess they also found a sympathetic ear in TAV. They are not exactly looking for strong competition to Turkish, just some incremental traffic to portray how they're making efforts.

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    7. True. But I don't think they are unhappy with OS, but OS has limits as to how much of a market share it can take in SKP and Macedonia. EW can broaden that market share for Lufthansa.

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  5. Eurowings is expanding like crazy.

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    1. Expected after the Air Berlin deal. Any airline would if they just suddenly got 30 aircraft ;)

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    2. We will see them in future!? Who nows?

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    3. Skopje Airport is quite cautious in announcing new routes and usually doesn't come out and announce anything unless its a done deal. Having in mind that their GM announced that talks are ongoing for these particular routes is an indication that it's probably already negotiated and that we will see them this summer.

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    4. "Skopje Airport is quite cautious in announcing new routes and usually doesn't come out and announce anything unless its a done deal" They runied the Ryanair deal by doing so.

      Ok it was actually the PM who said that (while opening a new village česma)

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    5. That, and many other reasons why that guy is now ex-PM. New PM and new government in Macedonia would hopefully be business friendly.

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  6. They would make a nice addition to Skopje.

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  7. So in 2017 we could have Eurowings from Munich and Dusseldorf, Qatar from Doha and Wizz from Budapest this year. Not bad.

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    1. Is Qatar Airways confirmed?

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    2. Qatar Airways just scheduled their flights to SKP on July 17th

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    3. Yes it's confirmed
      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/01/qatar-airways-schedules-skopje-service.html

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    4. Hope they put tickets on sale soon.

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    5. I hope there will be a few more surprises to come :)

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  8. OT INI Jan 17, PAX: 20'693 Cargo: 360t.

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    1. Good results for INI, now they need another 280.000 in 2017 which is not unrealistic.

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  9. Would have preferred Lufthansa but this is not bad either.

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  10. Eurowings also plans to start operations from Frankfurt. Skopje would be a good destination from there as well.

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    1. Well Wizz does fly to Frankfurt Hahn

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    2. If you can connect to LH's global network from FRA, it's a completely different value proposition.

      As for HHN, you could just as well call it Luxembourg East, since it's 120km away from both. And what a dump of an airport.. hilarious.

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    3. Well Wizz also is flying to Memmingen (~100km away from Munich) and Nürnberg (~180km away from Munich). Still there is high demand to fly directly to Munich. Also Frankfurt am Main Airport is the most underserved airport out of Macedonia. So every Airline flying directly Skopje - FFM can only profit. So yes it would be a good destination to fly to.

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    4. haha true dat: Frankfurt Hahn has absolutely NOTHING in common with FRA and the city Frankfurt (except Frankfurt in its Name)

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  11. January growth at Skopje is fantastic. Well done. Hoping for another record year!

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    1. Growth should be strong through to April considering Wizz is operating an additional 4 routes compared to the same period last year.

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    2. Not really because the new routes were introduced by cutting frequencies on existing ones. So the number of flights is roughly the same.

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    3. Actually 9:55 is correct. The cuts are noticeable only in high season. In winter it's incremental.

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  12. I really want to see flights to SOF some day. Everyday there are 5-6 buses departing to Sofija. The journey with bus is around 4-5 hours. It would be nice if he have a direct route with good connections to VAR and BOJ.

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    1. I agree- and also flights to TIA

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    2. I don't know why FB have dropped the line years ago. They used to have SOF-SKP-OHD-SOF flights.

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    3. ...and also flights to our Nemesis ATH

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    4. Yeah... The nemesis :)

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    5. SOF with ryanair would be great, enough O&D and transfer!

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    6. @ Anonymous February 7, 2017 at 4:56 PM
      +1000

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    7. They used to have a dreadful schedule. But now SOF is very well connected to VAR. Take a bus from SKP and it will leave you in the Sofia Central Station. Simply take the metro to the airport and that´s it. It´s a 35min flight.

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  13. Tourist organization of Nis has launched a marketing campaign in 22 cities to promote flying out of INI. These billboards will also appear in Kosovo and Metohija, Pristina included.

    Bad news for SKP.

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    1. Nis has a total of 10 destinations. Skopje has 31 so I think it will survive. But I think competition is good anyway and am glad INI has woken up from its comma. Might be the reason SKP is trying to get Eurowings.

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    2. No one said that INI will destroy SKP but it will become a real threat. INI can always offer a more competitive price-list while making money, their costs are incomparably lower than SKP's. Especially when you take into consideration the money needed to keep their terminals operational.

      Wizz Air has increased their fares out of SKP which makes sense given their not so stellar financial performance.

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    3. @10:40

      Actually, low fares suggest weak performance and high fares suggest good performance. Let's just wait for INI to complete a 12 or 24 month period with the current setup before calling it viable, let alone a threat.

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    4. High fares do not necessarily indicate good performance, they can also be a sign of a market's lack of competition, which is the case with SKP.

      Don't forget that both W6 and FR pay less taxes at Nis and they have to compete with each other, it means that in theory fares should always be lower at INI.

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    5. The second bit is true beyond any doubt.

      However, as for how fares reflect performance, the lack of competition statement is only true for flag carriers, with quite a few examples in the Balkans prior to the LCC expansion. In the case of true LCCs (FR, W6) high fares do indicate good performance due to pricing being highly reactive to demand, unlike their older brethren. It might indeed imply the market is underserved, but not that it's underperforming, quite the opposite is true actually.

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    6. However things are not as black and white as you try to present them. Wizz Air has recorded weaker financial performance which means they need to work on improving their yields where they can... so what better place to start than at airports where they have almost a monopoly?

      It's much easier for them to increase their fares in SKP than in SOF or OTP.

      No doubt their routes out of SKP are doing well but there is more to the story.

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    7. Even FR's performance wasn't as expected which means they will not launch a war against W6 in SKP.

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    8. Sorry, but no on both counts.

      The whole purpose of agile reactive variable pricing is maximization of revenue. That is not achieved through willful pricing up - price sensitivity is a real thing, especially when you try optimize for LF, which is what LCC business model is based on. Flag carriers do approach the task differently, and more in line with other, either more regulated or more dependent on wholesale approach markets, which is where your argument might be valid.

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    9. I wasn't even speaking of the legacy carriers, I was referring to recent hike in Wizz fares out of SKP. Saying that they did it just because of good performance is wrong.

      They partly did it because they need extra cash so no better place than to get it than in SKP where loads are good and where competition is more or less non-existent.

      This is where INI has an advantage. Both W6 and FR need to compete with each other at an airport with low costs. This is why SKP's regional domination will come to its end.

      Let me remind you that W6 has already added more flights to Dortmund and FR to BTS. Things are INI already seem promising enough. Just imagine what will happen when Germania and Swiss arrive.

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    10. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/02/01/wizz-air-profits-grounded-feels-pain-rising-costs/

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    11. "Saying that they did it just because of good performance is wrong. "

      Well, sorry for trying to educate. Obviously you know better. Why do I even bother..

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    12. It was a combination of factors, as said in the comment above. If there was more competition in SKP Wizz Air wouldn't be as big and it wouldn't be ripping us off as they do now.

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    13. Hilarious.

      There must have been a noticeable drop in LF carried by W6 in SKP then?

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    14. W6 is already feeling FR's expansion in the Eastern Europe. It's only a matter of time for FR to enter other markets (SKP, BEG, ...).

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    15. Probably not as much as people don't have a choice when flying, it boils to down to W6 or paying €500 to fly with OS.

      However, if easyJet or Ryanair enters the market they will be in trouble.

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    16. .. and again, get your facts straight and look beyond exYu. easyJet had a much stronger presence in CEE. They got beaten soundly and cut most of the capacity throughout the years. FR have been involved in CEE since forever and have already been beaten on a few major markets. Feels like repeating it ad infinitum.

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    17. Telegraph article suggests that Wizz, often celebrated in the comment section here as a paragon of free market, would be in loss without generous local and state subsidies included. The airline is practically loss-making machine since it was established.
      Go figure out!

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    18. Exactly and it's only in markets such as SKP that they can thrive by creating almost a monopoly so that they can rip people off. This airline doesn't have a sound future. They are expanding all over the place and it will end badly for them.

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    19. Haters out in full force. Mention actual facts and figures and they just repeat their verses ad nauseam. I pity you.

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    20. Yet your comment is full of eloquence and reason. Give me a break.

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    21. Just above you have an excellent example what applying reason and actual experience yields. People are just not ready to listen. Not gonna bother with fighting imaginary windmills.

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  14. I'm hoping Easy Jet might be next :)

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    1. Norwegian Air Shuttle wouldn't be bad either.

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    2. Well Norwegian did say they were interested in Skopje. So fingers crossed.

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    3. http://www.exyuaviation.com/2016/11/norwegian-eyes-macedonia-and-slovenia.html

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    4. It's not impossible for Norwegian or Easy Jet or any LCC to come to SKP soon as i heard on the radio that they plan to offer new subsides for LCC to SKP and maybe OHD.

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  15. EW to Brac next year? I have not heard of that. With 150-180 seats per way? Maybe a bit too much overcapacity per flight for the small but very pretty and sunny island?

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    1. General Manager of Brac Airport confirmed it recently. He said flights will launch in 2018. We will see.

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  16. Nice work Skopje. Both on the new flights and the passenger numbers.

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  17. Nice results. Could we expect 1.8 million passangers from Skopje this year?

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  18. OT:

    LJU, Jan 2017

    89.396 PAX
    +21,5%

    Haplek

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    1. OMG WOW! So so far we have BEG, LJU and SKP all reporting double digit growth.

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    2. tbh Ljubljana growth is expected since Adria increased flights. But this number is still far away from figures that were recorded in 2007, 2008...

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  19. If they start these flights I hope it will be this summer.

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  20. Good news for Skopje. We need more veriety. Wizz Air is good but more choice is always a good thing :)

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  21. OT: New ZAG terminal

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk1ckYg82H4

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  22. Go EX-YU airports !

    Gohttp://www.aviatica.rs/alitalia-svakodnevno-podgorice-sezonski-splita-dubrovnika/

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    1. Great news! Podgorica must be performing very well for them. I wish we could see their loads on flights to Ex-Yu.

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    2. SPU was already announced and DBV is great but not too surprising.

      As for their loads, I only know BEG which has between 75% and 90% LF on their A320. Lots of connecting passengers that fly with JU.

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