German low cost carrier Eurowings will enter the Macedonian market this winter with the launch of its new service between Munich and Skopje. Flights will run twice per week, each Tuesday and Thursday, starting October 31 with an Airbus A320 aircraft. The Lufthansa subsidiary has expressed interest in launching flights from Dusseldorf to Skopje as well. Commenting on the new route, the General Manager of airport operator TAV Macedonia, Alper Ersoy, previously noted, "Passengers will not only benefit from new flights to Germany but also from intercontinental links, offered by parent company Lufthansa". The no frills carrier will become the second new airline to introduce flights to the Macedonian capital this year, following Qatar Airways this summer.
Eurowings faces no direct competition on its new service between Munich and Skopje. However, Wizz Air operates flights between the Macedonian capital and Memmingen, which serves as a low cost alternative to Munich. 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 in launching operations to Niš during 2017, as well as 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.
Complementing its new service to Skopje, Eurowings will also introduce flights between Dusseldorf and Zagreb on October 31, while its new seasonal service between Munich and Split, which is set to launch on April 27, has been extended to run on a year-round basis. In addition, the airline will extend its seasonal service from Dusseldorf to Split throughout the winter months. Lufthansa has made Eurowings its main focus in the battle with market leaders Ryanair and easyJet for passengers in Europe and a vehicle for consolidation. It is set to become Europe's third largest low cost carrier after deals to lease 33 crewed planes from Air Berlin and to take over Brussels Airlines, which will lift its fleet to 180 planes from 93 by 2018.
Flight details for Eurowings' new Munich - Skopje service can be found here.