Sunday, March 5, 2017

Skopje Airport eyes strong 2017 growth


Skopje Alexander the Great Airport is heading for another year of record growth with six new routes confirmed so far for the upcoming summer season and a number of carriers adding frequencies. Low cost airline Wizz Air will again fuel the growth at Macedonia's largest airport with a fourth aircraft to be stationed in the city this July, paving the way for the launch of four new routes including Budapest, Rome, Malta and Vaxjo. While the new flights to the Italian capital will effectively replace Alitalia's service from the city, which was suspended last year due to internal restructuring, both Malta and Vaxjo will be served from Skopje for the first time. Furthermore, Wizz Air is boosting frequencies on a number of routes with Eindhoven, Memmingen and Cherleroi increasing from two to three weekly, Gothenburg up from three to four weekly, and Basel and Malmo increasing from five weekly to daily services.

Qatar Airways will be introducing four weekly flights to Skopje this summer, adding competition to both Turkish Airlines and Flydubai, which rely on a significant number of transfer passengers on their respective services to the Macedonian capital. Furthermore, Czech Airlines will resume operations from Prague, while Adria Airways will increase frequencies on its Ljubljana - Skopje service. The General Manager of TAV Macedonia, Alper Ersoy, has said that talks are underway with the low cost Eurowings over the introduction of flights from Dusseldorf and Munich. "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", Mr Ersoy said.

Skopje Airport ended 2016 by handling 1.649.374 travellers. This January, the airport recorded passenger growth of 12.3%. "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 said. Skopje Airport held the title for the fastest growing capital city airport in the former Yugoslavia for two years, in 2013 and 2015, before it was overtaken by Podgorica Airport last year. Skopje's closest competitor is Pristina Airport, which last year welcomed 1.743.208 travellers.

55 comments:

  1. It's gonna be a great year for Skopje. If Wizz does not open a base in Pristina then Skopje will overtake it this year no doubt.

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    1. They surpassed Ljubljana in 2015. In 2017 I expect them to overtake Pristina. It will be interesting competition.

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  2. Nice. I just hope that the current political situation does not derail the growth.

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    1. nope quite contrary actually, haha (if u know what i mean)

      only visa sanctions can derail the growth

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  3. Eurowings flights would be the cherry on top of the cake this year.

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  4. Wizz will have a passanger share of 60% in SKP this year. It's a number other ex-yu airlines could only dream of at their home base.

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    1. You actually think that an LCC having 60% market share is a good thing?

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    2. its a stiropor-strategy. like everything in our country in the last few years

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    3. @9:41 I don't but I assume if an ex-yu airline had that share people would call them monopolists.

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  5. Could Skopje reach 2 million this year?

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    1. I think that's a bit of a strech for this year. Can they really add almost 400,000 pax?

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    2. Well the year has started off well :)

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    3. I hope SKP comes close to 2 million. It's not unrealistic.

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    4. Well my prediction for this year, if there are no new routes or frequency upgrades, that SKP this year will be around 1.8-1.85mil. However next year, even if everything stays the same, I believe Skopje will have more than 2mil pax.

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  6. What's the capacity of Skopje's terminal and what happend to the old terminal that was used before TAV?

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    1. Thanks. So there is still a lot more room for growth without the need to expand infrastructure.

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    2. And what's up with the old terminal? What is it being used for?

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    3. I think the old terminal is used as a cargo terminal.

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    4. Oh you stupid how could the "old" terminal buidling could be used for "cargo". Its VIP and government terminal for special purposes.

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    5. I can see only 5 gates on picture, is there more? I was never in SKP

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    6. 6. lower right side check again

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    7. 6 gates on 1st floor - connect with terminal building with air bridge and 4/5 gates on ground floor connect with final parking position on aircraft with bus.
      *total 21 aircraft parking position.

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  7. I'm really interested to see how Qatar Airways will perform on its Skopje flights.

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  8. I'm really glad for Skopje knowing how many passengers they had only 5 years ago. But I agree with others, I just wish there was a bit more variety at the airport other than Wizz.

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  9. I guess the haters who were predicting that the airport's "bubble" would burst will have do wait.

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    1. No one said it was a bubble but it is not real growth because you are constantly adding more routes and capacity. If you had an entire year with the same number of flights you would see what the real growth is. Skopje's real growth was seen around August and September last year when it was about 2%.

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    2. Well, not really. In January the pax growth was 12% while there was not significant increase in operated flights (I think it was around 4%).

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  10. well done Macedonia...bravo

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  11. Wizz will be flying to Rome just 2 times per week. As far as I remember Alitalia was daily.

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    1. Yeah, but Wizz are using a bigger aircraft. Ofc, Alitala had larger number of seats on a weekly bases, but Wizz is only after the O&D market.

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  12. If SKP was the fastest growing in 2014 and 2015 and Podgorica was in 2016, who was in 2013?

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    1. The BEG +30% growth was in 2014. Skopje's growth was 22%, which obviously makes BEG the fastest growing airport that year.

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    2. Tivat in 2013 +20%

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  13. I would not be surprised if the only airline serving Skopje in a few years is Wizz Air :D I'm kidding. I think SKP is doing great. If you take a better look there is no direct competition between any LCC and legacy on flights from Skopje.

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  14. OT: I've heard from a few people that Air Serbia is planning on terminating the route to Abu Dhabi? Seems illogical with me, but Etihad is cutting down on many routes.

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    1. Has been a lot of discussion lately on this. Search the comments for past week or so.

      To cut long story short: even if they cancel AUH, EY will step in to replace it.

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    2. Rumour is that JU will drop AUH and EY will operate a wide body instead of the A320.

      Personally, EY could upgrade to an A321 and keep JU to A319. JU loads to AUH are fairly good and would be a shame to cancel the flight considering the growth theyve made the past couple of years.

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    3. There will be one daily flight if they change a320 to a330, but it os better to have one Air Serbia's flight and one Etihads early morning flight because of transfer pax.

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    4. Well, the issue with JU800 is whether the yields are good enough to justify deploying A319 for at least 12 hours to fly to AUH. Most pax have onward flights with EY, so it's an unknown how much JU gets from the deal. AUH fares are high, but you can fly to East Asia for as low as 400-500 EUR, so how much out of such fare would JU keep?

      With EY stepping in, it's not a bad thing to cancel AUH if it's a good move for their business.

      Now, if EY decides to replace two dailies with a single A330, that would require a change of schedule for EY72 - or departing flight from AUH would miss entire Asian bank of arrivals, rendering EY useless for Far East journeys from BEG. So, it's a question of their fleet deployment. There is enough demand in terms of pax numbers, but flexibility might be an issue.

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    5. Main driver for JU to drop AUH is to free up one A319 for additional frequencies or new destinations.

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  15. Only legacy airlines now left in Skopje are Adria, Air Serbia, Austrian, Turkish and Croatia Airlines.

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    1. Wizz Air killing all competition.

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    2. CSA, QATAR, SWISS....

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    3. Swiss is not coming back to SKP.

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    4. Stop with this Swiss once for all!! It is coming back. It hasn't even left.. It was only replaced by an Edelweiss machine. Swiss never solely operated this route. For instance Monday amd Friday flights are opertated by Swiss machine and on other days it is a WK machine. Number pf flights has never changed.

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    5. Until now SWISS/Edel. Operate x5 weekly flight from/to skp

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  16. Bravo makedonsko devojce

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  17. Which airport 'steals' more pax from the neighbouring country, SKP or PRN?

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    1. SKP steals from PRN!

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  18. Brussels Airlines? Does anyone have a clue what happened to their Sarajevo idea? Possibly Skopje with Sarajevo together..

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  19. When will we excatly know who will operate flights between Belgrade and Bejing,in fact whenserbian president goes to China.

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    1. I like the way he asks for exact answers. lol.

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