Sunday, May 14, 2017

Macedonia seeks Canada flights


The Macedonian government has expressed interest for the introduction of nonstop flights between Skopje and Toronto. The Macedonian Ministry for Transport and Communication, which recently held talks with Turkish Airlines over possible services to the United States, says it has now also proposed potential operations to Canada's largest city. Turkish Airlines' CEO, Bilal Eksi, noted that the opening of flights from Skopje to both the United States and Canada will be taken under consideration. Furthermore, Turkish will provide assistance to neighbouring Albania which is seeking to establish its own national carrier. Macedonia and Turkey have an Open Skies Agreement in place with Canada, which permits for a Turkish carrier to be issued fifth freedom rights by regulators from all parties involved.

The Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency said last year that services between Skopje and Toronto would largely rely on diaspora traffic. "Canada has more potential than the United States because there is a bigger Macedonian diaspora. However, this argument alone is still not strong enough for us to begin procedures for the introduction of flights", the regulator said. Previously, the Agency noted that the response from Canada-based airlines for the launch of seasonal flights to Skopje during the peak summer and winter months had been "favourable". Air Transat is the only Canadian carrier which currently maintains services to the former Yugoslavia, with a two weekly seasonal flight to Zagreb.

The Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency first expressed interest for the introduction of services to Canada back in 2011. Two years later, the former head of the regulator, Dejan Mojsoski, who now serves as the Pan European Coordinator at Eurocontrol in Brussels, said that a Canadian airline was interested in launching transatlantic flights to Skopje. “A carrier has shown interest and it is not a typical low budget airline, instead, it offers a mixed product. Its initial interest is a good indicator for us”, Mr Mojsoski said at the time. Furthermore, Skopje Airport's operator, TAV, as well as the Macedonian government, were to carry out a feasibility study into the potential of transatlantic flights to the Macedonian capital.

63 comments:

  1. SKP doesn't have direct flights to major cities in Europe such as CDG, LHR or even MUC or FRA leave alone a flight to North America. First, they must attract airlines such as BA, AF/KL or LH and then we can talk.

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    1. It's ok, just because the government wants something it doesn't mean it will get it.

      Every few months they come out with a wish list of long-haul destination... and each time they are ignored by airlines.

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    2. The government will just pay an airline to fly this prestige route!
      The politicians will be happy cutting ribbons and the tax payers will pay the bills.
      They only have to ask Vučić about it.

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    3. Why do you have to bring Serbia into this? What's your problem?

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    4. Because it is a good example. No harm feelings.

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    5. Anonymous at 11:30 AM

      He makes a valid point about how countries with minimal O&D demand for direct flights to New York or Toronto can get an airline to fly them.

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  2. Macedonia used to have charters to Toronto in 2008 or 2009 if I remember correctly. So it's not impossible.

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    1. Do you remember which airline operated these?

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    2. Sky Service?

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    3. Could be, I know they operated into both BEG and ZAG with a B752 with a technical stop in DUB.

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  3. I wonder which carrier showed initial interest all those years ago. Sounds like Transat.

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  4. The only way Skopje or any other ex-Yu city could get flights to the US or Canada is that either their own airline starts flights (Air Serbia) or some mafiosi leases an aircraft and starts flying (Skygreece, Scanderbeg Air)

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    1. @AnonymousMay 14, 2017 at 9:12 AM

      Skopje has no chance of intercontinental flights. It is an LCC base, not much else.

      Only airports in ex-Yu that has direct link with north America is Belgrade and Zagreb. With very much likely by 2020, Zagreb getting connection to US, by an US airline, after all 357 000 US visitors in Croatia in 2016, already warrant such connection.

      Bu 2020, I am certain Zagreb will have this connection, either to New York, or some other major US based hub.

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    2. Air Transat is not LCC but leisure airline. Learn the difference.

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  5. Is there a big Albanian diaspora in Canada?

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    1. It's not massive but a respectable number. There is a lot from Kosovo as well.

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    2. It's not that big, and most of the Albanians I've met are from Albania itself. Albanians, just like Bosnian Muslims, mostly chose America as their new country

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  6. There have been plenty of examples of things that didn't make sense to experts who make comments here actually happening... So who knows.

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  7. It's quite hard for a predominantly LCC airport like SKP to initialise flights to Canada. I mean even BUD and ZAG only have them during the summer. But hey, SKP has surprised us before, so who knows? But like the very first comment above, SKP desperately needs to connect to the main European cities first.

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    1. Eurowings will fly to Mun soon an btw Air Transat is LCC

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    2. No, it is not. It is leisure airline.

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  8. Bravo Makedonija!

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  9. Would be nice but it is very far fetched.

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  10. OT:
    LX2512 ZRHINI A320 C1/8 Y96/168
    LX2513 INIZRH A320 C1/8 Y173/168 (overbooked -5)

    LX is doing good I would say. Cheers.

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    1. Wow... that's beyond fantastic. What's even more interesting is that there is more demand out of INI than from ZRH. Usually it's the other way around.

      I guess Germania might be experiencing same loads if they decided to extend the route into the winter months. Let's hope LX does the same.

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    2. That is bad news for ASL. INI's massive success and these loadfactors can only put pressure in ASL's yields from BEG to ZRH.
      Bravo INI!

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    3. But it won't put preassure on LX's yields from BEG to ZRH? Right.

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    4. Yes it will. But LX and the LH group can afford to lower their yields on a few routes a lot more than JU.

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    5. And why should we care? Lower yields equals cheaper fares.

      Also, this will primarily impact Wizz Air.

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    6. If you are not a Serbian taxpayer you shouldn't care.
      LOL, W6 doesn't even fly to Zurich!

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  11. Turkish is just being polite. There is no chance for these flights.

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  12. Perhaps JU can strike a deal with TK and transfer pax between BEG and SKP for flights to North America and offer a daily flight to JFK. Let's face it JUs business plan to make BEG a transfer point has been a massive flop

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    1. Yes, pax numbers going from 3 mil to 5 mil in a couple of years certainly qualifies as a flop.

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    2. Where did he mention number of passengers? He was referring to the transfer passengers.

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  13. Wizzair wants to be future of aviation. Ask Wizz to solve this problem for SKP.

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    1. Yeah that might be kind of difficult with TATL.

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    2. Why? With the NEOs they could do it, ok they could add a technical stop but I wonder if they could pull of a SKP-LJU-US.

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    3. Their A321NEO orders are not LR, the range at Y238 and bags will not be long and nobody will buy a ticket to fly in a sardine can with 2 stops to USA (SKP-LJU-XXX-USA). Especially when operating a narrowbody on such route is not cheap/profitable from the start.

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  14. SKP getting flights to Canada??? Are they joking? lol

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    1. Read the article.

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    2. Yeah... Very logical - cities like Bucharest and Budapest don't have year-round service to the US and North America (BUD have to Canada), but Skopje will have lol

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    3. If BEG can have why not SKP?

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    4. BEG's flight is a political route that is greatly loss making and only possible through the government ordering the national airline to fly it.
      Plus you shouldn't compare Belgrade with Skopje or Serbia with Macedonia.

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    5. Why not? Both countries have 2 airports, 2 modern airports. Besides MK is a future EU member and will have lots of potential. Also, we also recently learnt from the blog that INI is trying to catch up with SKP due to its proximity.
      Both countries are doing great if you ask me.

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    6. Also UAE has a couple of airports! Dubai and Abhu Dhabi! What does that have to do with the potential for air travel?
      Also MK will never become an EU member as long as it is called Macedonia.
      So please, keep it real.

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    7. One cannot comapre DXB and AUH to SKP and OHD

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    8. are you seriously trying to compare Skopje to Belgrade??? In what world do you live? I understand you hear on TV every day how great your country is doing but even BUD and OTP are not economically strong enough to sustain something like this

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    9. Surprise surprise:

      SR:
      GDP per capita: 5,143.95 USD (2015)
      MK:
      GDP per capita: 4,852.66 USD (2015)

      In other words, MK is likely to even surpass SR within a couple of years.

      Both countries have developed a lot but never underrate MK please.

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    10. LOL then by this logic San Marino would have 30 transatlantic flights.
      PS been there so not trusting the statistics

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  15. Norwegian is building up their N America network (destinations and frequeancies). They will soon offer decent alternative to Star Alliance.

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    1. Yes, but they wont be starting transatlantic flights from SKP any time soon.

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    2. Granted. Not sure if they fly to Skopje at all at the moment, but with all the planes on order, who knows. Wizzair could potentially make it to US east coast from Luton even with standard A321.

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    3. No they couldn't, LTN has too short runway for A321 at max takeoff weight. And I don't think with neo things would be much different.

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  16. dont put too much weight into this, this ministry is going to be changed soon anyway

    but its a fact that both Macedonia and Albania aproached TK to start some flights out of SKP and TIA.

    TK could change some of their doube daily TIA flights into TIA-SKP-IST and TIA-PRN-IST

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  17. Skygreece airlines used to do flights between Toronto and Thessaloniki in Macedonia, Greece via Budapest about 2 years ago. Unfortunately that airline was not a success and that route lasted only 2 months. It's was the only overseas flight between North America and the region of Macedonia in Greece. I don't think that other airlines have plans to start another overseas flight from Thessaloniki and there's already Athens that has some routes to Canada and USA. Also I don't think that Skopje has the potential to sustain a long route like that. Thessaloniki or Sofia which are nearby have more potential. This country need to resolve it's issues about the county's name dispute before doing that.

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    1. I would like to ask the admin to delete the comment above mine. It has clearly nothing to do with the aviation, and in promotes a nationalistic view on a complicated political question. Since this is an aviation blog, I believe we should all stick to the aviation and to the current topic. Cheers.

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    2. The post above yours has clearly something to do regarding aviation. You just try to provoque nationalistic slavic propaganda with your point of view. The post above states facts about aviation in the real region of Macedonia which is in Greece. With all the respect every person has the right for an opinion and that post states true facts.

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    3. The problem with SkyGreece was that in that moment the banks in Greece where shut down and they didn't have the cash to pay for fuel even. If the bank crisis didn't happen at that moment they would be very successful.

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    4. Country name disputes have no bearing on aviation. Few passengers care and even fewer airports.

      Delete

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