Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wizz Air's market dominance grows in Macedonia


Low cost airline Wizz Air has announced that it has reached a market share of 89.5% in Macedonia among low cost airlines based on seat capacity, the biggest in its entire network. The carrier is ahead of second placed Pegasus Airlines with a share of 7.7% and Flydubai with 2.8%, the airline noted. In comparison, its share in Serbia stands at 62.3% and in Bosnia and Herzegovina at 47.7%. Overall, Wizz Air is the busiest airline operating out of Macedonia with a passenger share of just over 54%. It will further strengthen its dominance this summer when it bases its fourth aircraft in the Macedonian capital in July and introduces flights to Malta, Rome and Vaxjo. As a result, it will handle over one million passengers on flights to Skopje this year.

Skopje Airport continues to maintain its position as Wizz Air's largest base in the former Yugoslavia. "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. Wizz played an instrumental role in boosting Macedonia'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.

Wizz Air has labelled its performance in Skopje and Ohrid as "a Macedonian success story". Zoran Krstevski, a Board member of TAV Macedonia and the former General Manager of the company, which runs the country's two international airports, said late last year, "With the assistance of the government, together with Wizz Air, we have built-up the Macedonian market. As we begin to handle over two million passengers per year, interest from other carriers will also grow". Eurowings will become the latest low cost airline to introduce services to Macedonia when it launches flights between Munich and Skopje on October 31. Norwegian Air Shuttle has previously also expressed interest in serving Skopje, while in 2015 Ryanair said it was in talks with the Macedonian government over potential flights from the country, however, its plans never materialised.

120 comments:

  1. I am convinced Wizz Air had something to do with Ryanair never following through with its public announcement to launch flights to Skopje.

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    1. Highly likely. It would have ruined their concept in Macedonia because some routes would surely overlap especially because Ryan wanted to introduce several routes, not just one.

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    2. And then they call other monopolists...

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    3. of course: Wizz launching SXF, CPH and BTS just when they found out Ryanair talks with the mk gov were looking promising.

      result: Ryanair went to Niska Banja, topla voda

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    4. What a shame. Imagine the numbers at Skopje if Ryanair came and we had a two way tussle.

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    5. Well one thing it does show is how big of an importance they have placed on the Macedonian market if they were afraid of their cake being eaten by someone else.

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    6. Or it shows that they lack confidence in their product and operations and don't want any competition, acting like bullies while going around accusing governments and flag carriers of protectionism.

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    7. ^^^

      11:27 is exactly the reason why people ask further down in the thread why there is so much hate around here.

      Me personally I'd go with 11:12 explanation. Just because it's true.

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  2. Impressive. Well done Wizz.

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  3. Anyone know how bookings for the new flights from July are performing?

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    1. You can actually easily check by going on Wizz Air's website and trying to make a fake booking. When it asks you for your seat selection you will see how many seats are occupied and you will know the load for the flight.

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    2. Thanks but I meant an average load figure for a longer period of time, not for a particular day.

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    3. I'm interested to know Malta is performing. It's a more "exotic" destination from SKP and will be served year round.

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    4. Also how is the new Budapest route working out?

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    5. malta for now i exelent around 70-90 seats in one direction and Budapest is around 140-160 seats in normal periot and in the pik 160-180.

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    6. Great! Thanks. I'm really surprised how Budapest is working out. I thought it would fail since I didn't think there would be too much P2P demand. Good to hear.

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    7. Budapest is a good hub and there is a lot of Macedonians working in Malta - the math is simple

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    8. @anon 9.43 same. these Budapest - ex-yu routes made no sense to me but I guess I was wrong. They are doing really well on this route from Sarajevo as well.

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    9. If they start offering transfer options via Budapest it will be even more popular.

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    10. Color me impressed too. I couldn't agree more with 12:46.

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  4. Now that's what I call a monopolist. This is not good for competition.

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    1. Why? No one is prohibited from launching flights if they wanted to.

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    2. Yes we see that with the example of Ryanair. Also there is a policy that no single route should overlap so you won't be seeing two airlines flying the same route from/to Skopje anytime soon.

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    3. Also how many airlines have received constant subsidies to start flights to Skopje to build up an over 50% share at the airport?

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    4. And how many airlines have risked throwing millions $$$ into the air for a measly margin, while being supported with cents on the dollar for new business?

      Thought so.

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    5. That describes every new airline. Latest incarnation of Eastern was exactly that, they risked throwing millions of $ into the air. It's that investors backing Wizz and Eastern had much deeper pockets on one side.

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  5. Monopoly in the making.

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  6. Well done Skopje & Wizz. I think it surpasses Pristina this year.

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  7. If any other ex-Yu airline had such a huge share of the market I doubt many would be singing it praises.

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    1. Air Serbia, Croatia Airlines and Adria Airways have failed in Macedonia. They had plenty of chances to dominate in that market but failed.

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    2. Give them subsidies like they were given to Wizz and I'm sure they would have performed much better.

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    3. All three are expensive and their product and services is below average. That's why theu have bad performance in Macedonia.

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    4. No, it is that they were not supported by the local government. I personally think a Monopoly Wiz has is not good, but oh well ...

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    5. Are you implying Wizz did better there because their service is above average? Wizz Air is not even that cheap out of SKP. The Macedonian government distorted the market once it gave W6 preferential treatment.

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    6. Yeah, give everyone 5 EUR per pax for new destinations and they'll do wonders.

      =))))))))))))))

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  8. Almost 90% share among LCCs. Wow!

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  9. Skopje Wizzport.

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  10. Good job Wizz. They have made air travel accessible to many Macedonians and increased tourism in the country.

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    Replies
    1. True. Wizz has done wonders for Skopje and has really shaped the market.

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  11. Wizz = New wings of Macedonia! Bravo!

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  12. While I am all for LCCs and congratulate Wizz and Skopje Airport, I really think the management at SKP must attract more legacies. There are a lot of people who want to fly to places other than Memmingen and Friedrichshafen and want transfer options. The only legacy airlines now left in Skopje are Adria, Air Serbia, Austrian, Turkish and Croatia Airlines.

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    1. Qatar is launching flights in July so it will be another legacy for Skopje.

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    2. I think Atlas global might launch flights to Skopje. They have already introduced Belgrade and will start Sarajevo soon.

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    3. They have noting better to do.

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    4. Apparently all air travel potential in SKP has been utilized by Wizzair and the market is about to reach its limits. I don't think any European legacy carrier is interested in operating to SKP, and I believe Adria and Croatia Airlines will be the next carriers to leave the market. Well, that's what happens when LCCs increase their share in a single market. Followed by pushing (you can read it as blackmailing) the airport and the authorities for more discounts/subsidies (remember Zadar). Mark my words, the dispute is in 1-2 years.

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    5. A 'Mark my words' statement of impending doom and gloom was already overdue. ;)

      I think you're confusing Wizz Air for Ryanair. They might seem the same to the untrained eye, and I have sympathy for that.

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    6. lol at last anon

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  13. Will they be adding any new routes from Ohrid?

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  14. What Wizz did in SKP is that it brought the flying to the ordinary people much closer then it was before. Legacy carriers don't care so much about that, they are like machines most of the time, but Wizz actually stepped inside the live of the Macedonian people, hiring local people, sponsoring local events, etc. And as you can see it serves many destinations out from SKP, albeit mostly with 2-3 frequencies per week but for the ordinary people they don't really care about that, they can adjust their schedule to what Wizz is offering and go to a short trip to Barcelona or Venice. And for MOST of the Macedonian people, 3-4 days of travelling in Western Europe is as much as they can afford with their current salaries (and credit cards). I'm not sure what next Wizz can offer currently for the Macedonian market, but I think they already know well enough how the Macedonian people are using their services and what they need and offer new destinations. I personally flew with Wizz couple weeks ago to CPH and back and the LF was > 95%.
    Ohrid can be developed a bit more but in order for that to happen, the city needs to offer more options for vacation year round. Overall, I think the Macedonian people are happy with Wizz.

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    1. +1000 explained everything really.

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    2. Any chance of seeing Wizz's A321 in Skopje anytime soon?

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    3. If that will ever happen, I imagine it will be either London or Malmo.

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    4. people are pissed off of the recent high Wizz prices

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    5. That's probably because the demand has grown.

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    6. 10:32

      Hallelujah! Finally somebody has seen the light. Bang on the money.

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    7. so that means Wizz is flying empty out of SOF by selling cheap flights to Germany. Demand is only one aspect. Market condition is the other. being a monopolist at SKP allows them lot of freedom. When u have Ryanair in your neck you offer dumping fares

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    8. To reflect on what you wrote, it's market supply you're referring to, with demand being the other part of the equation. Having more capacity in the market does force you to offer lower fares, but new capacity will only come in if it is deemed seemingly under supplied.

      In other words, if Wizz Air was ripping people off in Skopje Ryanair would've already been there. Guess why it isn't.

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  15. I hope this deal with Wizz won't be affected by the political changes in Macedonia. Bringing Wizz was the work of the former government.

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    1. yes, but now we will finally find out whether the deal was clean

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    2. I don't think the new government would risk this deal with Wizz. It's one of the more popular moves of the past government. Even if the deal was corrupt.

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    3. Taking into consideration only new routes are being supported and most of the traffic is self-sustainable, I don't see why it would suffer on its own.

      Not that I couldn't imagine scenarios where this success story would get poisoned. But let's celebrate for the time-being instead. =)

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    4. Well don't be so sure. Macedonia's likely new Culture Minister has announced a complete halt to the quasi-baroque revamp of the capital known as Skopje 2014.

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    5. Linking the Wizz Air deal for support of new routes to Skopje 2014 is a bit of a stretch, don't you find? =)

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  16. wow well done. Wizz added capacity to Macedonia each year since they started flying which is great. I wish them all the best.

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  17. A monopolist ruling party (dictature) created a monopolist low cost market. (they basically runied the free market with their pink-customized "tenders")

    Macedonia needs more diversity in terms of lowcost-airlines

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  18. I would like Ryan or Easy to come to provide some competition and offer more choice to passengers other than Wizz.

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  19. How are their numbers in BiH so low? Which low cost airlines are taking W6 monopoly away?

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    1. Pegasus, Flydubai, Eurowings, Air Arabia and Norwegian Air Shuttle which are all considered LCC.

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    2. They still have almost 50% of the low cost market.

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  20. Could Wizz have 1 million passengers to Skopje this year?

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    1. They will easily. It even says in the text. "As a result, it will handle over one million passengers on flights to Skopje this year."

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  21. So in July SKP will get 4 new destinations, these 3 from W6 and Qatar to Doha, not bad. Plus an increase in frequencies for some of the current routes.

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  22. Over the top dominance in my opinion.

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  23. Why don't they acquire a Macedonian AOC? I mean they are handling over one million passengers to the country.

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    1. Because then they would actually have to pay for something.

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    2. But don't they have their own AOC in Ukraine?

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    3. They used to but not anymore.

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    4. They will need an AOC in Macedonia if they want to expand in the future because they can't cover a number of routes due to bilaterals, i.e not being a Macedonian company.

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  24. SKP needs to have connection to OTP, SOF, IEV

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    1. Lol, maybe WAW and MSQ while you're at it.

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    2. MSQ don't think so, but for WAW definitely

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  25. De facto Macedonia's national airline.

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    1. national airline? lol

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    2. It is national only in draining the national budget.

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    3. A national airline would have drained it even more.

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    4. If Wizz was that good, Germany would shut down Lufthansa and ask Wizz to be their de facto national airline :)))

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  26. Why so much hate for Wizz here?

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    1. Hate? This word is so overused on this site.

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    2. We are just discussing Wizz Air's business and ops which is the topic. Nothing sinister. I think the discussion is very civil.

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    3. #yeahright

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    4. when you compare baggabe allowance between the lowcost airlines ... nothing but hate for Wizz

      small cabin bag my ...

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    5. But I'm sure you don't mind flying out on a 20 EUR fare and choosing your own baggage mix instead of paying for everyone else?

      What's that I hear? They only have 20 EUR fares in off season and counter direction to where the actual demand is? But you insist on flying for 20 EUR in August? It's tough to please some people, I know.

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  27. Fifth aircraft in 2018?

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    1. And 99% market share :D

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    2. I don't think there are many markets left for them to serve from Skopje.

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    3. Hypothetically, if 5th aircraft will be based in SKP, I would guess these new destinations:

      Tel Aviv
      Geneva
      Madrid
      Warsaw
      Lisbon

      2X weekly

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    4. Birmingham, Liverpool(you have a lot of macedonian with bulgarian passport who work there) Baden-Baden, Moskow and Geneva... this is all ... :)

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    5. Tel Aviv and Moscow can't be launched by Wizz unless bilateral air agreements between Macedonia, Russia and Israel are renegotiated to include Wizz Air, an EU registered airline flying between two non-EU countries.

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    6. dream on....
      INI has much more potential for these destinations because of the bigger & richer Serbian diaspora abroad, and INI can serve also Skoplje & Kosovo catchment area

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    7. +1 last anon

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    8. Anonymous May 31, 2017 at 3:27 PM
      Are you serious or just trolling? Where is this rich Serbian diaspora? Serbia has the same diaspora as Macedonia. Don't forget that Skopje is at least 2-3 times bigger city than Nis.

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    9. + in 2016 SKP had 8 times more passengers than INI, so its rather that SKP is a catchment area for south Serbia than the other way around

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    10. AnonymousMay 31, 2017 at 5:41 PM
      Serbia has much bigger diaspora than Macedonia.

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  28. SKP needs to be connected to important cities and not just Germany Germany Germany.
    You have LIS, you have MOW, MAD, CLJ, DUB, KRK, LED, KBP, TLL!

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    1. Agree. But I doubt we will be seeing any flights from Russia soon with the current political climate.

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    2. Skopje need flights to SOFIA and ATHENS. Get education.

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    3. Skopje need to be connected to LIS DUB KBP and TLL? What ever you are smoking, I want it...

      Absolutely delusional...

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  29. I wonder if the new government will revisit plans to create new Macedonian national airline.

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    1. That's way too expensive.

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  30. You're welcome. =)

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  31. Skopie has no european perspektive without its history and cooperation with Greek Republic and Bulgaria.
    Skopie need to maintain Sofia and Athens flights. They maintain only immigration.

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    1. SKP needs flights not only to ATH and SOF. They need also to OTP, IEV, WAW, CDG, FRA, LHR

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  32. OT: Wow!

    https://scontent-frt3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/fr/cp0/e15/q65/18588858_10155325253706575_8497852258024791784_o.jpg?efg=eyJpIjoidCJ9&oh=9c4fe4604aa44feaa0c14a13dbbc1c16&oe=59B1F3ED

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    1. Errr... sorry, don't get it. What's so wow about the pic - is it the aircraft or the building you are "wowing" about, or both ?

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  33. OT

    3 widebody on the way to Croatia, 763, 787, 773

    :)

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