Friday, October 27, 2017

Macedonia in talks over new airlines and routes


The head of the Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency, Goran Jandreoski, says the government is in talks with airlines over the introduction of two new "attractive" routes from Macedonia, which should launch next year if negotiations prove successful. Mr Jandreoski stopped short of disclosing the names of the carriers due to confidentiality reasons but noted that the state is trying to encourage companies already flying to either Skopje and Ohrid to expand their offering by providing consumers with a greater variety of nonstop destinations to and from Macedonia. "In the interest of not disclosing information about the negotiations that are being conducted by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, since they are still in the working phase, I cannot provide additional details about these new routes. We are discussing two new attractive destinations. With our joint efforts, I hope we will be able secure these two for next year", Mr Jandreoski told the Macedonian Information Agency.

LOT Polish Airlines and Turkey's Onur Air recently held talks with the government over the possible introduction of flights to either Skopje or Ohrid. Furthermore, Transport Minister Goran Sugareski met with the Israeli Ambassador to Macedonia, where the two discussed the establishment of flights between Tel Aviv and Skopje. Earlier this month, Aegean Airlines announced it would launch services between Athens and the Macedonian capital next year, while both Nordica and Brussels Airlines have scheduled new seasonal flights to Ohrid for the 2018 summer season. Concerning the upcoming winter months, Mr Jandreoski noted, "Generally, there is no major increase in destinations, with exception to the increase in the number of Wizz Air operations to destinations such as London, Basel and Malmo".

The head of the Civil Aviation Agency noted that a new local airline has recently registered for a permit for the transportation of passengers and goods from Macedonia. However, the process is yet to be completed in its entirety. Mr Jandreoski said in a previous interview that stimulating foreign airlines to launch flights to the country has paid off. "I have to emphasise that the government's strategy to subsidise certain flights to Macedonia has generated outstanding results. On the one hand, it significantly increased the number of people travelling from and to the country, and, on the other, it increased mobility amongst Macedonian citizens", Mr Jandreoski noted.

128 comments:

  1. So Wizz Air adding two new destinations next year?

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    1. probably since they are implying these routes will be served by an airline already flying to/from Skopje.

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    2. I highly doubt the government and aviation agency would be negotiating the two routes with Wizz. These are probably completely new airlines that want to enter the market.

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    3. Maybe they are negotiating about how to support the routes in terms of subsidies so it could be Wizz.

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  2. TK to New York :)

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    1. haha good one.

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    2. Don't laugh too hard
      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/09/skopje-airport-to-support-transatlantic.html

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    3. No, I will still laugh.

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    4. evo ja cu da mu se pridruzim hahaha

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  3. More regular airlines with flights to actual hubs please.

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    1. I can't see how some legacy airline such as Lufthansa, Air France, BA or KLM can start flying to SKP because of the "deal" the authorities have with W6 and because some of their alliance partners already fly to SKP.

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    2. What "deal" with Wizz Air? I highly doubt they made a deal with Wizz that no other airline could fly routes they launched. Besides, none of those legacies fly on routes Wizz Air operates from SKP.

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  4. Do we know when Aegean will be putting those Skopje flights up for sale?

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    1. they have already asked for slots and have became members of BSP Macedonia so I assume fairly soon.

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    2. what is BSP Macedonia ??

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    3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billing_and_settlement_plan

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    4. It will be interesting to see the fares between ATH and SKP.

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  5. Skopje should be connected to major European cities by a legacy carrier. SKP doesn't have flights to airports like FRA, LHR, CDG, AMS.

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    1. Doesn't have to necessarily be a legacy airline but someone like Transavia to Amsterdam with the option of buying onwards KLM flights on one ticket would be great.

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    2. The demand is there for Frankfurt, Moscow, Munich and Amsterdam which are being covered by Croatia, Air Serbia and Adria through Zagreb, Belgrade and Ljubljana.

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    3. I can't believe there was no demand for flights Munich-Skopje-Munich!

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    4. Maybe Dusseldorf-Skopje could have worked better.

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    5. No. Most Macedonians in Germany live in Bavaria. So Munich, also being a more important city than DUS, should have worked.

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    6. Bavaria is covered by W6 (FMM, NUE, and FDH are less than 200km from MUC). W6 flies to 8 (eight) destinations in Germany from SKP. Enjoy!

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    7. Well, about Dusseldorf, Wizz flies to CGN/DTM combined together - every day, but here is still room from that area.
      Also as they said before,there are flights to FMM, NUE, HHN, FDH, SXF, HAJ, HAM...some rumors for FKB, maybe LEJ od DRS and they got good cover of Germany.They can work on frequency though.

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  6. If they can agree for Ryanair or easy jet to start flying to SKP, it would be more than enough and I would imagine SKP would go to 2+ mil pax next year if they'll start flying.

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    1. Unfortunately, I doubt we will see Ryan in SKP as long as Wizz Air rules the skies. They wanted to come a couple of years ago, even publicly announced it and then Wizz opened 4 new routes on potential Ryanair destinations.

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    2. Ryan have enough troubles. They have cut 18000 flights this winter and grounded 25 aircraft. How exactly do you see them starting to fly to a new city they didn't fly to before?

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    3. Norwegian Air Shuttle also announced 2 years ago that they were very interested in flying to Skopje and then nothing. Is it because of Wizz?

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    4. And most of the people over here in Macedonia got used to Wizz, they love their product and personally I've seen many of my friends which never flew before getting on an airplane for first time. As much as some people are trying to bash W6, they've done very good job for relatively small market such as Macedonia

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    5. @ 9.20

      They have been having trouble for maybe a month and it this problem will be solve by March next year.

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    6. Why would anyone want Ryanair in SKP? Will they open a base? Will they hire local crew? Will they fly to primary airports from SKP? Will they operate connecting flights? Answer is no for all of them.

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    7. So they can break up the Wizz monopoly on many routes and bring down the price of tickets which have increased a lot lately.

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    8. @ Anonymous October 27, 2017 at 9:24 AM
      Even if they manage to solve their problems by March I doubt they will that aggressive before they are sure again that they won't have the same slip again.
      @Anonymous October 27, 2017 at 9:30 AM
      The answer to most of your questions is YES. Ryan do fly to primary airports, Ryan do operate connecting flights and they open a base in SKP they will hire locals!

      Greetings from SOF

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    9. The original plan was for them to open a base and start new unserved routes form Skopje (otherwise they would not have received any subsidies). But I don't know why they gave up in the end. The talks were at a very advanced stage.

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    10. I'm not bashing Wizz Air or a Wizz Air hater but I'm hardly surprised at their success in Macedonia. I would be expanding like crazy if I had privileged status, no competition and assistance for new routes. They also chased out Ryanair the first second it looked like they could get some actual competition.

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    11. They had the initiative to start flights to Macedonia, contact the government and make an agreement to open a base. Others could have done it if they wanted. First comes, first serves. Simple as that. Wizz was the only one to have seen the potential in the Macedonian market and now they are reaping the rewards.

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    12. We need legacy carriers not more lcc's!!

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  7. A friend of mine flew Qatar Airways to Doha 3 weeks ago and he told me based on his guess in economy, the outbound was 2/3 full and the inbound was 1/4 full. I'm guessing QR will still need to promote the line a bit more. I can't wait to fly with them soon, two business class flights coming soon, one to SIN from SOF and one from SKP to HND :). Hamad Airport is enjoyable.

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    1. Qatar Airways started off fairly slowly to Belgrade as well so I think the loads at this point are normal. It will be interesting to see if Flydubai and Qatar can both keep flying to SKP.

      QR certainly has one of the best premium products in the skies. Have a nice trip :)

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    2. Fly dubai are increasing frequencies to SKP this winter, so they are here to stay and compete.

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    3. Maybe Qatar should have initially flown to Skopje via another city or maybe they could have flown DOH-SKP-LJU and later when they established themselves on the markets divided the routes.

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    4. I also have 2 outstanding flights this winter, but I booked both via FZ- the search engines I use (mostly swodoo and opodo) offer best fares with FZ (actually its shown as an EK flight with a FZ first leg). Furthermore, FZ had a sale in October and QR still hasn't launched a qatar travel festival.
      Then comes TK and the most expensive fares (destinations in South-East Asia) out of SKP are offered by QR.

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    5. Try www.aviokarti.mk they have very compatitive rates when it comes to South-East Asia out of Skopje.

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  8. Well LOT, Aegean, Onur Air and Arkia for next year would be a job well done.

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    1. +1

      Aegean will happen for sure but not sure about the rest. LOT would probably have already announced Skopje if they planned to start flights next summer.

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  9. When they change the airport name there could be a boom in charter flights from Greece over the summer.

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  10. How do they define "attractive destination"? Anyway, hope it's something exotic :D

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  11. Shame about Eurowings cancelling its planned flights to SKP this winter.

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    1. Anyone know why they cancelled it?

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    2. Poor ticket sales. There was no demand.

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    3. still cant believe that there were low sales results.

      They should have tried to fly the route at least for a year.

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    4. The smartest thing would be for Eurowings to have launched Vienna - Skopje and end the Austrian monopoly.

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    5. perhaps that is why (and this is my speculation) SKP-MUC was cancelled. Officially it was "poor loads" which I tend to suspect.
      If they introduced these- they would've definitelly hurt OS, since MUC is a much better hub than VIE, both to western Europe and also to Northern America.

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    6. from german forums: they cancelled BCN and SKP due to shortage of aircrafts

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    7. Shortage of aircraft for MUC-SKP, but no shortage of aircraft for MUC-PRN? Hmm...

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  12. very good news for Skopje. I would like Ryan or Easy to come, just for a bit competition.

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  13. The more SKP gets new route the more difficult it will be for ex-Yu airlines. I personally don't think either JP, OU or JU can sustain flights to Skopje based only on point to point travel.

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    1. The more legacy airlines SKP gets the more the ex-Yu airlines will be affected. More flights by LCCs not so much.

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  14. And what about that new company registered in Macedonia?

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    1. I hope it's serious. Would be really nice to have a local airline back in the skies.

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    2. Wizz air Macedonia?

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    3. wasnt it Samsonenko??

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  15. Plans for 5th plane by Wizz?

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    1. They just based their 4th plane in SKP this year, I think it's too early to talk about fifth plane.

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    2. four planes are enough, since SKP will run out of gates if 5th plane will be based, for the morning departure wave :D :D

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    3. dont forget that OS,JP,OU and JU (summer only) have a night stay in SKP as well

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  16. Great news for Macedonian consumers again.

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  17. Anyone know how the route to the Swedish village of Vaxjo is performing since W6 already flies to Skavsta, Gothenburg and Malmo?

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    1. :D "Swedish village"

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    2. Also how are bookings doing for other destinations introduced this summer like Malta?

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    3. All of them are performing well. Skopje-Budapest has performed beyond expectations.

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  18. One of these please - Madrid, Lisbon, Birmingham, Kiev, Mallorca, Tel Aviv, Warsaw.

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    1. It will be the last two you listed.

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    2. Who on earth would fly from Skopje to Birmingham.

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    3. Kiev might be a surprise with some Ukrainian based airline though

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    4. Possibly Windrose.

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    5. sorry but one of them is Athens

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  19. Apparently there are plans for a new round of subsidies to be offered next year so we may see new airlines and routes.

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  20. Well done Skopje. I think it will surpass Pristina next year.

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    1. It's interesting how the Macedonian government's incentives stimulated flights to Skopje yet Pristina Airport incentives have not really attracted many new airlines there.

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  21. I'm glad they have become more proactive in attracting ailines other than W6.

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    1. +1
      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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  22. I would love to see a Ohrid-Sofia (seasonal) service or a Skopje-Solun service to connect better to the neighbours. Small ATR´s could do a perfect job. A Moscow route is also necessary!

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    1. I think there used to be a Skopje-Sofia flight. What happened with that?

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    2. and SKP-TIA,
      between Skopje and Sofia there is a decent road connection, and as far as I know, the infrastructure in Albania is not that good - it probably takes forever to get to Tirana from SKopje.

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    3. @Anonymous October 27, 2017 at 10:49 AM
      FB used to operate the route via TIA. For some reason they stopped even it had very decent LF.


      @Anonymous October 27, 2017 at 11:38 AM
      Where you saw this decent road between Skopje and Sofija? When is the last time you took it?

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    4. anon 11:38 - it was my assumption, since i know people drive to Sofia (one of the reasons-no other alternative available) - i personally have never been to Sofia

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    5. I wonder if Bulgariaair can fill one of those Embraers Sofija-Skopje until the two countries are connected by a highway (maybe in year 2300 that may happen). Maybe O&D is not enough due to the closeness but they could apply the same model as for BOJ and VAR (I heard they are mostly doing O&D except for domestic connections)?
      + FR and W6 are attacking them on all fronts so they might be looking for new markets like SKP and TIA

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  23. 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. So I agree that these two new destinations will be Tel Aviv and Warsaw.

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  24. After Ohrid I hope Brussels Airlines will consider Skopje.

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  25. Does Wizz Air fly from Skopje to Beauvais?

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  26. 2018 is gonna be a great year for Skopje.

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    1. I hope SKP comes close to 2 million this year and over 2 million in 2018.

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  27. It's great SKP is attracting more and more airlines.

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  28. Everybody is hoping for flights to Moscow. Will they materialise is a completely different matter. I dont know if there is enough demand for SKP-MOW flights.

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    1. Pobeda 2 weekly could work.

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    2. Nish is currently in talks with Pobeda over flights.

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    3. Why would Pobeda fly to Skopje before serving SOF or OTP?

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    4. Uhhm maybe because both SOF and OTP already have air links to Moscow with Aeroflot or Bulgaria Air in Sofias case, SKP isn't served by any of these airlines.

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    5. Also Russians don't need visas to enter Macedonia. They do need them for Bulgaria and Romania.

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  29. Is this blog like extremely famous in Macedonia or what? So many comments about *possible* new routes...I mean routes are announced to Croatian airports on a daily basis (literally) and I stil fail to see articles about allegedly new routes from CRO and dozens comments on it. This is an odd place to be.

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    1. Why does it bother you so much? There are almost daily articles about Croatia. Why do you have a problem that people discuss new routes from Macedonia once every few months?

      I have noticed that so many Croats here are so up themselves and have some sort a superiority complex. Get over yourselves and stop speaking down to others.

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    2. I believe admin makes a very balanced job with this blog.

      but if its an odd place to be- nobody is forcing you to visit.

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    3. Well it doesn't really bother me it's just seems so unimportant news and it gets sooo much attention, that's why I wrote that I think this blog is very popular in Macedonia as Macedonians are a small nation, but the number of comments here would not say that.
      About the Croatia comment you slipped in, bro Croatia is so far ahead of you that you can't even see our shaddow running like hell behind us to catch up. Now you're free to talk about superiority complex, chew on that bone.

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    4. I don't have to chew on anything. It just shows what kind of person you are and proves my point that many Croats here just belittle others and talk down to others. Get a life and grow up.

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    5. He made a very similar comment on another Macedonian article a few weeks ago. He has some issues. Can't live with the fact that people might want to discuss something else other than shout "Bravo Croatia" all day long.

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    6. Ahead in what way, please elaborate. Maybe the number of young, educated Croats that left Croatia this year for greener pastures.

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    7. its the same guy that didnt like the Aegean news recently, so obvious

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    8. "This is an odd place to be"

      Stop making comments here, start your own blog and make sure it's not odd by talking about your projections for amazing growth of your airports.

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    9. Slow day in the office, we cannot have let's say highly interesting topics for everybody daily; maybe todays topic is not interesting or bombastic for whole area, but it can be for Macedonia. Who doesn't find it interesting is free to skip it and visit the blog tomorrow at 9AM. Regards to everybody from Zagreb!

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    10. @Anon 12.39 PM

      And I am sick of reading all the Croatian comments and Croatia related topics. Get a life, Croatia is not the only country in this World. No wonder why everyone on the Balkans thinks that Croatians are conceited.

      I am happy to read articles about Macedonia as well as I am happy to read something about Slovenian aviation. I think at least 90% of the regular readers here with some IQ want to see the whole Balkans to improve instead of complaining about others.

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  30. I don't see the point in Onur AIr opening IST-SKP. There is already TK plus a low cost airline - Pegasus on this route.

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    1. More choice and competition is always welcomed. But I think Onur is primarily interested in Ohrid, as far as I remember that is what the minister said.

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    2. Pegasus is making a killing on SAW-SKP route, mostly Turkish tourists. Great loads. I think there is room for a third airline on this route.

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    3. Yep around 69,500 passengers carried by Pegasus to/from Skopje in first three quarters.

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    4. That's very good. Any idea how many passengers Turkish carried?

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    5. Around 131500

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    6. Thanks! That's a lot of pax to Istanbul.

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    7. i think TK will fly more then doubly daily (something like SOF just been announced)

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  31. It is possible that TUIFly Belgium will start CRL-OHD, but more likely in Summer 2019.

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  32. Absolute must destinations: SOF or VAR, OTP, SKG, MAD, WAW

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  33. In my opinion will be great if EZY steps in the game, and Ryanair and some point will arrive.
    WizzAir will make a good choice if they add a Route to Lisboa, MK are pretty attracted by Portugal.

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