Skopje Airport
European market underserved

Macedonia’s main aviation hub – Skopje Alexander the Great Airport is currently suffering to sustain the growth it had in 2007. There is a lack of interest on behalf of international carriers with only 12 scheduled airlines operating to the airport, most of which are from the former Yugoslav republics. As a result passengers are forced to transit through Vienna in order to reach other destinations. Current trends show a strong need for new flights from Skopje to European cities.

Trends show that direct flights to German cities could be very profitable from Skopje. There is a concentration of Macedonians in Berlin, Bavaria, Hamburg and the Ruhr. 62.295 Macedonian citizens were living in Germany in 2006, although Macedonian sources claim the true number of Macedonians to range from 75.000 to 85.000. As a result daily flights to Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich could be potentially profitable. Flights to Belgrade have managed to captivate many travellers from Skopje which are now choosing to transit through Belgrade onto further destinations. This has also been seen by the increase of flights on behalf of Jat Airways to the Macedonian capital. Most passengers continuing from Belgrade continue to London and Paris. There is such a large numbers of Macedonians continuing their flights to the capitals of the United Kingdom and France that 3 weekly flights from Skopje would be profitable to both. In France there is also a significant Macedonian diaspora totalling 15.000. Developing business cooperation and a large Macedonian population in Denmark (12.000) could make 3 weekly flights from Skopje to Copenhagen profitable. Also, it important to remember that all of these flights could be operated via Ohrid, Macedonia’s second hub, which could further increase passenger numbers on flights, although this would depend if the Macedonian Aviation Authority would allow foreign airlines such a practice, most probably not however there have been some cases where they have, for example Jat Airways operated from Skopje to Belgrade via Ohrid.

Due to the small size of the Macedonian aviation market there is currently no need for transatlantic flights. Most transatlantic passengers from Macedonia travel though Vienna.