Turkish Airlines privileged in Macedonia

Turkish Airlines Macedonia’s only regular carrier
The Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency has confirmed that Turkish Airlines has been given the status of a “regular carrier”, thus granting it numerous privileges over other airlines operating to the country. Experts believe that the regular carrier status is another step towards Turkish becoming Macedonia’s national carrier. Turkish Airlines, which operates daily flights to Skopje, will now have exclusivity over other airlines in selecting destinations as well as landing and handling fee exemptions at Skopje and Ohrid airports. Turkish Airlines is the only to have been granted the status of a regular carrier in Macedonia, with Mat Airways having the status of charter airline until June. TAV has been lobbying since 2010 for Turkish to become Macedonia's national airline.

The former head of Macedonia’s two airports says that the country must have a national carrier because every serious state does. Macedonia has so far had two national airlines, Palair Macedonia and MAT Macedonian Airlines which replaced Palair following its bankruptcy. MAT ceased operations in 2009 upon the order of the Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency under the pretext of a faulty aircraft. However, the airline was also high in debt. Skopje Airport handled the most passengers in 2000 when it saw over one million passengers and in 1999 when it handled 970.000 passengers. This summer B&H Airlines will launch flights from Sarajevo to the Macedonian capital while Jetairfly will operate seasonal flights from Brussels to both Skopje and Ohrid. The Civil Aviation Agency says there have been no other applications for new flights this summer. ČSA Czech Airlines will terminate flights from Prague on March 24.

Meanwhile, the former head of the Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency, Zoran Krstevski, who was instrumental in the grounding of MAT, is under investigation on suspicion of corruption. It is believed that Krstevski misused the Agency’s funds and is accused of reckless spending on mobile phone bills and car petrol.


  1. JU520 BEGLAX10:18

    Bravo Macedonia. Smart move. TK is a good airline and with TK there is a future.

    And also there is no need for own national carrier, seeing all the other ex YU republics having only troubles with it s carriers.

    1. Anonymous10:47

      exactly. you can t count on JU/OU/JP anyway. So go for TK !!!!

  2. GVA_Cointrin10:32

    Glad you like this move, BEGLAX.

    However, I'd be interested if this is subject to change change if another airline actually based an aircraft ;)

    1. JU520 BEGLAX10:50

      that sounds interesting :-)

    2. Anonymous11:10

      true - very tricky.
      However, given that Macedonia's position in aviation is considerably worse than Croatia's and Serbia's (or Slovenia's for that matter) I say this is a decent option.

      Skopje may become a tiny Turikish hub. Its future and sustainable growth will be somehow secured, but Macedonians may experience the limitations further down the road - let's say in 2020 when Skopje reaches 2 mil pax and decides that it wants to expand its operations with more airlines and connections.

  3. Doot11:25

    "the country must have a national carrier because every serious state does"


    What's the 'national carrier' of the USA?

    Does this mean that Turkish Airways will be able to fly from Skopje to anywhere?

    1. It should depend upon approval of the destination country's civil aviation authority.

      More specifically, related to the ECAA countries, TK should NOT be able to fly from SKP there because it is not (1) 50%+ ECAA owned and also because (2) Macedonia has not finished phase 2 of ECAA implementation. There were exceptions however, like JU carrying revenue pax between Portoroz and Rome a few years ago, but that should probably fall into public service obligation clause because Portoroz almost had no flights at all then...

  4. Anonymous12:27

    sorry for asking this here, maybe someone has a clue:

    why is Adria SKP-MUC-SKP 100€ cheaper then MUC-SKP-MUC?
    ( Turkish is even 150€ (!!!) cheaper SKP-MUC-SKP compared to MUC-SKP-MUC, same goes for Austrian...)

    Its unfair ;)


    1. Anonymous13:02

      Probably because paying 2 times the airport fee for Munich which is larger than the one for Skopje :)

    2. Anonymous13:11

      Econ 101: price is as high as market is willing to pay, and since diaspora has more money...

    3. Anonymous13:12

      fee might be more expensive, but that is not explaining the 150€ difference. not at all.

    4. GVA_Cointrin13:27

      How did you come to the conclusion it's more expensive?

      If you check SKP-MUC-SKP vs MUC-SKP-MUC for the same dates, the price is never going to be the same due to directionality. You can only compare, for instance, the second leg of SKPMUCSKP (MUCSKP) vs a matching first leg of MUCSKPMUC (MUCSKP), and check whether the prices are the same under same parameters - product class, fare class offered etc.

      If you're not doing this kind of check, then you can get to the same conclusion for any airline. Just check Easter fares departing Western Europe and departing Eastern Europe..

  5. Anonymous13:32

    well,the non-existing direct link between Germany and SKP is mainly due to the diaspora NOT "willing to pay" the high fees set by the airlines, so they travel by car and buses

  6. CX_75314:48

    Absolutely ridiculous... The Ottomans are back in the Balkans, this time with their rip-off fares...

    1. JU520 BEGLAX15:46

      CX 753:

      the Ottomasns are back in the Balkans. Perfect. I like it. Thanks to them, SKP has a great airport.
      LH took over Swiss. Who cares? Swiss is flying high again. People have a job, get their regular wages and in Switzerland we have direct connections to many attractive long haul destination. What do I want more. Better let the Turks have some direct flights ex SKP to whatever the market will allow them, than having an own carrier, being grounded each couple months or years or wait like in BEG,ZAG and LJU for ever for better times.

      as a SKP bound passenger I only need a carrier who flies safe, with a good service and the right price. Considering the conditions in SKP currently plus the past years and considering the good reputation TK has, Turkish Airines is more than a good choice. It s a terrific option and we should be happy they decided to invest into the Macedonian market.

  7. Anonymous15:18

    Guys, whats this flight Belgrade Zagreb, marked as a test flight?

    1. Anonymous15:23

      I assume one of JUs grounded aircraft is going back into the air and they are doing a test flight.

  8. CX75316:30

    Turkish = Right price? Give me examples? They have rip-off fares everywhere and no one inside of Turkey flies them.

    Don't get me wrong, i have nothing against the Ottomans, i prefer them to the EU that's for sure.

  9. Anonymous17:38

    Oh people,
    where in this article is written that TK will
    actually make Skopje airport its hub?

    The only thing i can read is that they get privileges what means that the other airlines get discriminated in favour of TK!

    Dont think that SKP will attract more airlines
    especially not those who are competing with TK.

    In the end TK will only have to pay less than the others.
    No flights beside SKP to Istanbul by them...

    And best thing for TK...direct competitors Qatar Airways or FlyDubai will get pissed off to fly there...

    That you call first and second class treatment of its clients...

    but any good airport should apply rules for all airlines eqally!

    1. JU520 BEGLAX17:47

      that s right. I doubt they would have many flights from SKP. Still they could fly FRA-SKP-IST and have on both legs full rights..
      I don t really know what are important dest out of SKP, but I guess hubs like FRA,IST,MUC are always good.

  10. JU520 BEGLAX17:43

    Check their valentines special. Below rates are ex IST and in Y and C Class for one person. Your partner pays 1 EUR add on. However it says surcharges not included. Still flying for 1000 EUR plus taxes from IST to IAD in Business for two persons is a nice deal. Also I checked website Switzerland. They have deals around 200 CHF from BSL/ZRH to IST. That s cool enough

    Istanbul Europe, CIS Countries, Middle East and North Africa 199 EUR/RT 599 EUR/RT -
    Istanbul Johannesburg, Cape Town, Lagos, Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Entebbe, Dar Es Salaam, New Delhi, Mumbai, Karachi, Dhakka, Chicago, Washington, Seul, Osaka, Islamabad, Jakarta, Kabil 399 EUR/RT 999 EUR/RT -
    Istanbul Tokyo, Beijing, Sanghay, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Guangzhou, Toronto, Los Angeles, New York, Sao Paolo 399 EUR/RT 999 EUR/RT

  11. Bohemian17:52

    To last Anonymous 8:38,
    I hate the style you are writing!

    But have also to admit that everything
    you wrote is the sad truth...

    Same rules for everyone!
    No privileges!

  12. Anonymous18:13

    TK should also add more frequencies on route Belgrade-Istanbul, there is large demand. They must offer better schedule if they want to compete with SU, FZ and all LH Groupe.

    1. JU520 BEGLAX19:27

      agree with you. They have to be prepared once ME carriers will arrive to BEG.
      Their problem is the size of aircrafts they have in their fleet. smallest plane is 737-700. so two flights a day to SKP,BEG with 737-700 most probably to costly, except they would place them with perfect connections ex IST

      However right now:
      ETA in IST from Ex YU are:

      BEG 1725
      LJU 1735
      TGD 1530
      PRN 1635
      SJJ 1640 (JA code share 2055)
      SKP 1615
      ZAG 1705 (OU code share 1740)


      AUH 2015
      ADD 1850
      ALP 2320
      ALA 1945
      AMM 1840 and 2320
      TSE 1840
      BKK 1945 and 2340
      PEK 2345
      BEY 2145 and 2350
      CAI 2345
      DKR 1850
      DAM 2325
      DMM 2145
      DAR 1800
      DEL 1840
      DOH 2105
      DXB 2000
      DYU 1955
      EBB 1835
      EBL 2315
      HKG 2355
      SGN 2340
      ISB 1910
      JKT 2330
      JED 2055
      JNB 2345
      KHI 0030
      KZN 2110
      KRT 2115
      KWI 2155
      MHD 2050
      SVO 2150
      BOM 1835
      MCT 1935
      NBO 1835
      JFK 1740
      KIX 2355
      RUH 1935 and 2140
      ICN 2340
      PVG 2340
      SYZ 2145
      SIN 2330
      TAS 1855/2130
      TLV 0030
      NRT 1840
      SVX 2310

      so mainly ME destnations are ok but long hauls rather poor connections. NRT is on the way to Japan cool, but on the way back flight TK 51 arrives at 2000 in IST and has no more connection to ex YU cities. So if they want us to fly from BEG,SKP etc to Far East dest, they need to improve their schedule, especially considering the good connections avbl now in DOH with QR ex ZAG

    2. Anonymous01:22

      As far as I know they tried, even added 2 additional flights to Belgrade, but they couldnt get a permission from the serbian authorities. I really dont understand whats the deal with Turkey and Serbia regarding flights.. There is always some crap happening when it comes to both regular and charter flights.

    3. Well that is called protecting your own economy and it's happening all over the world concerning "strategic" routes.

      There are already 2 daily flights (JU and TK) on BEG-IST segment and Serbian CAA agrees only on equal increase of frequencies by both airlines.

      The first troubles started when various Turkish airlines introduced charters to PRN, which Serbian CAA regarded as a part of Turkish quota which had to be compensated by Serbian charter flights. Now there are regular TK flights to PRN, obviously Serbian CAA was the party that backed down mostly.

      In my view Serbian CAA should not be lenient towards the Turks as it has most of the arguments on it's side: (1) Concerning summer charters, they should be flown almost exclusively by Serbian companies, as they "transport" Serbian tourism imports (Turkish exports) (just look how the Brits, German or French act in a similar situation); (2) Concerning regular traffic, TK also generates added value by flying many of these pax. long haul, so they should be forced on SPAs and CSs with JU if they wanted more frequencies. Afterall, BEG has fairly good connections to East via other hubs so it is not of a strategic interest to add those frequencies.

      I would like that kind of approach towards LH also, but obviously some of our decisions in the past were made against our own interest...

  13. SuisseOuest18:30

    Does anyone has the faintest idea if/when can we see more frequencies from SKP to IST?
    They have good deals and many flights from CH, but connections from Switzerland to Skopje via IST are horrible - they all involve a night at IST.
    BTW, am I the only one who doesn't know how to use SKP website? Specifically, I cannot find a timetable! The link on the front page gives you the timetable for summer 2011 and arrivals/departures is out of date (you can see malev flights)...

    1. JU520 BEGLAX20:46

      don t find a schedule on their website at all.
      But u re probably still on the old website:
      the new one is skp.airports.com.mk
      SKP-IST don t know about more frequencies. I think Pegasus is also flying and u have Pegasus from ZRH as well. IST-SKP some flights in summer operated with 73J.
      bonne soirée a Genève

  14. Anonymous18:30

    Turkish airlines already has problem that no more monopoly of Belgrade-Asia is !

    First Flydubai and then also QR and if QR comes then it will be nonstop !

    Same in Zagreb,because of QR TK loose monopoly and
    end of year QR go nonstop !

    Concentrating on Skopje is sign of weakness for TK !

    1. Anonymous18:43

      Well, TK has two issues with BEG-Asia flights:

      1) Crazy connection times, 8+ hrs for PEK, PVG; way too much.
      2) 23kg baggage limit in Y and Y+, no option to pay for second piece

  15. Spoiled Brat18:41

    Where are our Macedonian bloggers gone?

    Dont think TKs new status is doing Macedonia a favour.
    Maybe TK as a new "national airline"
    will get subsidies from Macedonian taxpayers?

    With MALEV and Czech Airlines,
    Macedonians lost really good carriers...
    i bet both were very popular by people from Macedonia.
    Flights were always FULL!

  16. Anonymous21:42

    any reason why there was a Wizz Air flight from BUD to BEG this morning?

    1. Anonymous07:18

      They simply changed the plane in their BEG base.

  17. Anonymous21:43

    and an OK flight from Prague?

    1. Anonymous21:54

      probably some cargo flight

  18. Anonymous22:39

    American Airlines will not continue BUD service
    in summer 2012 ...

  19. @last Anonymous
    Doesn't surprise me. They declared bankruptcy. This means also that they won't venture with direct flights into the ex-Yu like some had been hoping for. Their aging fleet led to high costs as well as poor brand image for passengers. Sounds familiar.

  20. Anonymous22:52

    I am wondering if Hainan will keep the BUD route after the collapse of Malev?
    what do u think fellows?

  21. Anonymous23:59

    Hainan and Malev are not related with each other
    ...so i think nothing changes (?).

  22. Koni00:01

    AA will also discontinue Chicago-Helsinki flights
    : (

    1. Anonymous01:18

      thats actaully good news haha, we need flights to US from ex yu therefore there is a higher chance to get those flight!

  23. Anonymous01:45

    ...But never with an US airline !
    What a shitty mess those are .

  24. Anonymous09:31

    Krstevski was really and instrument to ground MAT Airlines. He has made money out of it.. there was also an Iranian connection involved...a deal which has not happened but he made money out of it. Now, we have no more Macedonian companies...TK, LH, QT and others are taking it, but Krstevski will take a jail!

  25. Anonymous17:14

    If Zoran Krstevski goes to jail I will be the happiest person on earth. This scumbag cheated everyone in the aviation business just to make money. He made 300.000 EUR only from giving the AOC to Skywings which was a joke of an airline, dangerous for the passengers at the least!

  26. Anonymous01:53

    I wrote two years ago in "Vreme" about his role in MAT grounding in an article titled as "Who has mated MAT". The saddest part of the story is that Mr. Krstevski had something personally against one of the owners of MAT. Namely, the MAT owner had overtook the girl of Mr. Krstevski and He was pist off on the MAT owner because of it. Can you imagine that it was a reason to ground MAT and to make 182 people jobless.

  27. Anonymous04:12

    Turkish Airlines will be named national carrier for Macedonia and they will introduce the first non-stop flight from a ex-yu country to the US after 20 years. This info was confirmed by a TK representative during an official TK promo event in the US.


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