Skopje records impressive growth

Busy November for Skopje as Darwin Airline heads to Priština

Skopje Alexander the Great Airport handled 62.371 passengers in November, an increase of 11% compared to last year’s 56.180. A total of 60.873 passengers were registered on scheduled flights, compared to 50.089 in November 2011 or an increase of 21.5%. The strong results were achieved due in part to Wizz Air, which opened a base in the Macedonian capital in late October. In November, the no frills carrier welcomed 15.565 passengers on its six newly launched routes from Skopje.

The strong passenger growth comes on the back of a lacklustre October when numbers plummeted by 9%. With strong growth and the prospect of a further Wizz Air expansion next year, Skopje Alexander the Great Airport is likely to come close to handling one million passengers by the end of 2013, the first time in thirteen years. The airport welcomed a record 1.000.200 passengers in 2000. However, this impressive figure had more to do with the political turmoil in the region rather than natural growth. In 2011, Skopje welcomed 759.928 passengers through its doors, its best result since 2000.

Meanwhile, the Swiss based Darwin Airline has announced it will be launching flights from Zurich and Geneva to Priština from December 14. Flights from Zurich will operate on a daily basis while services from Geneva will run twice per week. A Belle Air Airbus A319 will be used for the abovementioned flights. The airline will also launch services from Zurich and Geneva to Niš Constantine the Great Airport next week. Originally, flights were to be inaugurated tomorrow, however, the service launch has now been moved to December 22. The airline will operate services from Zurich and Geneva to Niš on its fifty seat Saab 2000 aircraft until January 20.


  1. Anonymous09:25

    Nis flights sold out? Than why they keep moving the dates for their first flight? Whats the source?

  2. Anonymous09:37

    Darwin Arilines to PRN, Hope they do any progress, You have Edelweiss Air,Belair, and Helvetic Air. Dont think they would have ane sucess on this route but who knows.

    1. Anonymous14:24

      Where comes from all that demand between Switzerland and Pristina?

    2. Anonymous14:39

      Are you serious? :)

    3. Anonymous21:44

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    4. Anonymous07:16

      Admin explain what was wrong with my comment that you removed????? I stated my experience of seeing quite a few of them in 2 days????

    5. The way you were referring to a certain ethnic group has led to flame wars here in the past.

    6. Anonymous07:00

      OH god now i cant call a ethnic group a name they call them self???

      Can Everybody watch this and get over the word????

  3. Anonymous09:40

    Jat is loosing money on most of lines from Belgrade. Serbia pays for its debts. So, it is not main principle that Jat should fly just profitable routes. That means Jat and Serbia discriminate South Serbia because in same principle Jat shout fly some of its unprofitable routes to Niš, not just to Belgrade. How can you explain that so big region with so many potential passengers can not have at least one dedicated ATR for flights to VIE, MUC, FRA, ZRH, IST, FCO, and few flights with 737-300 to longer destinations like BEG-SVO-INI-SVO-BEG, BEG-LHR-INI-LHR-BEG and BEG-CDG-INI-CDG-BEG.

    1. Anonymous14:59

      Because NIŠ HAS NO PAX POTENTIAL. and all the routes that u mentioned (SVO, LHR, CDG) are profitable for Jat. only connection that you need is to BEG, if we could find a small aircraft, like these EMB 120

    2. Anonymous15:28

      "Because Niš has no potential."

      It's so sad to see Serbian self-destructivity go on and on. You people need no enemies.

      I, for one, do believe INI deserves at least one based A319.

    3. Anonymous18:45

      How can you say that INI has no potential? 260.000 inhabitants comparing to 2.900.000 in Belgrade. So, at least 1/10 of Jat fleet should serve INI. Or you want to say that INI is so much poorer than BEG, or that it is not deserve same standard as BEG.

    4. Anonymous12:59

      Nis and Novi Sad should join Croatia.
      This is only way to prosper.

  4. Anonymous10:06

    Erm... you want to fly on an Atr from INI to FRA/ZRH/MUC... ?
    BEG-MUC was 02:45 back in the day, I was unlucky enough to be on that flight and it was horrible; even unbarable.

    When there is demand to fly from INI there will be airlines establishing flights. People are generally still poor there to travel by plane. Those who can go from Sofia or Belgrade.

  5. Anonymous10:40


    I am so happy for SKOPJE. I just talked to a friend who actually flew through the new airport and said it was nice.

    Though I might sound a bit nostalgic, but I miss seeing a Macedonian based airline there...would be nice to have PALAIR MACEDONIAN still alive with their striking red livery. I remember sitting in ATR 42 in 1990s and approaching Vienna airport...I still remember the first plane I noticed - it was PALAIR Fokker 100 :)

    Anyway, good luck Macedonia!!!

  6. Anonymous14:06

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. GVA_Cointrin14:15

    .. and this is merely the beginning. For the keen observers - for W6, SKP launch is more successful than the BEG one.

    Keeping my fingers crossed that TAV will follow modern pricing schemes for volume discounts, namely a second based A320.

    1. Anonymous14:21

      Well, is like not really a surprise that SKP is more successful than Belgrade for Wizz Air, there is not few dozens of companies already operating from there.

    2. GVA_Cointrin14:33

      Yours would have been a valid argument, had many other companies expanded their current operations from SKP. In the absence of such events, we can assume the market had already been optimally served under the current market conditions.

      In addition to this, if we assume SKP market is a smaller one than BEG, then an additional based A320 has a much bigger impact on business performance.

      "It's not a big surprise", but nobody else bothered to enter the market in this extent. However obvious it might seem to you, to me it is somewhat of a welcome surprise, and I don't think many others would've been able to do it.

      Looking forward to new destinations and an open way ahead for this progressive little landlocked country in the middle of the Balkans.

    3. Anonymous14:48

      Other companies would have expanded them without doubt if they were offered similar subsidies and if they were operating under a low-cost structure. However, that wasn't the case. Wizz Air already placed a second a/c in BEG. The real extend of their success in SKP will be seen when the subisidies will be withdrawn. I think SKP and PRN are becoming a bit over-dimensioned, while SJJ is completely down-sized compared to the function it should serve. Belgrade on the other hand is simply slowly becoming back what it should be, which is serving around 5 million pax/annum and being the most well connected airport in this part of Europe.

    4. Anonymous14:55

      How on earth did you conclude that SKP is more successful for Wizz Air than BEG? Because as I see Wizz serves more flights to BEG and is basing a second aircraft there is 4 months.

    5. GVA_Cointrin15:22

      Compare apples to apples, please - it applies to both posts above. Even in November, the lowest season, W6 has a better LF than when the BEG first a/c was launched (April, which is Easter season and a mini-peak in traffic, as a reminder).

      Remember, we're not talking about Skopje vs Belgrade as a whole, just a W6 comparison. I see some folks are very sensitive to cases where their assumed supremacy is questioned even indirectly. My intention isn't to poke into Serbian eyes, just stating the upside of Wizz Air's SKP launch. Relax, you're still the biggest, brightest and most beautiful around (heh).

      To address some of the points mentioned above -

      Subsidies for the new destinations will only be removed after three years, more than enough to negotiate a proper volume deal with TAV. That's what the original post was about, to begin with. If you think about it and calculate how those subsidies are split, you will find that no more they are no more than 9 EUR per *departing* pax, which is really insignificant unless your business model is so solid that it really makes an impact on the long run. The subsidies are only meant for a long-run commitment, and it's obvious nobody else was up to the task.

      I'm glad SKP has an independent self-serving government who's not afraid to push where it's needed. Otherwise SKP would've surely still be waiting on BEG mercy and be in the picking order after the likes of INI and SJJ. There are more than enough posts on this forum - even in this very thread - to support that.

    6. Anonymous16:42

      I have absolutely nothing against SKP expanding just your original claim had to be put into context and all the relativities that apply. That has been done right now so thank you for that, i agree with your opinion and great post. Cheers.

    7. GVA_Cointrin16:53

      Cheers mate. Looking forward to the expansion in both BEG and SKP. =)

      Hopefully in SJJ, BNX, OMO, TGD, TIV, INI, OHD and other places as well. I'll make sure they get the fighting chance they deserve ;)

    8. Anonymous18:04

      Hopes are slim for Zagrab though...

    9. Anonymous18:06

      Zagreb*, sorry.

    10. My God how pathetic you Anonymous (day by day) Zagrab&Zagreb*,are. I really feel sorry for you.

      I have absolutely nothing against BEG, or Serbia, or Serbs. Actually, I admit the fact that Belgrade is the biggest city in ex-yu, and BEG airport has biggest volume of traffic. I even wish if it were double, or triple.

      On the other hand, you don't want to admit that ELAL, British, TAPAirportugal, Iberia, Vueling, and others fly to ZAG, not BEG. You don't want to hear that concerning the size of the city& country, ZAG and HR have double or triple bigger numbers than BEG and Serbia. That CTN/OU is incomparably better (although not good enough) and have better and bigger numbers, too, compared to JAT/JU. That construction of new terminal in "zagrab" starts within 6 months, as well as new low cost airline which will, starting 2014, even before new terminal, dramatically improve ZAG numbers.

      I have absolutely nothing against the people who love "their", "national" people, companies, airports, countries, whatever, but you are obviously not one of those who just love. Your need to hate, offend and insult, without any ground and any reason, and bitterness towards "Zagrab" is not just not understanding, or being jelous about others. It is something I simply don't understand.

      But I thank God, and my parents, that I'm not like you.

    11. Anonymous19:42

      Pozdrav iz Rijeke,

      No need to justify yourself, we still remember some of your posts from a few weeks ago.

      Also, what makes you think 'when zagrab' is a Serb?

      You are right, Croatia has a few advantages when compared to Serbia. Though Belgrade might not have EL AL, British... we can still say that Belgrade has far more airlines and far more options, not to mention two airlines are based in Belgrade.
      Some other examples include two Middle Eastern carriers, two legacy carriers to Istanbul and a lowcost, Aeroflot will operate double daily flights in addition to JU's 10 weekly flights... so on and so on.

      I fear that you are like the rest of those nationalists, the only difference is that you are suppressing it.
      As I mentioned a few times on here, Croatia and Serbia can not be compared because the markets are totally different.

      Give Serbia some time. There are some really nice surprises coming our way. ;)

    12. Dear friend, you are telling me that BEG has more airlines and more options. I WROTE THAT in my post. You are telling me two airlines are based in BEG. So what? What's your point?
      Two airlines are based in ZAG too, CTN and TDR. You are listing Turkish and Aeroflot, and they fly to ZAG too. You are telling me that Croatia and Serbia are different markets. Ok, I agree completely to that.

      But then, you "defend" moron who all the time COMPARES those markets, and not only compares but INSULTS the "other" one, without any reason.

      And when I just want to explain him that he is wrong, then you "fear" I'm nationalist.

      You are asking me to give Serbia some time, like I was talking to, or about Serbia. Well, I wasn't, I just criticized one single person. And if in your head, one person means Serbia, than I have nothing else then to be sorry about you, too. Because, if I wrote how tipically "your way" your comment about my "nationalsim" was, then I would probably be even bigger nationalist.

      And just btw, I'm serbian by ethnicity!

    13. Anonymous22:06

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    14. Anonymous22:08

      That Zagrab thing is simply to provoke a reaction...
      You "pozdrav"should ignore him!
      Avoid to tap in that trap!

    15. Agreed Last Anonymous. I'll do so in the future. Best regards to all normal people here!

  8. deutsch hostler14:33

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. Anonymous18:07

    Macedonia a progressive country in the middle of the Balkans?
    It is a wonderful and deserving country but run down and on the brink of civil war if there would not be a lot of foreign pressure to hold it together.
    But as long as it is not Serbia it is praised as progressive, succesful and whatever...
    If you only listen to what people think about
    Anybody with a little brains should be fit enough to separate facts from propaganda.

    Skopje is the only really important city in Macedonia and was virtually abandoned by
    any decent airline till WIZZ Air saved them!
    It is always WIZZ that brings real progress into Ex Yu-aviation.
    Being a good or a bad airline does not matter.
    Important is that you now can fly nearly anywhere in Europe without stopovers.
    What WIZZ makes even more succesful than Belgrade is the fact they have no competition at SKP.
    Why should WIZZ not use this opportunity?

    1. Anonymous18:15

      This post is just dripping with arrogance.

      No propaganda is necessary, this kind of attitude is a major turn-off to begin with. Perhaps one day you'll see why, but I won't hold my breath.

  10. Anonymous18:46

    How can you say that INI has no potential? 260.000 inhabitants comparing to 2.900.000 in Belgrade. So, at least 1/10 of Jat fleet should serve INI. Or you want to say that INI is so much poorer than BEG, or that it is not deserve same standard as BEG.

  11. Anonymous21:56

    why don;t you say 6,5 million in Belgrade, its a center of the universe.

    Belgrade has 1.72 million (metro area) and that is it.

    So many stupid nationalist!!!!

  12. perhan22:02

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. Anonymous23:31

    Ja sam iz Srbije i ne mogu da verujem kakvi sve indijanci pisu na ovom forumu, ovi zagrabi i ostali, aj paljba,javljate se tamo iz Kanade, Amerike i pricate gluposti, i svadjate ovde narode, koji zele da idu napred, a vas boli uvo, ususkali ste se, i mozete odatle da raspaljujete nacionalnu mrznju, a u Srbiji i Hrvatskoj se tesko zivi i ljudi samo zele bolje da zive, koga briga za nacionalizam kad nemaju sta da jedu maltene, i sta zagrab i sta beg?? Beograd u odnosu koliko je veci od Zagreba trebao bi da ima mnogo vise putnika, Zg na 700k(1,1 metro) stanovika ima 2,2 miliona, a BG na 1,2(1,66 metro) stanovnika ima 3,1 milion, sto znaci da bi BG u trebao da ima 3,6/7 miliona da bi bio u porediv sa Zagrebom u odnosu na broj stanovnika, i to sve ne racunajuci da HR ima jos par dobrih aerodroma, ajde to je turizam tacno je, ali treba reci, HR je razvijenija zemlja i avio trziste je razvijenije, i ne razumem cemu vise rasprava, BG ima vise putnika ali ne onoliko kolio bi trebao da ima, plus za celu drzavu imamo jedan aerodorm koji radi normalno, ali ajde i HR tako da racuna, posto im ostlai aerodromi sluze za turizam i tad skupe putnike, ali kazem, razvijenija drzava, bolje avio trziste, CA zdravija kompanija, i cao, ne znam sto se ovi nasi toliko pale, oppusteno brate, svi se razvijamo polako, Bege ima sanse da postane vazan i mozda cak i hub ali ne preko noci.

    1. Anonymous07:27

      This year Belgrade airport will handle nearly 3.400.000 passengers.

    2. Anonymous07:31

      Јесте али опет поредиш бабе и жабе, баш као ти индијанци. Људи овде никада неће схватити да нема потребе да се пореде ове две државе јер једноставно тржишта су потпуно другачија. Мада, додао би да Загреб има и Бања Луку која за сада нема нормалне летове... тако да је њихов catchment area већи од 1.66 мил.

      Али не знам зашто би икога у Србији било брига за тамо неку Хрватску. Наше ваздухопловно тржиште је неупоредиво занимљивије.

    3. Anonymous13:07

      Serbian aviation market is 1/3rd of market in Croatia, but it is definitely very interesting.
      You could fly from BEGging airport only and that is it.
      Extremely interesting.

    4. Anonymous16:10

      Yes, the same thing with neighbouring Hungary or even the same thing with Slovakia or Slovenia.
      Not to mention that Greece has only two real airports, Athens and Thessaloniki. I do not really get your comment.
      Not to mention that you can't really fly from Croatia's regional airports, the choice is meagre. Most of the passengers there are coming in on charter airlines.

  14. Anonymous11:03

    Please let perhan talk

  15. Anonymous23:15

    well done!


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