Macedonia to decide on new national carrier

Macedonian government still committed to national airline project

The Macedonian government is determined to establish a new national carrier and is expected to make a final decision on the issue in 2016, more than six years on from the demise of MAT Macedonian Airlines. The Dutch-based InterVistas Consulting Group recently compiled a detailed traffic forecast for the government, as well as a financial feasibility study, and gave recommendations on whether a new national airline is needed and whether the company could be financially viable. Furthermore, the consulting firm devised a timetable outlining the pace at which the new airline should be formed. The Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency believes a new national carrier will further develop the country’s aviation sector and enhance Macedonia’s socio-economic development. However, a final decision on the project will likely come after next year's early parliamentary elections, which have been called for April 26.

The Macedonian government has already outlined that a new national airline will have to comprise of at least 51% local capital and with no less than one aircraft registered in the country, either owned or leased. Furthermore, the government has maintained that subsidies issued to low cost airlines, such as Wizz Air, for its flights out of the country, will be retained regardless of whether a new national airline is launched. The head of the Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency, Goran Jandreoski, noted that the country has 63 registered commercial pilots, most of whom work outside the country but are ready to return home, as well as a further 74 technical personnel, all of which could assist with the new airline.

The Turkish TAV Airports Holding, which runs both of Macedonia’s international airports, has previously said the country is in need of a national carrier which would help develop its aviation sector. “TAV wants to compete with airports in neighbouring countries and attract foreign airlines. If you do not have a national carrier, then you miss out on the opportunity to attract airlines from other countries. This is because of commitments outlined in bilateral air agreements. We are trying to attract foreign airlines to Macedonia and establish a national carrier, otherwise air traffic in the country will stall”, the airport operator previously said. It added, “What is lacking is a national airline. ‘Macedonian Airlines’ must be established. We have invested in airports and Macedonia should invest in its own carrier”. In the past, Turkish Airlines was tipped as a frontrunner in partnering up with the Macedonian government to establish a new national carrier. Over the past twenty years, Macedonia has had two national airlines, both of which subsequently declared bankruptcy.

Macedonia's previous national airline, MAT, which folded in 2009, handled 215.409 passengers on 3.021 flights with two aircraft during its last year of normal operations. It registered an average cabin load factor of 71% that year and maintained scheduled flights from Skopje to Zurich, Vienna, Istanbul, Rome, Berlin and Hamburg, as well as seasonal summer flights to Amsterdam. Furthermore, the carrier operated services from Ohrid to Zurich throughout 2008. In addition, the Macedonian carrier maintained charter flights to Sharm el Sheik and Hurghada in Egypt, Antalya and Bodrum in Turkey, as well as Monastir in Tunisia. MAT was only the second flag carrier in the former Yugoslavia, after Croatia Airlines, to introduce electronic ticketing and online booking.


  1. Anonymous09:06

    Macedonia invested nothing in MAT as it was practically a private airline given a contract to act as a national carrier for 10 years (until 2010). Had they invested 50% of the money they gave to Wizz Air it could have developed into a respectable company. It had a decent route network and service. Unfortunately most will remember them by their last few months of operations which were hectic to say the least. Now the government wants to invest in a new airline + keep giving out subsidies to low costers (which the EU commission has warned them about and will probably have to end sooner or later). Makes me wonder why the Macedonia CAA was MAT's biggest enemy and why they were so eager to shut them down over night.

    1. Anonymous09:20


    2. Anonymous12:03

      They didn't really invest much in Wizz Air. I wish people around here had a basic understanding of the scale of investment necessary before they make any statements.

    3. Anonymous18:12


  2. Anonymous09:10

    If you already give out cash to Wizz Air and it has become you de facto national airlines, this is just a waste of money.

  3. Anonymous09:22

    People talk a lot about some Air Serbia monopoly in Belgrade but fail to realise that Wizz Air has a bigger share in Skopje then Air Serbia has in Belgrade. I don't think the government's idea is bad. They don't want to put all their eggs in one basket BUT it is very expensive.

  4. Anonymous09:33

    What would they call it?

  5. Anonymous09:34

    Skopje should be connected to major European cities by a legacy carrier. At the moment, Skopje doesn't have connections to FRA, LHR, CDG, AMS, CPH, BRU, MUC, DUS, MXP. It is one thing to have connections to low cost airport and a whole another to have connections to major airports, and easier connections further on to the rest of the world.

    1. Anonymous09:35

      *to low cost airports, typo.

    2. Anonymous09:41

      +1 completely agree

    3. Anonymous18:14


  6. Why not buy an old A320, 737, or MD80 and start a charter business.

    -Government ad-hoc charters
    -sports teams charters
    -holiday agency charts
    -Summer gasterbajter charters
    -Ohrid tourist charters
    -military transport
    -short term ACMI lease

  7. Anonymous09:42

    Ako vec planiraju kompaniju trebaju se fokusirati ili poceti neku saradnju sa PRN i TIA da obavljaju i sa tih Aerodroma letove posto ni oni nemaju nacionalnu Aviokompaniju i mogli bi odlicno da zarade .
    A za flotu mislim da bi trebali da nabave
    4-6 Q400
    2-4 B738

    1. Anonymous09:54

      I agree

    2. Anonymous10:08

      Thir plan was to have a similar fleet as INN says - a few B737s and a few regional aircraft. They got a brand new Embraer (straight from the factory) a few months before they went bankrupt. Unfortunately, they couldn't pay for it and it got returned. Then they went for the Bombardier (which is pictured). If they had state support they could have payed their debts and the airline could have developed nicely. You could have brought in Wizz Air at a later stage as well.

    3. Purger12:51

      Iskreno ne vidim gdje bi oni mogli letjeti sa Q400. Možda Beograd ali pod uvjetom code-share sa JU, Rim ali tu već leti AZ i to bi bilo ekstremno rizično, te nategnuto Beč, no to bi bilo ravno samoubojstvu uz OS. Za SJJ, TGD i OTP, nema kruha, LJU i ZAG su predobro povezani sa njihovim kompanijama, TIA (297 km) i SOF (243 km) su puno preblizu, ATH je politički škakljiva, za IST ne može biti isplativ sa DH4.

      737-800 je prevelik avion za njih, čak i 737-700 bi bio prevelik. Ja bih se bazirao na Embraeru i za početak uzeo jedan E75 i dva E95, a kasnije još jedan E75 i jedan E95. 6 Zrakoplova je više nego dovoljno za Makedoniju u srednjoročnom razvoju. Naravno moguć je i neki drugi regionalni avion (CRJ, CS, SSJ)

    4. Anonymous13:44

      MAT had a codeshare with OS (after MAT disappeared OS immediately stepped in with additional flights since SKP is important for their north american network)

      In other words OS will be more then happy to have someone to codeshare to SKP so they can use half of their flights to somewhere else

    5. Anonymous16:25

      G Purger
      Upravu ste sto se tice flote ali nisam mislio da svi Q400 budu u SKP stacionirane nego po jedan u TIA i jedan PRN .
      2 737/ 738 imala i to dobrog posla iz SKP.

    6. Purger19:08

      Dislociranje jednog Q400 stvara enormne troškove. Baziranje jednog aviona jest moguće u LCC konceptu, no nije se pokazalo isplativim kod flag carriera. Samim time molio bih da mi objasniš kako bi organiirali maintenance za po jedan avion u tri huba koji su izuzetno blizu i od kojih od središnjeg huba ni jedan od ostala dva ne bi mogao imati isplative putničke letove, već bi morao imati konstantan ferry radi maintenacea. Gubitak vremena i novaca. Takva logika nema nikakve šanse.

      Konačno kamo bi letjeli Q400 iz PRN i TIA?

    7. Anonymous20:13

      Tamo kuda lete belokapici prvenstveno sa prn, tia je dobro pokriven, italija svi manji aerodromi i atina.

    8. Anonymous22:39

      G Purger mislio sam ovako :
      Naravno ne previse Q400 mozda 2 a ne 4 kao sto sam napisao .

    9. Purger23:50

      Svašta, baš stvašta napriča, sinko moj.

      ZRH je puno predaleko za ekonomsku ekploataciju Q400 iz SKP i TIA. Uz to za ZRH je konkurencija ogromna, iz SKP 13 tjednih letova sa 4 kompanije svi sa jetovima (dobar dio i sa A320). Pa dobro kako bi, do vraga, tome mogao konkurirati sa Q400?

      VIE je na granici rentabilnosti za letove sa Q400. Tu je jet već ozbiljno konkurentan. Uz to iz SKP OS radi 11 tjednih letova sa F100 i A320, a i u TIA lete sa jetom 10 tjednih letova. Uz tu frekvenciju sigurno ne bi radili code-share sa na neku nepoznatu kompaniju koja tek kreće, a pogotovo ne sa Q400.

      Beograd ni sama Air Serbija nema dobar LF za SKP i to je jedna od linija koja je najozbiljnije skresana u kapacitetima i frekvencijama s obzirom na početnu ekpanziju. Kako bi onda JU ušla u dodano povečanje kapaciteta. Kad bi to već i napravila učinila bi to sama, jer lokalna kompanija ne može pokriti frekvencije u valovima koji odgovaraju JU.

      Uz to na realnu flotu od 3, maksimalno 4 aviona u početu nelogično je imati dva toliko različita zrakoplova. Niti na 8 potencijalnih aviona, što je plafon za Makedonskog prijevoznika nama kruha za po 4 različita tipa zrakoplova. Dakle čak i da 4 Q400 imaju gdje letjeti, neisplativo je imati dualnu flotu na toliko malo zrakoplova.

      Dakle još jednom, napisao si tonu nebuloza, koji nemaju niti malo veze sa realnošču i elementarnim poslovanjem zrakoplovnih tvrtki.

    10. Anonymous00:07

      Druge kompanije isto to rade ja nemam pojma nema veze.

    11. Purger00:58

      Sto to sine?

      Kompanije koje tek nastaju, nemaju konkurencije kreću letjeti letove sa Q400 gdje već leti profilirana konkurencija sa 13 tjednih letova sa jetovima? Moš si mislit da postoje takve budale!

      Ima bisera koji lete sa Q400 distance poput SKP-ZRH, eto Croatia leti ZAG-BRU, ZAG-CPH, ali takve budale obično stavljaju svoje kompanije u crveno, CTN uključeno.


      1. Q400 nema gdje letjeti iz SKP, TIA i PRN

      2. Ne možes sa Q400 konkurirati linijama koje su dužine za jet i pritome privuči potencijalne putnike, te biti profitabilan.

      3. Makedonska firma ne može toliko narasti da bi imala dulanu flotu jer po 4 zrakoplova jednog tipa je financijski neisplativo i organizacijski neodrživo. A 8 aviona u makedonskoj floti su mokri snovi. Mogu biti presretni ako ih natuku 4 sveukupno.

  8. Anonymous09:43

    With two planes, MAT was much more effective than BH airlines which is illustrated by their passenger numbers. Like someone said they could have been a good airline and had a lot of room for expansion, not to mention the fact that they could have become Kosovo's main airline, something Adria has done since.

    1. Anonymous10:07

      Yap Kosovo main airlines have tendency for bankruptcy.

  9. Anonymous09:57

    Liked MAT's livery

  10. Anonymous10:16

    If they do set a airline it should be with a foreign partner with a 49% share. That would be a completely different ball game then to that of MAT.

  11. Anonymous12:09

    Basically no news, just restating old facts with no actual numbers revealed.

    The reality is this is a much heavier investment than anything they've done so far that will yield a much lower return, both in terms of pax and profitability. Why TAV is pushing for it is obvious, they don't want to invest anything themselves, but reap all the benefits. Otherwise no real benefits for anyone involved except for a handful of well-positioned characters. Typical Balkan business.

  12. Дечко Тзар13:29


    *** BREAKING NEWS ***

    US DoT announcement today regarding Air Serbia

    *** BREAKING NEWS ***

    1. Дечко Тзар13:31

      duh, already in news flash

    2. Anonymous13:50

      For code share only. No direct flights and no flights with air Serbia equipment and crew.

    3. Anonymous15:38

      For code share flights only

    4. Anonymous16:06

      Application was for codeshare, but they mentioned plans to operate in the future.

    5. Anonymous18:18

      Can you give us a link? This is serious!

  13. Anonymous18:17

    I think that this will be a nice idea. Macedonia needs a legacy carrier. Hope that the government will take that decision. I belive that the best thing is to create a joint venture with another small airline from the region (Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenja or Bulgaria).

  14. Anonymous18:43

    Does anybody know whether QR will start direct flights from BEG next year? I read somewhere it is starting in March, but when trying to book its still via Sofia. One thing I know is that numbers are picking up, but not sure if its enough for direct flight. Maybe we will see Sarajevo being added with Belgrade with BEG being direct.

    1. Anonymous22:01

      Probably the thing with SJJ will happen.

  15. Anonymous18:44

    ot: premijer danas izjavio za Er Srbiju: "da nema političkih prepreka verovatno bi kupila dve ili tri kompanije u regionu".

    shut the front door! ako je region ex yu, onda su od velikih jedino moguće Montenegro, Croatia i Adria!!! zašto bi bilo prepreka kad im svima trebaju investicije i kupci!

    1. Anonymous19:00

      Koliko ovaj čovjek lupeta, sramota od premijera!

    2. Anonymous19:18

      Pa tko mu brani. Hajd još bih shvatio da bi netko mogao i kočit prodaju Croatije, ali i ta vremena su odavno prošla, no za Adriju, a posebno Montenegro i B&H Airlines nema boga da bi mu netko smetao.

      Ali vidi se napredak. Sad se bar kupuje u regiji. Uzevši u obzir njegove izjave čudim se da nije izjavo da je pitanje dana kad će Air Serbija kupit Lufthansu, British i Air France i to sve odjednom. U gotovini. Majko mila...

    3. Anonymous20:08

      Bas mu treba jedna budala za sovijetnika. Vlade tih zemalja nisu spremne preuzeti velike dugove tih avio kompanija sto poznate sto prikrivene. Zato ih sve ocekuje zatvaranje.

    4. Anonymous22:35

      Da li je premijer Srbije ujedno i direktor i predsjednik nadzornog odbora Air Serbia?

    5. Purger00:22

      Prvo, Croatia Airlines nema dugova jer je na sebe dugove 2011. preuzela država, a nakon toga firma je bila profitabila (OK prodajom aviona i motora, ali nije gomilala daljnje dugove). Drugo, Croatia ima avione u vlasništvu koji su zavidan kapital, ima skupe slotove, ima nekretine, odličana meintenance sa tri hangara koji donosi ogroman novac, ima članstvo u alijansi i rejting. U ovom momentu ta kompanija je dobra za kupnju. I raspoloživa je. Ne kažem ja da se trgaju kompanije za nju, ali ne vidim nikakvog razloga zašto je JU ne bi mogla kupiti. Ako to JU hoće može ju kupiti iste sekunde. Dakle premijer lupa tonu gluposti.

      Još su veće gluposti da ne bi mogli kupiti Adriju ili Montenegro (koji će se prodati za kikiriki, ako i tako), te B&H Airlines koji je otišao vragu pod račun i država bi dala što god samo da se opet pokrene. I ovdje premijer priča tonu gluposti.

      Nije prepreka kupovine tih kompanija politika, nego nedostatak sredstava na računu Air Serbije ili proračuna Republike Srbije.

      Ali ništa novo, pa preimjer je bez imalo problema izjavio:

      1. Kako JU ima više putnika od svih ostalih ex kompanija zajedno (Adrija, Croatia, ECA, Trade air, Montenegro, u to vrijeme i B&H Airlines), što je toliko daleko od istine da je groteskno.

      2. Premijer je izjavio kako je BEG postao najveći balkanski aerodrom a pritom je zaboravio na veće Thessaloniki i Heraklion, te deleko veći Bucharest, Atenu i Istanbul. Dakle čak 5 aerodroma na Balkanu je bitno veće od Beograda.

      3. Premijer je izjavo kako ni jedan aerodrom na Balkanu nema letove za SAD što je jednako tako neistina pošto ih imaju i Atena (Delta, United) i Istanbul (Delta, Turkish)

      4. Premijer je dvije godine ko papiga najavljivao linije za SAD (u večini slučajeva spominjao je New York, Chicago i Toronto), plural, a na kraju se sve svelo na jednu liniju sa pet tjednih polazaka.

      Nakon svega toga, iskreno, nema ni najmanje kredibiliteta davati ovakve izjave. Iskreno uz ove četiri izjave gore, ova sa političkom barijerom koja priječi kupnju kompanija je ipak najgluplja i najsmješnija do sada.

    6. Anonymous00:38

      Sve se polomise da vas kupuju, pricas obicne nebuloze, skrivenih dugova ima previse. Previse.

    7. Purger00:51

      Croatia nema dugova! Kompanija je totalni shit, profitabilna je prodajom obiteljske srebrnine, još 3-4 godine može tako, a onda na bubanj kad ponestane slotove, avione, hangara, tehnike i motora.

      No, mi sada ne pričamo jel Croatia dobra kompanija za kupnju nego to da je premijer rekao

      1. da u ovom trenutku ima novaca da kupi 2-3 kompanije - što je totalna glupost na 40. potenciju. Jel to ista ova država kupuje koja nije u stanju platiti niti udio u Air Serbiji nego to mora kompenzirati kroz besplatne usluge na Aerodromu Beograd? Ili to kupuje kompanija koja je dvoznamenkastim postotkom smanjila broj letova dok svi drugi rastu? To komapnije baš rade kada cvjetaju ruže!!!!

      2. da ima političke prepreke da to učini - a ovo je glupost na 100. potenciju. Upravo suprotno 4 kompanije u regiji se prodaju za kikiriki i jedva čekaju kupca.

    8. Anonymous09:08

      Ne prodaju se za kikiriki i imaju nekooperativne vlasnike.

    9. Anonymous09:29

      Anon at 12:38 AM

      tvoja konstatacija otkriva tvoj karakter a i potpunu nesposobnost da uočiš o čemu se uopšte ovdje priča. Kao što je Purger naglasio, ovdje se ne priča o "Croatia Airlines-u" nego o tome šta sebi premijer dozvoljava da izjavi. Uz to, nekoliko puta je ponovljeno da Croatia nije neka perspektivna udavača a ja bih dodao da je u ovom momentu u ništa lošijem stanju od onog u kojem je bio JAT kad je prodat. Medjutim, ti nepotrebno konstatuješ da je voda rijekama ledena jer je novembar mjesec.

      U dodatku, što se tiče premijera, radi se o liku koji je obični pravnik (oni su obično operisani od života, bar ovi sa Balkana) i koji nikad nije radio čak ni u svojoj struci nego bio Šešeljev potrčko, dakle vukao se u politici od malih nogu. On nema ni nivo ni kapacitet da vodi vladu Srbije. Njegovo ponašanje je alarmantno samo što na Balkanu, od Triglava do Djevdjelije, narod nije svjestan ničega, niti je za šta zainteresovan, pa ovakvi premijeri uporno prolaze. Premijer ne konta da premijerski poslovi nisu petljanje u vodjenje nekakve avio-kompanije koja uz to 49% nije u vlasništvu države i glumljenje portparola iste nego nešto sasvim drugo. Non-stop lupanje po medijima takodje nije u opisu poslova premijera bilo koje države.

    10. Purger10:10

      ano 9:08:
      Prosaju se za kikiiki. Vlasnici (države) su očajni.

      Adrija je upravo izjavila da će pristati i na otpisivanje dugova, samo da kompanija ode jer inače slijedi bankrot.

      Croatia naglašava da bi bila presretna sa 30 milijuna EUR i to investicija, dakle ne novac u državnu blagajnu, nego u flotu i razvoj. Znači da bi bila sretna i sa 20 milijuna. A samo samo avioni koji su u vlasništvu vrijede nekoliko puta više od toga, o slotovima, nekretninama, tehnici... da i ne govorimo. Kompanijini dugovi su već preuzeti od strane države.

      BiH bi bila sretna da netko pokrene novu kompaniju i traži samo investiciju u flotu i pokretanje operacija.

      O očajnosti Montenegra da i ne govorimo.

      Dakle za kikiriki. Pa da netko kupi Croatiju u ovom momentu i proda samo jedan avion u vlasništvu već je vratio investiciju. A ako ne uspije okrenuti kompaniju protat će tehniku, slotove, ostale avione, nekretnine... nema šanse da izgubi novac.

      Samo gdje bi u ovom momentu Srbija ili JU našli 20-30 milijuna EUR za kupnju kada i ovako desetke milijuna moraju investirati u Air Serbiju.

  16. Anonymous20:35

    So from this article we couldn't really understand the most crucial piece, whether the Dutch company had a positive assessment on the new national carrier or not.

  17. Anonymous22:46

    jos malo pa ce air serbia da kupuje i emirates airlines, koje glupusti prica taj covek, svi znaju da air serbia nebi bila tos to je ako iz nje nebi stajao etihad

    1. Anonymous00:31

      "AirSerbia ne bi bila to da nema Etihada"?! Pa?! Stoji Etihad.

  18. Anonymous02:19

    Would love to see a Macedonian carrier in the sky again

  19. Anonymous10:05

    Macedonia is a prosper country so they are able to afford an airline to themselves. If I were in their shoes I would buy nothing less than wide-bodied jets.


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