Onur Air plans Macedonia flights

Turkish low cost airline, Onur Air, intends to launch flights from its hub at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport to Macedonia. The airline outlined its plans at a meeting with the Macedonian Minister for Transport and Communication, Goran Sugareski, as well as the operator of the country's two international airports, TAV. "I had a fruitful meeting with representatives of Onur Air. They explained to me in more detail their plans to expand their network into Macedonia by establishing new flights. We, as a government, have an obligation to do our outmost to develop air traffic, and, in that sense, we will support any airline that wishes to fly to Macedonia", Mr Sugareski said.

In line with the government's strategy of attracting more low cost carriers to Ohrid, the minister outlined to Onur Air the benefits of flying to the city. The airline boasts a fleet of 24 aircraft and almost forty destinations, including a comprehensive domestic network. Within Europe, it runs scheduled flights to Russia, France, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Ukraine. Currently, Turkish Airlines and Pegasus operate scheduled flights between Istanbul and Skopje. The Turkish city is the busiest route to and from Macedonia, holding a 12.4% passenger share during the first three quarters of this year, while Turkish Airlines is the second busiest carrier in the country behind Wizz Air, which maintains a base in Skopje.

Earlier this week, Aegean Airlines announced it would launch services between Athens and the Macedonian capital next year, while both Nordica and Brussels Airlines have announced seasonal flights to Ohrid for the 2018 summer season. Furthermore, Mr Sugareski has held talks with the Israeli Ambassador to Macedonia, where the two discussed the establishment of flights between Tel Aviv and Skopje. The minister briefed the Ambassador about the necessary conditions and procedures that must be finalised prior to the service launch. Arkia Israeli Airlines currently maintains seasonal flights from Tel Aviv to Ohrid, however, there is no service between Skopje and the Israeli city.