Aegean maintains Skopje launch plans


The Greek government has confirmed that Aegean Airlines will go ahead with its plans and launch services between Athens and Skopje this year, marking the resumption of flights between the two cities after more than a decade. Greece's Alternate Minister for Foreign Affairs, Georgios Katrougalos, confirmed that the service will be introduced by year's end. The Greek carrier announced last October it would resume flights to Skopje in June of 2018 but has since told EX-YU Aviation News that "Aegean has conditioned its operation in Skopje to the resolution of certain contentious issues". It added, "When and if the Hellenic Republic assures us that such issues have been resolved, we will indeed begin operations".

The Greek government is set to give the all clear for Aegean to commence the new service to Skopje in the near future. Mr Katrougalos noted, "We see this as a positive development, like every measure that promotes economic cooperation between our two countries. This route will become operational during the course of the year". Skopje Airport's name posed as one of the main obstacles for Aegean to resume operations between the two capitals. Formerly known as Alexander the Great, the airport was renamed in March. Skopje was Aegean's first scheduled international destination back in 2003, however, flights were discontinued in 2007 as relations between Macedonia and Greece deteriorated.

Aegean Airlines is continuing to grow its network in the former Yugoslavia for a fourth consecutive year in 2018. Besides its planned Skopje service, the carrier recently launched operations to Zagreb and will introduce services to Zadar next week, while there will be further capacity and frequency upgrades on its other destinations. The Greek carrier is now also considering introducing seasonal summer flights to Sarajevo in 2019. "The former Yugoslav region is an important market for Aegean Airlines. Demand for these routes remain strong as passengers are able to travel to Athens and beyond. Our performance is satisfactory on this market, as is the cooperation we have with partner airlines in the region. Almost all flights from the former Yugoslav republics to Athens offer very good point to point coverage, as well as access to thirty Greek domestic destinations, connections to Cyprus and destinations in the Middle East and Southern Italy, which have proved popular with passengers from the Balkan region. Aegean is considering increasing frequency on existing routes as well as adding further destinations in the region", the airline previously told EX-YU Aviation News.

Comments

  1. Great news. They will also offer good transfer options.

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    Replies
    1. They will offer more choice and competitions to Macedonian passengers to Greece and the Middle East.

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  2. How many weekly frequencies can we expect?

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    Replies
    1. I think there is demand for daily flights.

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    2. More likely to be around 5x per week.

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    3. How many times per week did they fly before?

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    4. In 2003 they started with five weekly flights.

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    5. Today A3's network is far larger so they can offer a lot of connections via ATH to SKP passengers.
      I also think that once flights start they will quickly increase to daily.
      SKP airport s really on fire this year!

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    6. How much is ZAG?

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    7. ZAG is 4 days a week. 1247.

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  3. Good, I thought they had given up on the idea.

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    1. And all we had to do is change the country's name -.-

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  4. not worth a comment, these cynics

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  5. Will be interesting to see the fares.

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  6. I assume with Olympic Air Dashes?

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  7. Just love the Greeks, in the end...a nation with so much values. Congrats SKP! OHD is definitely next.

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  8. So another legacy airline after LOT starting flights to Skopje. Good news indeed.

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    1. Joins Austrian, Adria, Turkish, Air Serbia, Croatia Airlines, CSA, LOT and Qatar Airways. So much for people who saw SKP only has LCCs.

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    2. SKP actually has more legacy airlines than Ljubljana.

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    3. Hope more are to come

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    4. Is there a list of ex-YU airports with year-round airlines flying there?

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    5. SKP has more legacies compared to LJU but does SKP have direct flights to main airports such as CDG, AMS, SVO? LJU does not have flights to Vaxjo or German villages for example.

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    6. Is LH considering to introduce Munich or Frankfurt?
      AlItalia ever flew to Skopje?

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    7. Eurowings cancelled plans to fly to Skopje even though tickets were on sale so I don't think we will see Lufthansa anytime soon. Alitalia did fly to Skopje. It suspended the route 2 years ago.

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    8. Tnx. Yes, now I remember. AZ had flights. Interesting that Wizz managed to squeeze them out with just two flights a week?

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    9. As per this article on ex-YU

      "Alitalia left Skopje this year due to internal problems, not poor loads. It handled 45.000 passengers on its Rome route this year and a 73% load factor", he said.

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2016/12/live-southeast-europe-aviation-summit_14.html

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    10. AZ is constantly in trouble. Shame, Macedonian travellers could have good connections.

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    11. im surprised by that load factor tbh if true

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    12. Why? It was an E75 not A321.

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  9. Skopje Airport will handle 2 million passengers this year for sure.

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    1. Yes, seems realistic for 2018 in my opinion.

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    2. well they only need 7% growth to reach that number

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    3. somewhere between 2.04-2.1

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  10. What is an “alternate” minister for foreign affairs?

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    1. In the Greek political system, each ministry has an alternative minister. Kind of like a deputy.

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  11. So who is pushing back these flights, the greek gov or Aegean? From the press conf I understood that the airline is pushing back ... which is weird

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  12. Maybe they do not have an available aircraft. Plus the issue is really sensitive. Now even more than 10-15 years ago.

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  13. Now they serve almost all of ex-yu and still no flights to Ljubljana :/

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    1. They flew to Ljubljana in 2016 and it didn't work out.

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    2. With such high prices Aegean will fail in ZAG too ... nobody from LJU or ZAG flies to ATH (or Greece in general) for business, but for holidays. It's a pity, in LJU they would be an excellent alternative to Croatia, holidaywise.

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    3. Aegean extended the flight schedule to ZAG from end of September to end of October. And they are examining whether they will keep it year round too.
      Demand for travel to Croatia is great, also for travel to Greece.
      Facts show that they don't have trouble filling up those flights.

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    4. Seems like only 5% more than last year wanted to visit Zagreb in April. I think demand is being overestimated.

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  14. Their presence in the former Yugoslavia is quite impressive.

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  15. Let's hope that the flights will be year round.

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  16. I hope the flights will proove successful as Macedonia and Greece have strong economic relations.

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  17. can Aegean start seasonal flights from Skopje to greek islands cause there is a lot of demand for visiting islands such as Rhodes, Mykonos, Cyprus etc.??

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    1. na neroden Petko kapa mu krojat...

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    2. I don't think that the market is big enough yet. Plus it faces competition from SKG which has flights to this destinations and a lot of people drive or take the bus to this airport.

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    3. if there ever will be scheduled flights form Macedonia to a greek island its probably going to be W6, but they are not very keen on seasonal routes are they?

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  18. if Wizz starts this route, A6 can say goodbye to this route. the 20 pax transfering to CAI etc. will not be enough

    same for BEG-ATH. i dont know what are they waiting for

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    1. U slučaju Beograda ima mesta i za jedne i za druge. Air Serbia Atinu svrstava u jednu od najboljih ruta, sa 15pw letova ove godine stvarno impresivno. Pritom i Aegean leti sa A320 3-4pw

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    2. Air Serbia takođe leti 14pw za Solun, a uprkos tome obavi i nekoliko stotina čartet letova za ostrva u Grčkoj. Znači potražnja je ogromna

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    3. Визер није неуништив, повлачили су се они са тржишта до сада.

      Ето следећег месеца укидају Букурешт-Ларнака, поразили су их Таром и Блуер.

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    4. Wizz can only rely on O&D demand. JU and especially A3 can transfer pax through their hubs to many more destinations.

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    5. and there is enough O&D for low cost flights

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    6. but if they succeed in tapping into the Macedonia-Western Europe transfer market (see LOT's idea) then they could survive a W6 competition in SKP

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  19. I'm happy they haven't given up. It's a bit late to begin during summer now but hopefully by winter.

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  20. Great for SKP to have this route, but it is politically boosted. There is no demand for ATH and this route will not work out. 1 flight per week is more than enough.By the way, WIZZ already have built an infrastructure here, 4 planes ( maybe 5th coming ) , 2 A321 coming this summer, many routes, more than 300+ directly and indirectly employed. Honestly, no one will pay 300-500eur to fly to CDG when they can fly for 30-50 eur to BVA ( including road transport total 80eur ). Please stop with stupid comments like there is no route to CDG AMS etc, 10 people are not demand for direct route. Topography of the people here is not that they want first class or luxurious flights, they just need cheap transport to and from homeland.

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    1. yet there are 2 daily OS,TK,JP,OU,JU flights .... come on

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    2. Anon 1:43pm ATH with no demand? Are you serious?
      W6 recently opened a base there, FR too.
      W6, FR and A3 fly daily from OTP and SOF and even W6 has flights to from Athens to Kutaisi, Georgia which is not even a capital.
      BEG-ATH is also successful.
      ZAG-ATH this year will be the start with 4 weekly Dash.
      Even TIA has daily A3 flights to ATH.
      That said, I predict SKP-ATH will be one of the most successful routes and a top destination within the upcoming years.
      Please, review your comments before undervaluing ATH! Thank you.

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    3. There is no W6 base in ATH.

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    4. Annon 2:13pm No demand from SKP to ATH as PAX flying from SKP 88% fly to western Europe and Scandinavia. ATH is attractive destination for many more but not for SKP. There is not even a bus line for previous 10 years SKP - ATH. The Only connection that Macedonia had with Greece was a bus line to Thessaloniki ,but its gone. Most Macedonians visit Greece in summer period for leisure on Chalkhidiki.

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    5. dude, ATH is not gonna be only O&D. You obv have no understanding of legacy carriers.

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    6. Guys, I disagree with you. There is NO chance that Skopje-Athens proves to be unsuccessful. Summer its connections to the Greek islands + business and winter is a bit of leisure and mainly business traffic similar to the neighbouring countries.

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    7. another that one only thinks in O&D. With your logic there shouldnt be flights to Belgrade & Dubai as well because there is not enough demand from Skopje but they are successfl. half of Aegeans pax is going to be transfer to West Europe or Middle East

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    8. O&D is the future of travel, my dear. Ask the Australians if they prefer to travel from Perth to London direct or transfer in SIN, KUL or HKG. Enough is enough with transfers.
      A3 still relies on transfer because of the Greek islands. Once Fraport fixes them, they will get their own direct flights and will no longer rely on A3.
      In 10 years time, there will be literally 20 airlines in Europe.

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    9. Anon 8:40
      So much ignorance in just one post!
      Well I guess congrats are in order...

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    10. "once Fraport fixes this..." *facepalm

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