Macedonia annuls LCC tender


The Macedonian Ministry for Transport and Communications has annulled a tender for the granting of financial support for the launch of new routes. Only one airline applied, however, the Ministry noted that the sealed envelopes did not contain the carrier's name and address as outlined in the tender documentation. "The Ministry would like to inform that it will announce a public call for the granting of financial support to air carriers in the shortest possible period, in order to enable the development of air traffic in Macedonia", the Ministry said in a statement. Although the airline in question was not named, Wizz Air was the only carrier to apply for similar state support in both 2012 and 2015. The low cost airline yesterday announced the introduction of three new routes to nearby Pristina.

Under the tender brief, those applying must have handled at least ten million passengers in 2017 and recorded a profit of 25 million euros. The winning carrier must establish and/or maintain a base with at least one aircraft in Skopje and Ohrid by December 1 at the latest for the duration of the three-year financial support program. Furthermore, the carrier in question must launch at least two new routes from Skopje by November 1 and four new routes from Ohrid, the first two by the end of 2018 and the rest a year after being granted state support. The newly launched routes from Skopje and Ohrid cannot be served from the other airport and cannot have been served over the past two seasons. In addition, every new destination introduced at Macedonia's two international airports must be run at least twice per week throughout the year.

The financial support includes a one-time payment of 40.000 euros for each new route launched, as well as nine euros per passengers for each new destination from Skopje for the first year, eight euros during the second year and seven during the third. On the other hand, the carrier will receive thirteen euros per passenger during the first year of operations on a new route out of Ohrid, twelve during the second and eleven euros per traveller in the third year. It is unclear wheather the terms and conditions of the new tender will be changed. The Macedonian government previously said that the "Tender process will be fully transparent", adding that "The focus of this state aid will be on the development of traffic at Ohrid Airport".

Comments

  1. Trouble in paradise?

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    1. I think a divorce is imminent. Lol

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    2. we are in year 7 btw :D

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    3. That would destroy SKP. Any reduction from Wizz would.

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    4. That's what happens when over 65% of your traffic is handled by a single airline. What has TAV been doing all this time? Only now have they woken up and started attracting new non-Wizz airlines.

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    5. If there is a demand airlines will come. Do not worry.

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    6. I hope TAV management will work on bringing more legacies: Lufthansa, Air France, SAS...

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    7. What for exactly? I would rather travel more affordably. I hope they bring more LCCs.

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  2. This seems like a really odd decision.

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  3. How will their expansion at PRN affect SKP?

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    1. not much. People will shift from Air Prishtina, Fly Orange, Mafia Reisebüro to Wizz

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    2. TBH, PRN is currently doing a better job compared to SKP in combining both legacy and LCC.
      It has a nice mix of primary, secondary and tertiary airports. After all, having prestigious destinations such as CDG is always a plus.

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    3. And I think there will be even more interest for airlines at PRN once visa restrictions are lifted, which is expected soon.

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    4. If they are lifted.

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    5. It's no longer a question of if
      https://www.euractiv.com/section/enlargement/news/eu-commission-gives-nod-to-kosovo-visa-liberalisation/

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    6. Interesting. Now it's more obvious why Wizz is willing to finally bite the bullet and started positioning for eventual based aircraft.

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    7. it seems to me like basing a plane in PRN is the next step. From December they will have 5 routes to PRN.

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    8. What really surprises me is how TIA has grown. It currently has traffic that can be compared to SPU or ZAG and it shows NO SIGNS of going down.
      They also have British Airways!!

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    9. If and when the Council grants visa free regime it will be a further boost for air traffic for sure.

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    10. Why does TIA surprise anyone? It's a capital city airport, it's the only real airport in a 3 million people country which has very bad road connections with the neighbors (and other airports). It is a country with a big diaspora and it is (becoming) a tourist country with a decent coast especially on the Ionian sea. TIA will not only grow but will most probably surpass all others (including Belgrade) in foreseeable future, as long as it is the single airport in that country.

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    11. Meanwhile Air Albania project seems to have stalled. One of the shareholders has left the project.

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    12. Do you think TIA will surpass BEG anytime soon?
      Well technically speaking Srbija also has 1 major airport, although the role of INI is growing at a super quick pace...

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    13. There are more chances of TIA overtaking ZAG than BEG.

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    14. TIA overtaking Belgrade won't happen anytime soon of course. BGD will also keep on growing. However, at some point, when the Albanian coast truly unleashes its potential, it is very possible. Just think of it this way. Combine the primary traffic drivers for Zagreb and Split (or Dubrovnik). It is one potent combination.

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    15. sorry to say but Albanian coastal towns are no competition to the croatian ones. One must be realistic here.

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    16. Nor are Greek towns, but people do go there right?

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    17. have you been on greek islands? come on

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    18. are we comparing tourist sites and architecture now? Stick to the point. Albania has a nice seafront and that is a prime property which will be developed. Sooner or later tourists will get there and that will have a profound effect on TIA PAX figures.

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    19. Yeah, I saw a documentary about Tirana. Boy, it sure is pretty. I have friends recommending Albania as a destination and how friendly people are.
      I also think the emigrants are sending a lot of money back home and this adds to their economy. But 3 million passengers is a serious figure that few Balkan airports can achieve.

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    20. sandwich bot

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  4. Why isn’t anyone else interested in the tender? I mean only Wizz applied.

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    1. Because no one could open a base and launch so many new routes at such short notice. The tender has been tailored for Wizz.

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    2. Probably because the market isn't that big and can only operate with subsidies by one carrier.

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    3. Subsidies are immaterial in comparison with total costs, which is why only an ultra LCC would go for them. Wizz also has a lower bar for costs so is more likely to bite, unlike Ryanair.

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    4. "Under the tender brief, those applying must have handled at least ten million passengers in 2017 and recorded a profit of 25 million euros." is tailored to exclude AirSerbia, Croatia and Montenegro airlines.

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    5. Praise the Lord for that.

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    6. Ryanair has chosen Podgorica , easyJet to Prishtina so Wizzair has to fight. Skopje - Prague needed or TIA expansion

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    7. @11.36 actually Air Albania is launching at the end of the month.

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    8. Sure they will. And their first destination is?

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    9. @16:34. I really doubt they will be starting operations at any time soon. Last year they said for spring 2018, then in May they said by the end of the June and now you are saying by the end of the month. How do you expect the airline to start operations when they haven't even applied for permission yet?!
      btw TIA is the 2nd most expensive airport for airlines after FRA. They could attract more airlines if they tried to lower their taxes even slightly.

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  5. Guys this is really bad news as it happens as Wizz announces major expansion in PRN. Seems like someone won't be milking PRN anymore!

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    1. Who was milking PRN? SKP?

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    2. lol this two news have nothing in common. Its bad news for Air Prishtina Reiebüro

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  6. It is completely unrealistic now that any airline could do all that they are asking for within 4 months.

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    1. well Wizz was obviuolsy up for it

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    2. Actually it is even less time now because by the time they finish the next tender it will be late September, best case scenario.

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  7. But if everything was fixed for Wizz like some say, why then did the government use a formality to reject them?

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    1. because they want to be über transparent/fair ... (just rememeber the tenders from the previous gov.). Its a bit risky to cancel the tender because of one formality but they are obv going for it.

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    2. Everything will be just fine this is just MK government drawing red lines to Wizz. You just have to do that after some time. And this is just a warning for Wizz to be "realistic" about their future endeavours in Kosovo. And Wizz like every airline loves money so they got just a bit carried away by it yesterday...

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    3. Yeah I'm sure the Macedonian government knew that Wizz was going to add 3 routes to Kosovo and now they are issuing them warnings. Please.

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  8. А где је печат? :)))))

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    1. This case is the definition of that :D

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  9. Oh and by the way, the title is incorrect. It wasn't an 'LCC' tender.

    I know you can quote a minister about what their intention was, but the tender can neither legally be set for LCC only, nor do the conditions include anything of the kind. The only conditions set in regards to the airline (10 mil passengers, profit) are to ensure only proper airlines apply for it instead of some local paper airline run by a 'family' with wet leased aircraft from Germania or the likes.

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    1. The result of the tender is predetermined if minister only talks about LCCs and how it will bring more affordable travel to Macedonia. Might be the reason why no one other than Wizz applied.

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    2. This could have been a fine argument had there been no previous tenders with very similar conditions with absolutely no indications of LCC 'targeting'.

      From my point of view, the statements are superfluous and can only come back to bite them in case of any additional complaints made by PRN, Austrian or the likes. Not too much thought was put in that one, for lack of a better expression ;)

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  10. I hope we finally see another airline using these subsidies. Wizz Air needs some competition.

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    1. Yes we will really see it since only Wizz applied... logic

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  11. I work for an forein NGO and have a lot contact with western Europe state departments. All of them try their by public/government given task to fulfill. Only in our region they missunderstand their purpose and work hard on sabotage. It seems, like they are trying to bring the project NOT to work. Really sad. Banana-Republic.

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  12. I'm interested to see which routes Wizz proposed.

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  13. The biggest twist would be if Wizz is not actually the airline that applied and that it was someone else and the government was unhappy about it because they wanted Wizz :D

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    1. Would've been funny. However, for better or worse, it was Wizz indeed. It was reported on the deadline when the application arrived.

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    2. How about this twist: The government telegraphing the proposed destinations by Wizz to Ryanair / easyJet so there can be competition in the next round. ;)

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    3. :D im not even sure Easy and Ryan know there is a new MK tender. except for this blog it wasnt published anywhere else.. do they "contact" the airlines to "inform" them ?!?

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    4. Of course they do. It's not like the list is long, it would fit on a post-it note.

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    5. haha, goood to know. fala na odgovor

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  14. So this means that poor OHD is affected? What a pity.
    I was thinking that this will be the next W6 base. So much potential in OHD.
    Currently the hottest spot in the Balkans.

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    1. Yes OHD will loose out the most here.

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    2. Hi, do you know how the W6 sales are doing for OHD-VIE and OHD-LTN?
      Will they send A321 on both routes?

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    3. There is still a lot of untapped potential in Ohrid. It is still not very discovered by tourists and it is in a good location to serve Albania too.

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  15. Lets wait to see if they will change the conditions for the new tender. If its stays the same then they are Ok with Wizz ...

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  16. And here I was hoping that we would see the benefits of this tender soon.

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  17. These subsidies are not line with EU law.

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    1. I really don't see an issue with these subsidies. They are open to all low cost airlines and are offered on a tender. Obviously selecting Wizz Air was a smart choice since they have opened so many routes and based aircraft in SKP.

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  18. This is just so odd. What is the government playing at? They suspended the entire 1 month tender because Wizz didn't write their address clearly? Please.

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    1. I think there is a political reason behind this, it is Russia that is threataning N Macedonia because I think they wanted to involve pobeda and ditch W6...

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    2. Wizz je napisao North Macedonia pre referenduma. Jbg,

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    3. GROTOHOM...... what kind of sad troll are you

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    4. informer.rs

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    5. anon at 12.00 Please tell me you are joking.

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    6. Something is cooking.

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  19. 12:21, then tell me why did this "suddenly" happen? To me it looks like a threat situation. I think it's maybe related the Russian diplomats that got expelled out of N Mac and now they are trying to fix it with pobeda.

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  20. I'm not into these political conspiracy theories but I do find it odd that they annulled the tender and are announcing a new one. Will the rules be the same?

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    1. We will have to wait and see. If they are not then there is definitely something fishy about it.

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  21. Somebody probably didn't get paid so the tender is annulled.

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    1. Bribe?
      Nah, I don't think so...those things don't usually happen in MK..
      I guess it was just a misunderstanding with the airline....

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    2. Sure they don't :D

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  22. I was really hoping it would be someone other than Wizz :/

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    1. Maybe when they organize the second one someone will.

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    2. Highly doubt that.

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  23. How many pax are expected in SKP and OHD in 2018?

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  24. Does anyone know when the new tender will be issued? If all rules will be the same then I don't know why they don't do it immediately.

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