Wizz Air downgrades two routes from Macedonia


Wizz Air has downgraded two of its services out of Macedonia, just a week after the government annulled a tender for the allocation of financial support for the launch of new routes. Only one airline, believed to be Wizz Air, applied. The no frills carrier has abruptly ceased sales for its Skopje - Barcelona service, from October 26. Furthermore, it has discontinued sales for its Ohrid - London Luton flights from October 24. The route was upgraded from seasonal to year-round operations several months ago but has now again been turned into a summer service only. At the same time, the airline has boosted frequencies on its London Luton - Pristina service from three to five per week as of October 29. It follows an announcement by the carrier last week that it would be launching three new routes to the Kosovan city this winter. However, Wizz has maintained its commitment to the Macedonian market.

As previously reported, Wizz Air will also suspend flights between Skopje to Vaxjo in southern Sweden from mid-September due to poor demand. The last service between the two cities is scheduled to operate on September 16, after which ticket sales have been discontinued. Flights between the two were introduced just a year ago on July 14. Wizz Air will continue serving Stockholm, Malmo and Gothenburg within Sweden from the Macedonian capital. This year, Wizz Air boosted capacity on its flights from Macedonia by upgrading two out of its four aircraft stationed in Skopje from the Airbus A320 to the larger A321. In addition, it improved its offering between Skopje and Milan, with services now running to Malpensa International Airport instead of Bergamo, while new flights from Vienna to Ohrid will be introduced this November.

In a statement Wizz Air said, "As is normal practice in the aviation industry, flight frequencies change according to travel seasons and route performance. Wizz Air constantly monitors the performance of its routes to allow for the most popular destinations to have the lowest possible fares. The routes from Skopje to Vaxjo and Barcelona and from Ohrid to London Luton have been optimised according to the market requests and will be operated only in the summer season. Soon, the airline will put on sale the summer schedule for 2019 and passengers will be able to already plan their trips and book their tickets on Wizz routes from Macedonia”. It added, "“In the last seven years, since we first started to operate in Macedonia, Wizz Air has become the leading airline in the country and gained the confidence and loyalty of more than 4.6 million passengers transported since 2011 across the country by constantly investing in local operations and bringing affordable travel opportunities for passengers. This year, the Wizz local team in Macedonia has grown to more than 140 local members, and according to industry standards, Wizz operations have facilitated more than 900 indirect jobs in 2017. Wizz Air underlines its commitment to the Macedonian customers by expanding its low fare network and creating more affordable travel opportunities from Skopje and Ohrid airports, currently offering thirty routes to fourteen countries and 1.6 million seats on sale in 2018, a 23% growth compared to 2017".

The previous three-year state sponsored contract providing Wizz Air with financial support for the launch of new routes expired in June. As a result, the low cost carrier is no longer contractually obligated to maitain destinations it launched over the past three years, nor is it receiving subsidies for the flights anymore. The Macedonian Ministry for Transport and Communications recently annulled a tender for a fresh round of subsidies. 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.

Comments

  1. Are there some issues between Wizz and the Macedonian government?

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    Replies
    1. Like I said below, I'm assuming Vaxjo and Barcelona performed the worst from SKP. Now that they can cancel the flights they did.

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    2. Nemjee is the numbers guy, maybe he has some figures for these routes so it could show us were they really performing so poorly.

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    3. Unfortunately there seems to be a glitch with the SKP numbers since they updated their Q1 performance. Only a few destinations are available among which are ZRH, VIE, IST...

      From what I remember, SKP-BCN was always at the bottom of the list, just a bit better than SKP-DXB.

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  2. And people were saying they should launch Madrid and Lisbon Obviously can't work from here.

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    1. you might be right here im afraid

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    2. It does work for Vueling.

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    3. Vueling does not fly year round. And they are always late

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    4. @Anonymous13 August 2018 at 19:02

      Vueling flies out of Zagreb, never any issues with the flights, and almost always full.

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    5. Vueling in general has a horrible on time performance. It was so bad a few years ago that even the Italian government threatened to revoke their operating permits.

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  3. Haha the end is near!

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    1. I hope you are some local guy from Macedonia. If not, shame on you.

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    2. I think he was being sarcastic.

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  4. They cancel plans to fly Luton-Ohrid in winter and they add frequencies for Luton-Pristina exactly on the days these flights were supposed to operate. Obviously it will be run by the same plane.

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  5. After years of interest in ex-Yu, Wizz Air is slowly looking elsewhere.

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    Replies
    1. True. They are cutting flights across ex-yu.

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    2. Not really, they are adding new routes from Pristina and Tuzla, last time I checked they are still ex-yu? :)

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    3. They will also suspend some flights to Tuzla.

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    4. They are looking towards more high yielding markets, that's for sure.

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    5. What will they suspend from Tuzla? Thats the first time I hear this?

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  6. Wow they have not suspended a route from Macedonia in 7 years and now 3 gone.

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  7. Great news for PRN! Hope to see more expansion there

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  8. Does this have something to do with the tender or the timing is a coincidence?

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    1. I think macedonian government cancelled the tender because wizz will fly more from pristina and they didnt like it. And now wizz air replies.

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    2. Or they were hoping they would win the tender by now and announce new routes which would replace these ones.

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    3. a great day for conspiracy theorists, isnt it? (stil waiting for the Pobeda guy)

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  9. I'm assuming Vaxjo and Barcelona performed the worst from SKP. Now that they can cancel the flights they did.

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  10. They are probably making space for new routes.

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  11. Sure as hell there was no place for Barcelona.

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    Replies
    1. Because it's a small city at the very end of Europe. Get real.

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    2. Just a small city of 1.6mln people..

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    3. Anonymous13 August 2018 at 10:00
      Because it's a small city at the very end of Europe. Get real.

      Hahaha are you for real???

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    4. I was talking about Skopje.

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    5. @Anonymous13 August 2018 at 11:49

      More 5.5 million, Barcelona is a massive city, almost 70% of Catalonia lives in Barca metro.

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  12. Very sad. They are also downgrading at SOF and OTP

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    1. At least SOF got new flights to OVD in south Israel. TLV turned out to be very successful.
      The same with LIS.
      In VAR they also cut 2 routes to BGY and TLV.

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    2. OVD is paying the airlines 60€ per pax

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    3. Only goes to show how important legacy carriers are. Their business model makes it easier for them keep some routes which wouldn't be viable for LCCs.

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    4. Wizz also flies with A320/1 that are so big for winter season and Balkans.

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  13. Don't panic, MK.

    BUD is also affected. If you check, you will realise that they are suspending 4 routes: BOD, NCE, CLJ and BGO.

    Surprsingly, they are ending OTP-LIS too
    SOF is affected too.

    Meanwhile in WAW they are ending: BTS, VNO, BOD and NCE too.

    They are clearly focused on LTN and VIE.

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    Replies
    1. Why all these cuts? They have so many new planes coming. Why not focus on both east and west? They can afford to.

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    2. Probably their planes won't be delivered soon enough so they need to shift some capacity.

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  14. Why Barcelona???? :(

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    1. Out of all of ex-Yu, route seems to work only seasonally from Croatia.

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    2. There are also seasonal flights from Barcelona to Belgrade.

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    3. Also, Spain works year round from Croatia. Iberia is flying year round from Madrid to Dubrovnik and Zagreb as of this year, and OU flies from March till January to Barcelona.

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    4. Iberia used the A321 on today's flight to Madrid.

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  15. Ryanair should cease the opportunity.

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    1. I doubt it. What are they going to open? Barcelona which failed for Wizz?

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  16. I'm surprised Barcelona underperformed. Not surprised about Vaxjo (didn't even hear of the city before).

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    1. And as for Ohrid-Luton, there is obviously more money to be made from Pristina.

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    2. I don't understand how they thought Ohrid would work over winter. London isn't such a gasterbaiter route for it to work from Ohrid year round.

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  17. Will this affect Skopje's numbers?

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    Replies
    1. New flights by LOT and soon Aegean, and more capacity by Wizz will make up for it.

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    2. It will be felt. Just like them adding A321s impacted numbers in a positive way.

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  18. Wow so this is the first time W6 is flying without any subsidies to Macedonia.

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  19. I'm really sad about Barcelona. It was one of their only non gasterbaiter routes from Skopje.

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    1. I think the problem might be, that BCN is served by 3 carriers from SOF. I realised last year that the prices to SKP were dead cheap. So I guess it didn't work out for them.
      Maybe INI can give it a try instead and try to persuade FR.

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    2. No offence to anyone but LCCs from ex-Yu just can't make it work on non-gasto routes (I'm excluding seasonal summer cities in Croatia which work because of tourism).

      So I doubt Barcelona would work from Nis. It still can't work from Belgrade outside of summer.

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    3. Wizz Air is also cutting LCA from Belgrade.

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    4. Agree with anon at 9.55. All non gasto routes failed for them.

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    5. Bergamo is not a gasto route and it's working great for FR from INI.

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    6. who is flying on Bergamo route?

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    7. min 2/3 gasto. flown several times

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    8. Is INI-BGY turizam?

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    9. Ryanair flies the route and of course it is not tourism. There is a large diaspora from southeast Serbia living in Northern Italy. Even when the route was launched the CEO of the airport said it is primarily for diaspora.

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    10. Lots of people use INI-BGY for "self-connecting" to airports all around Europe. I personally know several people from Niš who flew INI-BGY- MAD, BCN, LIS, OPO, PAR, LON... etc. And yes they were all tourists not "gastos". Additionally, a lot of Serbian tourists go for a weekend break to Milan from Niš and some foreign tourists as well come to visit Niš, especially in Spring and Summer. This is deifnitely not a "gasto route" like Malmo, Memmingen etc.

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    11. U Italiji ne zivi ni 50k Srba autobusi retko kada voze do Djenove iako su neke linije do tamo. Znaci linija nije gasto mada sigurno ima i neki iz okoline.

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    12. I still wonder why W6 never launched INI-MXP or INI-LIN to compete with FR if the route is so popular.

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    13. @Anonymous13 August 2018 at 09:59

      Barca is doing really well for Zagreb, should be year round, surprised it isn't yet. 57 000 on the route in 2017, Madrid is also doing exceptionally well, 70 000 on the route.

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    14. "I still wonder why W6 never launched INI-MXP or INI-LIN to compete with FR if the route is so popular."

      The route is popular because the tickets are very cheap except in the summer. An airline flying to MXP or LIN cannot offer 20 EUR one way fares and can't compete in this market.

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    15. Also onward flights are much cheaper from BGY than MXP or LIN, for example you can find a one way ticket INI-BGY-OPO for under 100 eur including luggage, both legs on Ryanair.

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  20. Maybe Vueling could consider Barcelona-Skopje seasonally for next summer.

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    1. Because if Wizz Air flew it for 3 years, I assume there are enough passenger during high season.

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    2. With subsidies. Vueling is not gonna get them. Those were virtual flighs. There is no real market for SKP-BCN.

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    3. Or maybe Wizz decides to operate it seasonally.

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    4. fingers crossed

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    5. Unfortunately there are no flights for sale from Barcelona to Skopje for next summer season on sale on Wizz Air website.

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    6. On vacation, funnily enough not that far away from my dear Barcelona.

      Both will probably be available from next summer schedule. The title of the article is misleading. The route is not suspended, just cancelled for winter schedule. Happens to quite a few destinations, just look at BEG LCA.

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    7. Next summer schedule is *obviously* not on sale yet.

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    8. Flights are not on sale for next summer unlike BEG-LCA.

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    9. I think BEG-LCA will be replaced with INI-LCA.

      SKP-BCN becomes PRN-BUD

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  21. wow did not see this one coming.

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  22. I really hope they introduce some new routes.

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  23. That is what happens when you stretch too much.

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  24. is this post-subsidies consolidation?

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  25. Maybe W6 needs to add a 9th route to Germany to compensate this?
    I think the next affected route is TZL-VXO, the rates are dirty cheap in October! :(
    Last flight: Saturday, 27th October 2018.

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    Replies
    1. I think Germany would become oversaturated in that case like from BEG. But the advantage Wizz has in Macedonia on German flights is that it does not have competition, so who knows.

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    2. How about STR, BRE, TXL and FKB ?

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  26. It's time for SKP to act fast and not reply on 1 airline only. I mean W6 has brought so many good numbers but it's time to attract legacies or Russian companies such as Aeroflot, Ural, Pobeda, etc.

    Also, to try and a new long-haul destination to JFK with SQ, TK or some Uzbekhistan Air just like RIX used to do. Another possibility is Ethiopian Airlines ADD-SKP-JFK.

    Other destinations that can fit nicely are:

    Europe:
    CDG, LYS, TLS, MAD, LIS, KBP and MOW (any of the 4 airports) but maybe the new ZIA or VKO operated by Pobeda.

    Outside Europe:

    JFK, BJS, YYZ, SIN.

    Yes, the plan sounds challenging for a 2 million pax regional airport but hey just like at tiny KEF and how rapidly they grew and became the gateway to US. And KEF has a population of 125,000.

    If not, then it's also time to revive MAT. The government can make it reborn and initially least 2 Max and operate them to popular destinations such as IST, ZRH, STO, etc.

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    Replies
    1. ADD-SKP-JFK, SKP-SIN. Thanks for the laugh.

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  27. I'm kind of sick of Wizz Air and its diaspora routes. Maybe time for them to reconsider and open something new that does not purely rely on gasterbaiters.

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    Replies
    1. and you are going to compensate them for potentially half-empty planes?

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    2. ¿You mean like leisure?

      If yes, ¿which routes?

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    3. Greek islnds would work seasonally.

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  28. If these are the only routes they cancel after the subsidies expired, it's really good.

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  29. I notice Tranquilis person is MIA today. Just sayin’

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    Replies
    1. Aww you miss me =*

      Vacation time in Catalunya, lol. Quite appropriate.

      Too many post hoc propter hoc fallacies around here for me to shake a stick at from a mobile with choppy WiFi. I won’t bother responding too much, will just post general impression and opinion.

      Suffice to say this doesn’t surprise me in the least. I’m happy BCN worked year round this long. I know how much pressure it took to put it on sale in the first place, it was a personal mission of mine. It will probably be put back one the summer schedule for 19 is published. Fingers crossed.

      As to the whole ‘connection’ to PRN and the nex round of subsidies, I can only chuckle. ‘Post hoc’ etc. A field day for conspiracy theorists I’m sure. I can only say - check out when BCN was first put on sale and the conditions of the new route subsidies, maybe that will help connect the dots :)

      Anyways, maybe these moves are not so bad to shake up things a bit.. i sure hope for an accelerated growth for OHD, whichever side it may come from - as long as it’s sustainable. The sad thing is there are not many airlines in these parts whose cost structure is solid enough to make a market like Macedonia work, and at the same time willing to risk it. Explains the limited interest so far.

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    2. it was a personal mission of mine

      Oh, nice admission and a new addition to my curated club. You will be in the good company of Air Serbia route to Banja Luka, Croatian VP at AC for YYZ-ZAG route and a few other nepotism lookalikes.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  30. I am not surprised at all by the winter cancellation of OHD.
    I have flown LTN -OHD with 50 people on board in November 2 years ago when WIZZ atempted to keep the line open in winter too, before they closed it.
    If the ministry of transport does not act fast and repeat the call it canceled last month, numbers will suffer in SKP & OHD.
    Pristina is the one to benefit especially on the LTN sector since there are lots of Kosovo people there since the EX YU conflicts. I would not be surprised in PRN gets more flights from LTN than SKP very soon.

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  31. I think the reason they are suspending the LTN-OHD is because Albanians fly to ohrid because of cheap prices and now wizz air added LTN-TIA the demand to OHD has decreased

    Also I believe this is true lots of kosovans and Albanians fly to Skopje because the variety of destinations and because of cheap prices but now wizz air are expanding in Albania and Kosovo, Skopje airport numbers might decrease

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  32. What happens to us that already have bought tickets for November? They suddenly moved the destination to Sofia instead Skopje, which is not acceptable and not professional at all. It is okay to stop selling new tickets, but they should provide the service for those who have bought a ticket and planned the (business) trip.

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  33. So Vaxjo and Barcelona will be served seasonally which is great and Skopje won't loose any Wizz destination. I still hope that they will open new routes and why not some other seasonal routes like Larnaca, Catania or Lisbon and maybe base a fifth plane trough the summer season to operate all this flights

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    Replies
    1. VY have launched BCN-BEG summer 2019 flights already! I think they must bump W6 and launch SKP too. VY is not super wow but still better than W6 and now have a nice new website :)

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  34. Wizz confirmed that all 3 routes are moved to seasonal only

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  35. Nije samo London nerentabilan, veoma slabo ide i prodaja karata za jos jednu destinaciju,Ohrid Vienna, Letenje iz Ohrida sa postojecom flotom Wizz-ovih aviona je veoma nerentabilno,razlog je veoma velika potrosnja goriva, registrovana skoro kod svih aviona osobito na novim Airbus 321 rgistracije HA-LXW.
    Ipak Embraer 190 i McDonnell-Douglas 95(Boeing 717-200)su najpogodniji za ljetnu sezonu u Ohridu i stariji ali ujedno i puno ekonomicniji avioni bivseg JAT Airways-a sada rebrendirani kao Avilet Boeing 737-300.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. as if u have insider information ...

      Delete

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