Aegean to resume Athens - Skopje in November


Greece's largest carrier Aegean Airlines will launch flights between Athens and Skopje on November 1, resuming services between the two capital cities after more than a decade. Flights will run twice per week, each Tuesday and Thursday, and will be operated by its regional subsidiary Olympic Air, which will deploy its 48-seat ATR42 turboprop aircraft on the route. Skopje Airport's name posed as one of the main obstacles for Aegean to resume operations between the two capitals over the past few years. 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. The Greek carrier initially planned to resume its Skopje service this June, but delayed its return to the Macedonian capital until the "resolution of certain contentious issues".

Greece's Alternate Minister for Foreign Affairs, Georgios Katrougalos, recently said, "We see these flights as a positive development, like every measure that promotes economic cooperation between our two countries". Skopje becomes the airline's seventh destination in the former Yugoslavia. It currently serves Belgrade and Zagreb on a year-round basis, and Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar and Podgorica during the summer. Furthermore, the carrier will introduce flights to Sarajevo on June 13, 2019. Tickets for the new Athens - Skopje service are available for purchase through the airline's website. Aegean’s passenger traffic will grow to over thirteen million this year from just 8.8 million in 2013 when it acquired state-run Olympic Airlines. The carrier expects to carry around fifteen million passengers a year by 2023.

Flights between Athens and Skopje will be operated by Olympic Air's ATR42

The Greek carrier has also outlined its plans for the former Yugoslav markets during the 2019 summer season, which begins on March 30 next year. Apart from the new Sarajevo service, Aegean will increase frequencies to Belgrade from three to five per week, Split from four to five per week and Zagreb from three to four per week during the high season, with the latter two to be maintained by Olympic Air's Dash 8 aircraft. Flights to Zadar, which were launched on a seasonal basis this summer, are currently unavailable for booking next year. The airline recently said, "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".

Aegean Airlines faces no direct competition on its Skopje service. Further flight details can be found here.

Comments

  1. They seem VERY cautious. Just twice per week with an ATR42!?!?

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    1. True. They used to fly 5 times per week.

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    2. I was expecting at least 3 per week but it's good that they are resuming at all and they will surely increase with time.

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    3. What equipment did they used to use on the Skopje flights.

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    4. I think it was an RJ100.

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    5. Oh gosh so all the year long political fuss and name change crisis just for 96 seats a week? Really? I know maybe next summer they might add few frequencies (or cancel the service) but so far it really wasn't worth it all.

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    6. oh babe, really?

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    7. Anon 9:43 is right.
      2 weekly turboprop for soooo much noise wasn't really worth it.
      Anyway, good to see at least 1 new route for SKP compensating Barcelona and Vajxo.

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    8. haha, the November guy

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  2. Great news. With this scheduling hey will also offer good transfer options.

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    1. What times are Aegean's waves out of ATH?

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  3. It's ahead round flight, great news and many connections in ATH for the rest of their network.

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    Replies
    1. Year round, damn you autocorrect!

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  4. Very cautious resuming but I strongly expect the frequencies to go up to 4-5 weekly after 3 months

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  5. These flights could work daily especially with this aircraft. I'm sure they will increase frequencies quickly (maybe even before the flights launch).

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  6. Are the fares good? (sorry can't go onto their website at the moment).

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    Replies
    1. ~110e round trip, it's not bad....

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    2. Thanks. Quite good. I assume that's without luggage?

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  7. A legacy carrier starting Skopje flights. Good news!

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    1. Second one this year after LOT :)

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    2. But unfortunately lost one - CSA.

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    3. CSA is such a joke of an airline. Half time they sent other airlines to operate their Skopje flight.

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    4. @9.09
      Yes, good to see for a change. Hope more are to come.

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    5. Don't know why people are so focused on legacies in Skopje. SKP has more legacy airlines than Ljubljana. Austrian, Adria, Turkish, Air Serbia, Croatia Airlines, LOT, Qatar Airways and now Aegean.

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    6. Lol :) Does SKP have AF, SU connected to AMS, connected to 3 London airports?
      How about the main aiports vs secondary ones? SKP traffic is 75% Wizz Air, if not 80%. 5% TK, 3% JU. QR cannot be considered as they fly 3 weekly.

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    7. Why couldn't a 5* Airline be considered , even with 3 x flights a week?

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  8. Would there be any point in launching Thessaloniki - Skopje maybe? Or it's too close?

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    1. Could be, with a stop in Gevgelija to refuel :)

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    2. Haha good one but seriously, would it plausible? Or there is simply no point because of the distance.

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    3. with the atr42 why not actually

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    4. If they can make it in some shuttle service, without too much hassle for security and waiting time, plus accessible fares, it could work.

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    5. is ATH-Thess that much further?

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    6. it's a 510km distance

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    7. 4,5 hours by train (same as Skopje-Thessaloniki by bus)

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  9. Replies
    1. With the time you will need to spent at the airports it is probably faster to drive.

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    2. I think that comment was meant for the discussion above :D about Thessaloniki-Skopje flights.

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  10. you cannot book any connecting flights yet o_0

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    1. Probably because they just loaded it in the system. When they started Sarajevo sales, they only had the highest fares available for almost a month so cheapest return tickets were 400 euros.

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  11. Times are not convenient if you want to go for a weekend break to Athens. I really hope they add more flights, at least next summer.

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    Replies
    1. maybe they are targeting businessmen at the beginning. (economic ties were always good )

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  12. Very low risk with ATR42 operating. I'm sure either capacity or frequencies will be expanded.

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  13. What is next? Air Serbia starting Pristina?

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    Replies
    1. It will happen sooner or later.

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

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    Replies
    1. They flew there and failed. Maybe they could try again but this time use smaller capacity.

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    2. Why don't they try Pristina?

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  15. Great news! I hope the flights will proof successful.

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  16. Event of the year!

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  17. Only the Arkia rumour didnt work out, but who knows

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    1. Well it wasn't really a rumour. They did actually hold talks with the Macedonian government, they just didn't start flights (yet).

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    2. But Arkia flies to Ohrid right?

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  18. Aegean is a great addition and will offer more choice and competitions to Macedonian passengers to Greece and the Middle East.

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  19. Go Skopje! 2018 is turning out to be a great year.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, passenger growth will be strong, despite the doom scenario predictions by some.

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  20. Which is more popular for holidays among Macedonians? Greece or Turkey?

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    1. Greece, no doubt.

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    2. And these flights will make the whole of Greece more accessible to tourists and not just the northern part, where most people go.

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    3. Keep in mind that the north is much less expensive then the rest of the country, which is one of the reasons it is so popular with ex-yugos, hungarians, romanians and bulgarians.

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    4. Indeed, I had a lemonade in the center of ATH for 4-5 EUR (@ zero pretentous cafe), do not know about the nearby resorts but Athens was not cheap compared to the average Balkan price level

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  21. I think that once flights start they will quickly increase to daily.

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    1. Agree. Actually I think they will increase them before flights start.

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

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

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    2. surely not for that.

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  23. I think this will be a very successful new route.

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    Replies
    1. Me too. I am happy that finally politics are being kept aside.

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  24. Congrats SKP! OHD is definitely next.

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  25. When Aegean used to fly to SKP, Olympic did as well. If there was demand for two airlines back then, I'm sure Aegean can do better than 2x per week.

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  26. This is a win-win situation for both passengers and the airline. Also I think they can easily maintain flights from Skopje to Thessaloniki and over the summer to some of their islands.

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    1. Odd Wizz Air never tried flights from Skopje to the Greek islands like they did from Belgrade.

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  27. with 3 million visits in Greece annualy according the greek stats, just imagine the potential of the macedonian-tourists market in Greece (could be a gold mine actually). Only 3% of this (which i believe would exchange their Chalkidiki-holiday for an greek island trip) already make 100k pax. I would be very surprised if Ryan and Co. dont step into it once the Prespa-agreement is in place.

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    1. I would slash this figure for approx. 50%, since majority of tourists in Chalkidiki r budget tourists, who would not be able/willing to pay extra costs for airfare.. but even 50k is an ok number for this route.

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    2. If Malta can sustain 2 weekly year round, just saying. Wizz is watching

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    3. if Wizz starts this route, A6 can say goodbye to this route.

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    4. Malta is a gastarbeiter route + holiday, do not forget that

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  28. the (only) 2 weekly is just a tease before the referendum :)

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    1. Haha true. Next week they will add another 5 flights :D

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  29. Absolutely amazing how much Aegean Airlines has developed over the years. They had 28 international destinations in 2013. Look at them now.

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    1. Aegean is an impressive company that has defied the odds and Greece's financial and political turmoil.

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    2. I think they now fly to over 120 international destinations during summer season.

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  30. Good to see other ex-Yu cities increased next summer too.

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    1. If I understand correctly, BEG is the only destination where Aegean mainline is flying to with jet engine aircraft.

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

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  32. It is good that the current Macedonian government is improving its relations with neighboring Greece.

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    1. It's disappointing that a name dispute was preventing what I'm sure will be be very profitable and full flights.

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    2. Bulgaria too

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    3. When were flights between Skopje and Sofia operated last time?

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    4. 11 years ago:

      https://www.novinite.com/articles/88527/Bulgaria+Air+Launches+Sofia+-+Skopje+Flights

      Also Hemus Air in summer 2004:

      https://www.novinite.com/articles/32661/Bulgaria+Opens+Regular+Air+Flights+to+Skopje

      I think there is definitely demand, as the highway I read is not the best but the buses are very cheap.

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    5. a quick connection to SOF would offer so many (self organized) cheap onward options...
      something like Wizz to BUD but with more p2p

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    6. SKP-VAR and SOF-OHD are missing links

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    7. SKP VAR? nahh is there demand?

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    8. SOF-OHD for sure. OHD is a very popular destination for tour operators.
      FB can easily fill the E190 on this route. 2 weekly.

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    9. FB should really consider it

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  33. This is fantastic news. Glad to see things moving in the right direction.

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  34. I really hope all problems are resolved and these flights go ahead. Skopje needs more legacy carriers and Aegean is a good fit.

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  35. When will the Athens-Skopje flights be bookable?

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    1. Umm they already are

      "Tickets for the new Athens - Skopje service are available for purchase through the airline's website."

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  36. Next OHD-ATH and OHD-SKG. Of course want to see flights from Macedonian airport to Crete and Cyprus, why not and to other Greek Islands 😃

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  37. we need summer charters to the islands!

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    1. ironically Czech were the last airline that operated SKP-Crete charters 2 years ago

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    2. Santorini and Mykonos would be a banger

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  38. This was just posted in the Macedonian web portals, Aegean revoked the request to fly to Skopje, not sure if its true or not, but the news are trending at time.mk https://nezavisen.mk/mk/vesti/2018/09/91066/

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    1. They are selling tickets normally on their website.

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  39. U Makedoniji imaju novi autoput na relaciji od Skopje do Soluna, potpuno novi asfalt u 2014 godini, sa dobrim automobilom se veoma brzo i sigurno putuje i ima preko 11 benziskih postaja sa veoma kvalitetnim gorivom jedino do Soluna su cestarine skupe i primaju samo Makedonske denare to je minus.

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    Replies
    1. Ne e tocno deka primat samo denari, na site patarini vo makedonija moze da se plati i vo evra.

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    2. moze da se plakja i so credit/debit card

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  40. No flights, they have been cancelled!

    https://www.b92.net/biz/vesti/svet.php?yyyy=2018&mm=09&dd=27&nav_id=1449006

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    1. Despite your excitement, they have not been cancelled. You can buy tickets normally on aegean.com from 1st November. Don't trust everything you read, especially from Balkan media.

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