Greece's Aegean committed to Skopje service


Greece's Aegean Airlines has denied reports by the Macedonian press that it has withdrawn its application to operate two weekly flights between Athens and Skopje, which are to resume after an eleven-year hiatus on November 1. The carrier has also upped capacity on the route from the initially planned 48-seat ATR42 turboprop to the 78-seat Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft, which is operated under the Olympic Air brand. "We will start flying to Skopje. Our impression is that it is in Greece's interest to have more links to all countries, even those with which it may have a problematic history, because improvements in business ties between our two nations will help", the company said. It added, "We believe that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs agrees with us".

Aegean Airlines is primarily targeting business travellers on the new service. "These flights will cover the needs of the Greek business community in Skopje in order to benefit their businesses and their Greek workers", Aegean noted. Flights are currently scheduled to run twice per week, each Tuesday and Thursday. Aegean ceased operations to Skopje in 2007 after the airport changed its name to Alexander the Great. This February it renamed itself to Skopje International Airport in a goodwill gesture to Greece. The Macedonian capital was Aegean's first international destination back in 2003. Tickets for the new Athens - Skopje service have been on sale now for almost two weeks.

Meanwhile, Macedonia's two commercial airports, Skopje and Ohrid, handled a combined total of 1.821.744 passengers during the first three quarters, representing an increase of 18% on last year. The busiest routes out of Skopje during the nine-month period were Istanbul (both Ataturk and Sabiha Gokcen airports with a 10.8% market share), Zurich (7.8%), Vienna (5.7%), Basel (5.3%), Malmo (4.5%) and Bratislava (3.4%). The busiest airline was Wizz Air with a 60.3% market share, followed by Turkish Airlines (7.8%), Austrian Airlines (5.7%), Germania Flug (4.5%), Pegasus Airlines (3.7%) and Croatia Airlines (3.4%). "We have completed another busy summer at both Skopje and Ohrid airports and we are now ready for the winter season which will begin in late October with a new winter schedule. Summing up the months behind us, it is important to point out that, after successfully concluding discussions and negotiations, LOT Polish Airlines entered the Macedonian market by launching six weekly flights between Warsaw and Skopje. At Ohrid Airport we launched four new seasonal routes - Istanbul, Eindhoven, Tallinn and Warsaw, while from November 2018 Vienna will become the latest new route. We expect to continue with double-digit passenger growth until the end of the year, which is above the official European average of 4%", the General Manager of airport operator TAV Macedonia, Alper Ersoy, said.

Comments

  1. If they added an extra 40 seats each way in just 2 weeks, bookings must be doing well.

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  2. the rightwingers Macedonian press more precisely ....

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    Replies
    1. +1
      They wrote the day Aegean put tickets on sale how they have revoked their application. How stupid.

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    2. and b92 were happy to copy and paste it without checking facts

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    3. Copy/paste journalism.

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  3. Wizz Air's share in SKP is unbelievable! Hope it goes down this winter with LO and others adding flights.

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    1. WIZZ is national carrier of Macedonia. And Government Got it at low price.

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    2. Seeing as Wizz will likely win the subsidy tender and is obliged to launch new routes from Skopje in winter timetable, I doubt their share will go down.

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    3. well they will have almost 100% in OHD in winter ;)

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    4. Are the Wizz A321s staying in Skopje during the winter or will they go back to the A320s?

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    5. @9.31 The 2 A321s stay during the winter season.

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    6. Wizz share actually went down from 63% (Q12) to 60% (Q123)

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    7. It will go back up until the end of the year and probably surpass 2017.

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    8. you are right. summer is also charters season BUT in the same time:

      OS share rise fom 5,1 to 5,7%
      PG from 3 to 3.7%
      OU from 3,1 to 3,4%

      TK down from 8,1 to 7,8%

      OS is having a good summer at SKP it seems and great to see OU progressing

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  4. "These flights will cover the needs of the Greek business community in Skopje in order to benefit their businesses and their Greek workers", Aegean noted.

    Flights cater for Greek businesses? Are there many Greeks working in Skopje?

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    1. more then you would have expected

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    2. your questions is like:
      are there many Austrians working in Slovenia, or Italians in Croatia, or dunno, Hungarians in Serbia

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    3. Given the never ending political tensions question is resonable. However many Macedonians holiday in Greece so it is expected.

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    4. Croats and Serbs even fought a war with each other and business between 2 countries has (never) ceased.
      So, question is not reasonable.

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    5. I didn't mean it in a negative way or suggesting that there shouldn't be I was just wondering if there is a Greek community in Skopje/Macedonia because from their statement it sounded like that and I genuinely wasn't aware.

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    6. the biggest mk bank is owned by greeks (not sure if thats a good thing, haha) also big companies like OKTA ...

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  5. kudos to Croatia Airlines. They put JP and JU to shame. I hope they will be back with double daily next summer schedule as well

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    1. I noticed that too. Who has the most frequencies to Skopje out of those three?

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    2. 1. Adria
      2. Croatia
      3. Air Serbia

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    3. JP slashed their evening flight (as with PRN) so they hang up at 7
      JU had something like double daily only in spic sezona
      OU have 12 for the whole summer schedule i think

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    4. JU must go to triple daily to all EX-YU capitals. It would even be reasonable to subsidize that.

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    5. even double daily would be fine

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    6. Air Serbia will be daily to SKP until 04.06.2019 when it goes up to 12 weekly. Interestingly enough, it will have two night flights now, I suppose on the days when BEG-JFK operates in the morning.

      January-August
      Croatia Airlines: 59.996
      Adria: 45.920

      ZAG-SKP has almost the same number of passengers as SKP-LTN.

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    7. Smart move for JU to have night flights to SKP because there is more connection possibilities for Macedonians. Before all flights were in the afternoon.

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  6. What are the individual results for Skopje and Ohrid?

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    1. Skopje Airport will handle 2.1 million passengers this year for sure.

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    2. the numbers for SKP are even more impressive considering it has no transfer passengers which are counted twice unlike most other airports in the region.

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    3. This is true. There are hardly any transfers in Skopje so passengers are not counted twice.

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    4. Yes, 2.1 seems realistic for 2018 in my opinion.

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  7. I think this Aegean route will be very successful and I expect they will fly 5x weekly by the summer.

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    1. Two weekly does not seem right for business travelers.

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    2. its surely not aimed for weekenders with Tue and Thu flights ;)

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    3. Thursday - Tuesday actually make a nice long weekend break 😊

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    4. They used to fly 5 times per week until 2007.

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  8. "We believe that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs agrees with us" this may be read also as a political stunt :D

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    1. and if it doesn't what could happen? they would forbid the flights?

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    2. I think they do since they have been saying pretty much the same thing for the last year ;)

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  9. Really disappointed with JUs performance in Skopje.

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    1. How can you be disappointed when you don't know their passenger numbers, load factor or yield?

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    2. They need frequencies.

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

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    1. LOT must have done well if they are sticking in winter and flying 4 per week.

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    2. theres a great O&D potential with polish tourists, which helps a lot

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    3. Polish tourists visiting Skopje? :)

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    4. What other legacy could we see in Skopje next? Lufthansa would be nice.

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    5. that would kill Austrian, why would they do this.

      Although a Timisoara model would be much more benefitial for Skoplje

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    6. you can lol as much as you want, the share of polish tourists in the country is 8.6% of all toursist

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    7. Wizz could have started Warsaw-Skopje.

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    8. give us the absolute values, 8 of 100 is also 8% but for them you need a minivan at most

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    9. LH? sounds most logical but will happen only at the expense of OS, which i doubt.

      wishful-thinking: KLM with their cityhoppers

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    10. for the 22,281 polish tourists who visited Macedonia in 2017 that would make many minivans, don't you think?

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    11. @usamljeni hejter: you can check the abosulute values yourself. valjda si toliko pametan

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    12. 275 daily in July for example

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    13. Ryanair could have started Krakow-Skopje

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    14. of which 20k passed through on the way to Greece probably. LOT caters for transfers, there is nothing bad about it, get over it

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    15. the country would have had 700.000 extra serbian "tourists" since they "passed through". there is not a single article about SKP without your hatred. You had time since the last article to learn what is counted as tourist but you cannot force some people to learn... its ok ljeciti frustracije na tudje male drzave

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    16. Question: is a person staying for one night in country X a tourist (on their way to Y country)? And guess what, Serbians do not need to stay overnight on the way to Greece.

      I am not frustrated at all, just realistic about LOT in SKP

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    17. You can not seriously claim that a Serb driving through Macedonia to go to Halkidiki or a Greek driving through to go to Belgrade or Hungary is a tourist and should be counted as such.

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    18. well, LOT had 6x weekly flights to SKP in summer and will have 4x in winter -and these planes are bigger than the minivans you mentioned.
      but, go ahead and stay realistic about it in your own mind.

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    19. Guys calm down, LO is probably subsidizes like Wizz Air as they are a new airline. It's normal they are doing well.

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    20. Ohrid je još pun Poljaka. Dolaze i avionima i autobusima. Letos se letjelo dva puta nedjeljno za Katowice sa 321 i jedanput za Warsawu sa 738

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  11. I hope the flights will prove successful as Macedonia and Greece have strong economic relations.

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    1. I hope it's successful so people can have even more options for transferring.

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  12. Aegean should 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. If they make deals with Macedonian tour operators they could start some of those flights.

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    2. Didn't CSA fly to some Greek holiday town last year or the year before?

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    3. well they are selling packages to Crete with bus transfers to SKG, so I think thats the one most likely

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    4. +1
      The problem is that they have a shortage of planes and crews during the Summer period>
      They used to fly a lot of charters until a few years ago but they have almost abandoned that segment of the market and are focused on their scheduled flight program.

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  13. Great for SKP to have this route but it is quite political. I'm not so sure it's going to work out. We will see.

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  14. Congrats SKP! OHD is definitely next

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  15. It's turning out to be another great year for Skopje.

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  16. Aegean's fares from Skopje are really affordable now. Good prices for connecting flights as well.

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  17. I can see Laudaair or/and LEVEL coming, a base would be perfect!

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    1. tbh i can see Air Baltic beeing more likely

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    2. They are focused on VIE currently and they are also short of crews so I doubt that they are going to open a base in SKP any time soon.

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    3. I think there is some space for new routes, like Larnaca and Vienna, and the subsidy program may help them consider SKP but you are also right, there is severe pilot shortage...

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  18. I still remember people predicting how Skopje's "bubble will burst". Seems like the bubble just keeps growing :)

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    1. if Wizz stays commited to their 2 new aircrafts plans for MK (as in the annuled tender) , somebody is gonna burst from anger

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    2. the first one to burst from anger will be the INI troll with his predictions about November figures for SKP declining and this one A321 flying to INI which would be "trouble for neighboring airports" ;)

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    3. I am not very optimistic about the loads/yield of VIE INI, tickets are dirt cheap even during Christmas (both catholic and orthodox), even VIE OHD are more expensive

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  19. The Athens flights will go daily sooner or later.

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  20. Flew 4 times with Aegean this summer - both on the turboprop and the Airbus fleet. Really the best carrier in this part of Europe.

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    1. Do they still offer hot meals?
      Thanks for any info.

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    2. Yes - on every flight over 2h. Actual flight time to FCO is less than 2h, but I got some warm savory pastry on my morning flight + a Greek yoghurt with honey and on the evening flight we were served very nice meatballs in lemon sauce with vegetables (and a lemon pie). The service on the turboprop fleet also rocks - flight time to most islands is ~40 mins and there are 2 FAs, but you still get a round of drinks and an Olympic-branded desert (usually a Papadopoulos waffle, but it's not a Caprice though haha).

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  21. Welcome Aegean! Excellent airline. Hope they continue growing capacity and/or frequency.

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  22. I think INI will be the next A3 destination.
    SKP will most likely be upgraded to A320 or A321 next summer and 4 weekly.

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