Wizz begins expansion as Macedonian airports grow


Low cost carrier Wizz Air commenced its major expansion in Macedonia with the introduction of its first of eight new routes yesterday, which will be followed by a further two today. A total of 118 passengers arrived on the carrier's inaugural service from Malmo to Ohrid on Monday. Today, forty travellers flew from Milan to Ohrid, while 116 were booked on the return service. From Skopje, 195 passengers travelled on the inaugural flight to Baden Baden, while 200 were on the return service. Tomorrow's first flight from Skopje to Bremen will see 179 passengers on the outbound and 165 on the inbound service.


A total of four new year-round flights are being launched from Ohrid and Skopje each over the next four months, which will add a further 200.000 seats onto the Macedonian market this year. By the end of July, Wizz Air will offer 38 routes to sixteen countries from Macedonia's two airports. TAV Macedonia Airports Coordinator, Nejat Kurt, said, "TAV Macedonia is always looking forward to new routes and new opportunities for passengers using both airports in Skopje and Ohrid, and today, we are glad that passengers’ needs and requests have been met. With the introduction of these new destinations, we believe that there will be numerous opportunities for Macedonian citizens to expand their travel experience. I would like to thank Wizz Air for their commitment to the development of aviation in our country, as well as the government for their constant support".

Wizz Air's 2019 expansion in Macedonia

The new routes come as a result of the successful tender that Wizz Air was awarded in January 2019. The airline will receive subsidies for the eight services over a three-year period totalling five million euros. "It is our pleasure today to start a new phase in the development of air traffic in Macedonia. As the responsible government body, we are strongly committed to the development of air transport and creating conditions for establishing access to new destinations for Macedonian citizens. Wizz Air remains the government's serious partner in the development of air traffic", the Macedonian Minister for Transport and Communications, Goran Sugareski, said.


Macedonia's two international airports are set to see strong passenger growth as a result of the new routes, continuing on from their solid performance over the first two months of the year. In February, Skopje Airport welcomed 137.676 passengers, representing an increase of 5.8%. At the same time, Ohrid's figures grew 53% to 7.146. Jointly, aircraft movements increased 5% to 2.826. During the first two months of the year, Macedonia's two airports welcomed 372.351 passengers through their doors, up 7%. "I expect for the passenger growth trend, which was recorded in the initial statistics for the first two months of this year, to continue with the launch of new routes", Mr Sugareski noted.

SKOPJE AIRPORT RESULTS

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN152.292 4.6
FEB137.676 5.8




Comments

  1. Great news for OHD but 118 seems a bit light, I guess that's why they got subsidies. OHD needs to advertize flights in Albania especially since TIA is expensive for airlines.

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  2. If there were 118 passenger on the Malmo-Ohrid inaugural, that means the load factor was 65%. Not great for a LCC.

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    Replies
    1. Indeed it's low but we don't know the loads on the return flight.

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    2. They could only have been worse. The demand (at this time of year) will be coming from Sweden, not the other way around.

      But it's the first flight, let's not get ahead of ourselves. It's still the dead period.

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    3. With Easter next month figures will pick up.

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    4. Yes but this route needs to work year round.

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    5. It will work year round for three year while it is getting subsidized. By then, the route will have developed enough to work on its own.

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    6. dont forget there were not even 2 full months since the tickets went on sale

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    7. The load is not bad at all. Let me remind you that on the inaugural Vaxjo-Skopje route there were just 76 passengers out of 180.

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    8. Exactly, it means very little. Vaxjo started off bad but in the end it thrived. That's what matters.

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    9. On the way back there was a total of 60 pax...

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    10. well there you have your pax structure for the next flights and they make exactly 180pax per flight. 2/3 gastos and 1/3 visiting Scandinavia.

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    11. @9.07 seems flights originating in Macedonia are actually stronger at this moment based on those loads.

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  3. Out of these eight, anyone have an idea which route will be most successful and which least?

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    Replies
    1. Skopje Turku should be the most successful in my opinion.

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    2. Why didn't Norwegian introduce HEL-SKP? Why are they avoiding macedonian market like the plague?

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    3. DY flies HEL-PRN.

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    4. @9.02 I think Baden Baden might struggle. Too much capacity to Germany from SKP.

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    5. I think DY will enter the SKP market once demand increases. Maybe when the airport reaches 2 million.

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    6. Airport has already reached 2 million on annual level ;)

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    7. Then I guess even that is not enough to attract DY.

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    8. DY can't compete much on the Macedonian market against Wizz.

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    9. I suppose yields must be quite trash then. Maybe they could launch flights from some hub and offer connections. Shame that EW failed in SKP, they would be a cool addition.

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    10. It's good to see that at least EW will come to Ohrid.

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    11. Maybe if they succeed in OHD they will realize there is even more potential in SKP. Makes no sense that they cut flights from an airport that's currently booming. Almost all airlines are increasing flights.

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    12. @9.13 judging by the loads on the inaugural flight I think you might be wrong :)

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    13. even Memingen is increased to 4 weekly from July

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  4. Wow so PRN has a considerable lead over SKP! Hope these Wizz flights help bring back SKP.

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    Replies
    1. Yes PRN seems to be doing strong. They had very good figures in FEB even with all the Germania issues and that strike.

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    2. Does it mean SKP is losing steam or maybe fewer passengers are going to SKP to fly from PRN?

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    3. wizz had cuts from nov-feb

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    4. Yes we know, it was a seasonal cut. BCN is still there in summer.

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  5. Nice result for SKP so far. It should see really strong growth in next couple of months.

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    Replies
    1. Ohrid too, especially with these 4 new Wizz routes, new Edelweiss and new Eurowings flights

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  6. Does this mean W6 will not introduce new routes to Mac. for the next 3 years or are they free to do so just without subsidies?

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    Replies
    1. Of course they can introduce new routes but they won't be subsidized.

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  7. I think its high time for Wizz to announce second destination in UK from Skopje. 2 X Lisbon, 2 X Madrid and 2 X Catania will not hurt too.

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    Replies
    1. Would there really be enough demand to Lisbon?

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    2. I would imagine Lisbon would work similar to Barcelona, 2 x weekly can sustain organically knowing that the catchment area is Macedonia, Albania, Serbia (and Kosovo). Also could get some passengers from Bulgaria and Northern Greece.

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    3. I'm not so sure they would attract many from Bulgaria since they fly SOF-LIS. And that route is seasonal, so I'm not sure how it would work from Macedonia which is a smaller market.

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    4. Both W6 and FB fly seasonally from SOF.
      LIS is a tricky destination. Even TAP stopped flying LIS-OTP and OTP much bigger market.
      Portugal is usually not a gasto destination neither or even if there is, the number of gastos is quite low to sustain year-round flights.
      WAW-LIS is seasonal, too.
      Additionally, LIS airport has similar slot issues to Ataturk Airport. The airport has now almost reached its maximum capacity and I think Vinci is constructing a new one at the moment or about to.

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  8. What about Vienna-Skopje? Any chance of them starting this route? I know they fly to Bratislava at the moment and that they started Vienna-Ohrid. I find it odd that they didn't go for Skopje instead.

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    Replies
    1. i have a feeling that Laudamotion will launch the ex-yu capitals.

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    2. That would also be cool.

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    3. Hmmm VIE is a good idea but with OS around, it will be challenging. Also, there is a SKP-BTS route anyway.

      That said, if you check INI-BTS and INI-VIE prices, you will be shocked to see FR prices as little as 9,99€ from INI and 1199RSD (approx. 10€) with W6 to VIE. Simply unbelievable.

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  9. Will the extra capacity cause prices to drop?

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  10. Are there plans to replace the other two A320s in SKP with the A321s?

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    Replies
    1. Having just 4 A321s based in SKP would be too risky. I doubt all routes require so much seats.

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    2. Undoubtedly, at the latest once the 320 leases phase out. Still a few years I imagine.

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    3. 4 A321s is excessive for winter schedule.

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  11. I wish Sarajevo had been smart enough and made a deal with Wizz when there was the opportunity. We would be growing at the same rate as Skopje now.

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    Replies
    1. +1

      Pusti svaku rec u vetar, zaboravu da se dopadne..

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    2. Ljubljana (slo) should do something similar. Put out funds to subsidize LCC airlines and let them establish a base at fraport lju. If they wanna play tourism, then this is one way to go.

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  12. Excellent result for SKP and OHD airports.

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  13. OHD's catchment area includes some 600.000 people including Albania too. I'm sure these new routes will be successful from there.

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  14. Great job SKP & OHD!

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  15. With 5 planes this summer, Wizz Air MK is already as big as Montenegro Airlines.

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    Replies
    1. And with the same number of aircraft they handle double the passenger numbers that MGX handles.

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    2. Yes but Wizz already has significantly more capacity than YM. They fly much bigger planes. All of YM's aircraft are basically 100 seaters.

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  16. @TAV
    An early candidate for understatement of the year comes from Nejat Kurt of TAV Macedonia Airports: "I would like to thank Wizz Air for their commitment to the development of aviation in our country, as well as the government for their constant support." TAV have surely hit the sweet spot with their SKP and OHD concession deals.

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    Replies
    1. :) at least they admit it finally

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  17. Notable capacity increase. Good job Wizz.

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  18. So what is SKP growth prediction?

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  19. very good news for Skopje and Ohrid. But I would like Ryan or Easy to come too.

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    Replies
    1. Ryan from Ohrid to Oslo Torp or OSL. ��

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  20. No surprise, I would be expanding like crazy if I had privileged status, no competition and assistance for new routes.

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    Replies
    1. And yet nobody else is even applying for it.

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    2. Well that says more about the state of the market.

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    3. and yet it is increasing

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  21. Great news for Macedonian consumers again.

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  22. I'm particularly interested how the route to the Finnish village of Turku will perform.

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    Replies
    1. same as Memmingen, its gonna serve all of southern Finnland

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  23. SKP needs more flights to Madrid, Lisboa, Birmingham, Mallorca...

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    Replies
    1. Porto as well.

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    2. Time for Wizz to enter intra ex-YU market.

      SKP-ZAG
      ZAG-DBV
      TGD-SJJ
      SKP-MBX
      SKP-TIV

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    3. Out of those only SKP-ZAG, ZAG-DBV and SKP-MBX are possible. One of the points of departure must be in the EU, otherwise Wizz can't operate these flights (within ex-Yu markets).

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    4. Well they can operate it if local governments allow it, don't forget FZ operated SKP-TGD. Demand is there, someone just needs to be serious and make the most of it!!

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    5. SKP-MBX is begging for a launch but TAV will not want to hurt JP in any way

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    6. @FZ u mixing it up bro

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    7. Totally agree that W6 must enter ex-YU market or domestic routes!

      SKP-ZAG
      ZAG-DBV
      BEG-TGD
      INI-LJU
      BEG-LJU

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    8. So many experts who can't understand that FR, W6, DY, U2 or any other LCC are not allowed to introduce the flights between the countries out of EU if they do not have special rights granted by both countries.

      And that piece of information has been so many times provided here.

      So, forget about LCC routes

      BEG-TGD
      BEG-TIV
      BEG-INI
      BEG-SJJ
      BEG-SKP
      TGD-SJJ
      TIV-SJJ
      INI-TGD
      INI-SJJ
      SJJ-SKP
      and so on...

      will start counting when next "expert" suggest some of above routes or similiar. At least to make some fun of it!

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  24. B777 on the cake? Nice! (facepalm)

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  25. If anyone has the loads for today's two flight:
    Milan-Ohrid
    Skopje-Baden baden

    please report :)

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    Replies
    1. They have now been listed in the article.

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    2. Watch the loads on Vienna-Ohrid. Several flights during March were sold out. That flight started at the end of November and is not subsidized. I think Wizz hit jackpot with this connection. Hope some airline will introduce flight to IstambuI. I think it will also run smooth as Vienna. I am excluding Onur air from previous year. Price of the tickets were huge. Malme will also have good loads beacuse there is a lot of diaspora gravitate from southwest Macedonia.

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  26. So, MK is basically Wizzair's largest ex-YU market.

    Here are some interesting facts for last years. It will be interesting to see if OHD becomes a base and if SJJ or TZL get another plane during the upcoming years

    *****************************************

    Wizz Air leads in six Central European countries
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    LOT is the biggest airline in Poland, which is the largest market, but only third in Central Europe overall, behind Wizz Air and Ryanair.

    Wizz Air is number one in six of the region's 22 countries (Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Lithuania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bosnia & Herzegovina) and number two in three (Serbia, Moldova and Slovakia).

    Ryanair is number one only in Slovakia, but number two in five other countries, all of which are in the top 10 (Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania).

    Wizz Air ranks third in four countries (Poland, Ukraine, Latvia and Georgia), while Ryanair is third in two (Czech Republic and Slovenia).

    ************************************

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An. 11.08
      Ryanair third in Slovenia???? ???? Ryanair DOES NOT FLY TO SLO AT ALL. Furthermore, SLO is the ONLY EU country Ryanair does not fly to. Stvarno papir/ekran svasta trpi

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  27. Bravo, Makedonia!
    Greetings from Sofia!

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  28. The Milan load is quite low but I'm sure these routes will develop with time.

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    Replies
    1. the 120 outbound pax (no gastos) are promising,
      add to that the gastos from MK & AL which will add to that number

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  29. the Karlsruhe loads are a major LOL at Ryanair. keep on sleeping!

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    Replies
    1. Never though that FKB could be that famous, tbh.
      It seems there is extremely huge demand to deploy A321 on the route.
      200 pax is a LF of nearly 87%!

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    2. Those are some really amazing loads. Who would have thought.

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  30. Bremen loads not bad at all. From what I can notice, Skopje flights are generally much stronger than Ohrid.

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    Replies
    1. only one empty seat on the outbound flight.

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  31. If eventually Wizz decides to do another round of new flights from SKP, I believe these are the first two major candidates:

    1. Liverpool (because of many Macedonians working in that area Liverpool/Manchester/Leeds with Bulgarian passports)

    2. Bologna

    What are your thoughts/guesses?

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    Replies
    1. add Prague (long overdue, but they have to wait for a year to get cash for it) and Salzburg (once they lower their fees, Wizz have already knocked on their doors) to your list

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  32. UK definitely but where (Liverpool or Birmingham). Bari or Palermo would work also. Why Lisbon and Madrid? See the pax on the Barcelona flights plus if they are trying to get the Macedonians and Albanians from North America then the flights have to be cheap.

    ReplyDelete

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