Wizz Air extends dominance on Macedonian market

Low cost carrier Wizz Air handled just over 750.000 passengers on its Macedonia services during the first half of the year, extending its dominance on the market where it now accounts for 65.1% of all travellers to and from the country. It was followed by Turkish Airlines in a distant second place with a 7% passenger share, then Austrian Airlines with 5.3% of the market, Chair Airlines with 4.2%, Pegasus Airlines with a 3.4% share, and Croatia Airlines with a 2.9% traveller share. Wizz Air is set to further grow, with two new routes to be launched from Skopje and one from Ohrid by the end of the month, Furthermore, it will base its fifth aircraft in the Macedonian capital. The budget carrier has already introduced six new routes from Macedonia so far this year.

Wizz Air's strong results have also solidified passenger growth at both Skopje and Ohrid airports. The country's busiest handled 1.059.223 travellers during the first half of the year, an increase of 8.5% on the same period in 2018, while Ohrid St Paul the Apostle Airport welcomed 104.444 passengers through its doors, up a notable 62.9%. Istanbul remained the most popular destination from Macedonia (if both of its airports are accounted) with 10.1% of all passengers flying to or from Turkey's largest city. It was followed by Zurich with a 6.9% market share, then Basel and Vienna at 5.4%, Malmo at 4.3% and Bratislava at 3.4%.

Commenting on the results, the General Manager of operator TAV Macedonia, Alper Ersoy, said, "We are happy to announce that the double digit increase in passenger numbers at both Macedonian airports continued throughout the first half of 2019, and is higher than the EU average of 5.9%. We expect passenger growth to continue at the same pace, and to be even higher during the third and fourth quarters, due to the opening of four new routes from Skopje Airport and six new destinations from Ohrid Airport". He added, "Macedonia's airports are blossoming. They have became among the fastest growing in the Balkans and in Europe. We are glad they are being recognised by citizens from neighbouring countries, who use them regularly for their travels. We will continue to work on their development, with the aim to transform the airports into main regional air traffic hubs".


  1. Anonymous09:08

    65% is simply madness. SKP should've had at least another alternative with FR too. Many airports in the region have a healthier balance of 2. Best example is INI. What's more is that INI will now serve 3 big players: W6, FR and JU.
    SKP should've learnt from INI even on primary destinations such as FCO & Salzburg.

    1. Anonymous11:23

      Um, no, JU doesn't belong to the same big boys club as W6 and FR.

    2. Anonymous11:41

      Well neither would Wizz Air but they had Indigo Partners pumping billions into it for about a decade before they became remotely profitable.

    3. Anonymous11:48

      Salzburg primary o_O

  2. Anonymous09:10

    How are their fares out of SKP?

    1. Anonymous11:49

      why not check on wizzair.com

    2. Anonymous12:00

      Because I am asking how are they overall, throughout the year compared to before. I am not interested in this moment, right now. You could be a bit more constructive in your comments.

  3. Anonymous09:14

    wow those are fantastic numbers for Skopje

    1. Anonymous09:16

      SKP ahead of PRN by 242 passengers :D

    2. Anonymous09:21

      It will be a tight race this year.

    3. Anonymous09:28

      DBV ahead of SKP by 400 passengers :D Next year in H1 SKP will overtake DBV for sure.

    4. Anonymous10:37

      SKP,and PRN was ahead of DBV in H1 previous years. DBV overtook them this year,so I wouldn't be so sure with your statement.

  4. Anonymous09:14

    Well done Skopje and Ohrid. It's great to see OHD attracting more and more passengers.

  5. Anonymous09:18

    That is a massive share!

    1. Anonymous09:23

      Can they reach 70% share this year?

    2. Anonymous09:42

      They probably will.

    3. Anonymous11:15

      70% is getting close to monopoly territory. Is monopoly what Wizzair wants?

    4. Anonymous20:16

      Not a healthy share, but it is what it is

    5. Anonymous20:18

      If something happens with Wizz one day, Skopje will have problems.

  6. Anonymous09:22

    Bravo Wizz Air!

  7. Anonymous09:24

    It's nice to see Croatia Airlines as the sixth largest in SKP. Unexpected. They must be doing well on the ZAG-SKP route.

    1. Nemjee09:32

      OU ZAG-SKP

      2017: 52.248
      2018: 69.908

      +17.660 passengers or an average of an additional 24 one-way passengers per day.

    2. Anonymous09:42

      That's good. I wonder where these extra passengers are coming from all of a sudden.

    3. Anonymous09:56

      Probably connecting?

    4. Anonymous11:26

      I may be that less people fly with JP and switch to OU

    5. Anonymous11:51

      OU`s morning flight from SKP is mostly connecting passengers. they have tapped into the gasto market during the summer season

  8. Anonymous09:28

    Love them or hate them but SKP is really pushing ahead in the ex-YU race to the top! They are actually busier than some other airports in H1 for the first time.

    Here is the list:

    1. BEG - 2.611.000
    2. ZAG - 1.534.105
    3. SPU - 1.102.118
    4. DBV - 1.059.684
    5. SKP - 1.059.223
    6. PRN - 1.058.981
    7. LJU - 857.557
    8. SJJ - 457.734
    9. ZAD - 295.316
    10. TZL - 271.006
    11. PUY - 242.826
    12. INI - 165.658

    There is a fierce fight between SPU, DBV, SKP and PRN! Who would have guessed some years ago this would happen! SKP and PRN have year-round demand so we have to see how their winter numbers perform and what it all looks like in the end!

    1. Anonymous10:58

      Heheh just a tiny reminder that SPU has just opened a big terminal and July and August have not even finished yet :)
      Skopje is still very far from Split and Dubrovnik levels. The closest competitors to Skopje are Pristina and Niš.

    2. Anonymous11:26

      He was talking in overall numbers, not who is whose direct competitor. SKP's rise is impressive and it managed to almost beat DBV and SPU in H1 which wasn't the case before. Also SKP has something those two airports don't have: winter traffic.

    3. Anonymous11:58

      "Also SKP has something those two airports don't have: winter traffic."

      I can say:

      Also SPU has something SKP doesn't: intensive summer traffic which can compare up to 2-3 months traffic made from SKP.
      In other words, in July Split has traffic that will take Skopje 4 months to make. Last July, Split handled 695,509.
      Yes, winter is much calmer but just because it is a seasonal destination, doesn't make it insignificant. Plus, SPU doesn't count only on 1 airline to generate almost 3 quarters of its traffic.
      W6 in SKP is what FR is in CRL in Belgium or WMI in Warsaw.

    4. Anonymous12:03

      Still, SKP is growing each year. Last year the difference between the two was 1.5 million which SKP can reduce a lot this year especially since W6 keeps on adding more and more flights. Maybe this year it can be down to 1.3, next 1 and so on. Macedonia is investing a lot in tourism so numbers will keep on climbing and Wizz the perfect airline for the job.

    5. Anonymous12:07

      2013: 984.407
      2018: 2,158,258

      2013: 1,581,734
      2018: 3,124,067

      2013: 1,522,629
      2018: 2,539,412

      SPU: +1.542.333
      SKP: +1.173.851
      DBV: +1.016.783

      I would say SKP did really well given the circumstances especially compared to DBV!

    6. Anonymous12:16

      Agreed. Skopje's growth is impressive but as Croatia is an EU member, its routes are not subsidised.
      Additionally, don't forget that Dubrovnik will get a new terminal by 2025:


      Lets also not forget LJU as it will, in turn get a new, bigger terminal even sooner in 1.5 years time. Construction already began this month:


    7. Anonymous12:22

      Neither are the routes out of SKP subsidized, those expired and flights stayed because there is a lot of potential. Also subsidies in the EU are allowed, there is PSO in Croatia and soon in Austria as well.

    8. Anonymous13:47

      Where are Montenegro's airports on the list?

  9. Anonymous09:58

    A reason for the above results is the fact that quite a few of Albs use the airports in SKP, PRN or Ohrid for low cost travels as TIA continues to be quite expensive. Personally I've used SKP for flights with Qatar Airways to Asia which is cheaper than TK.

    1. Anonymous10:06

      But is TIA really that expensive? I mean if it was then they wouldn't be booming right now, this year they are even going to overtake ZAG, just to put things into perspective.

    2. Anonymous10:21

      It is unfortunately quite expensive. It's the 2nd most expensive in Europe after FRA. The growth is mainly due to Charter flights where the airport charges less than compared to schedule flights. All low cost airliners: Wizz, Vueling, Easyjet, Ryanair they want to be part of the market but is practically impermeable (unfortunately).

    3. Anonymous11:25

      Dont worry, low cost Kukës airport will open before 2050

    4. Anonymous11:29

      do you know some of the reasons behind this? why is TIA so expensive? or why are the charges so high?

    5. Anonymous11:48

      @anon 11:29. It's purely because it's a monopoly and it was a super bad concession deal back in 2004. For a fact the country has only one operational airport. Until 2016 TIA had the monopoly of the airspace (again this is because of a stupid concession deal). In April of this year, the construction of Kukes airport began. Will it become a reality this time? I don't know (as anon 11:25 said), they hope will be operational in 24 months from April this year. But until then, TIA will continue its 20+million Euros per year profit and people will be looking for cheaper alternative airports.

    6. Anonymous11:54

      sorry but it is not so expensive. if Ernest can offer 60€ tickets to MXP then it probably isnt

    7. Anonymous12:08

      flying Wizz from Ohrid to Malpensa for 8 days in late Oct for 37Eur round trip. From TIA the cheapest was sth like 99Euro. That's a 62Eur difference. Agree with anon@09:58, TIA definitely more expensive than other local airports in the region.

    8. Anonymous12:22

      Oh, come on. TIA charges 12.5€ per passenger and 15€ landing fee.


      SKP charges 11.5€, difference is only 1€


      Situation is very similar in PRN: 12.53€


    9. Anonymous13:13

      Its true, Albanians have overreacted to this. Yes its a shame that until recently TIA had a monopoly and Kukës is taking ages to open but the fees are more or less the same as other airports in the region

    10. Anonymous10:54

      @Anon 12:22
      This is going off topic, but you're only posting about two specific fees.
      What about landing, ground handling, check-in counters and all the other fees??? Or don't they count according to you?

      As an example, for a plane of the A320 size, TIA charges €1320 ground handling, SKP less than €900.

      And we are not even talking of any incentives here.

      But don't get me wrong, I think SKP has done extremely well and I do think the money that the govt has spent in terms of incentives has been repaid multiple times over indirectly. Way better than subsidizing a two-bit flag carrier.

      However, it must be said that TIA is flourishing despite the ridiculous fees that it charges for an airport that is in Albania, where the labour costs are a lot cheaper than most other countries in Europe.

  10. Anonymous10:19

    Wizz has some good prices, I managed to get a round trip to Bratislava for 25 euros in late September and round trip to Eindhoven for 50 euros round trip

    1. Anonymous11:24

      Eindhoven flights are very well priced indeed, it's a shame that the cost of getting to and from Amsterdam is virtually the same as the cost of the flight itself.

    2. Anonymous12:12

      Those are good fares. Bratislava is doing really well for them judging by the article since its one of the most popular routes from Mac.

  11. Anonymous10:46

    Wow impressive photo. All 4 Wizz planes there. Soon fifth one coming.

  12. Anonymous12:41

    So in Macedonia all stores now have to sell 40 cm luggagefor people to comply with its 'national airline' policies?

    1. Anonymous13:52

      No as you have many other non low cost options.

  13. Anonymous13:59

    It's turning out to be another great year for Skopje and Ohrid

  14. Anonymous15:12

    If Skopje could manage to get one more LCC to base a plane (Ryan or Easy) that could push Skopje to more than 3 million/year.

  15. Anonymous15:30

    Time for Wizz to base a plane in Ohrid?

    1. Anonymous15:36

      well they could fly VIE and Luton from OHD and there you have your 6 routes

  16. Anonymous19:59

    Pegasus is holding up quite well considering Turkish already flies Istanbul-Skopje.

    1. Anonymous20:08

      Lots of Turkish tourists flying with Pegasus to SKP.

  17. Anonymous19:59

    PRG, GVA and AMS still need to be launched.

  18. Anonymous20:17

    wow 2/3 of all passengers are on one airline

  19. Having flown several times from Scotland to Skopje, normally with 2 nail biting connections in a variety of airports, I'll be happy if there was more direct Wizz route that helped.

  20. It's strange there are direct fligths to Ohrid with Wizzair from all EU countries except the Netherlands!!


Post a Comment

EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. A full list of comment guidelines can be found here. Thank you for your cooperation.