Macedonian airports with regional hub ambitions


Skopje and Ohrid airports are enjoying record traffic this year with a number of new routes introduced, however, operator TAV Macedonia is doubling its efforts to increase passenger numbers from the region, including Albania, Kosovo and Serbia. General Manager, Alper Ersoy, told the "Medial" portal, "It is true that network development at Skopje and Ohrid airports attracts many travellers from Macedonia and the region. When we at TAV refer to "our travellers", we are thinking and relying on the local market, but also passengers coming from Albania, Serbia and Kosovo. It is only natural to view things from such a perspective in our business. In airport operations, neighbouring regions and cities that are within a three hour driving distance by car, or within a radius of 300 kilometres from the airport, form part of its catchment area".

Pristina Airport's Scheduling Manager, Driton Hyseni, said last week that the Kosovo government should do more to prevent the outflow of local passengers to Skopje, Ohrid and Niš airports. Mr Ersoy noted, "We think that our excellent location, large number of affordable destinations, as well as our high quality and competitive services pave the way for Skopje and Ohrid airports to become joint regional air traffic hubs. Therefore, we expect the number of travellers from the region to increase in the coming period, and we will continue to work hard to achieve this goal". Although different in size, Skopje, Pirstina and Niš are competing within a similar catchment area. Pristina Airport recently claimed that 50% of Skopje Airport's passenger traffic is made up of Kosovo travellers, while last year, Niš Airport noted that 14% of its travellers originate from Kosovo and 5% from Macedonia.

Mr Ersoy noted that TAV will continue promoting its services within the region. "We are undertaking various promotional activities to present travel opportunities from Skopje and Ohrid airports to residents within our catchment area. One of the latest activities TAV undertook was a promotion in Elbasan, Albania, in order to better inform the Albanian public about the opportunities and benefits offered by Macedonian airports, especially Ohrid Airport, taking into account the geographical proximity of Elbasan and Ohrid, as well as the numerous low cost flights from the Macedonian city to various destinations", Mr Ersoy said. During the first seven months of the year, Skopje and Ohrid airports handled a combined total of 1.314.582 passengers, representing an increase of 11% compared to the same period last year.




Comments

  1. Very interesting. In the end this competition is good and all three airports will do more to attract new airlines and passengers.

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    1. Yes it's always good to have some healthy regional competition.

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  2. Why would anyone from southern Serbia (Kosovo included) go to SKP or OHD if a similar flights is offered from PRN or INI? It just doesn't make sense especially with INI getting more and more cheap flights thanks to its low operating cost structure. PRN and SKP both have new terminals which are not cheap to maintain. That's where OHD and INI stand out because they are not overburdened with such large terminal buildings.

    Let's see how INI performs this year especially with JU flights and FR from MLA. Also I saw that Wizz Air is increasing MMX-INI from 3 to 4 next summer, not bad.

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    1. There are a number of routes offered from Skopje which are not offered from Nis.

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    2. Yes but INI is seriously catching up with SKP. More primary destinations are being served now and a much bigger mix of LCC and legacy in INI.

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    3. You have two legacy airlines in Nis. Please...

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    4. Take Malta as an example, why should someone from Vranje, Nis or Leskovac go to SKP if the flight is offered from INI? What competitive advantage does SKP have over INI for passengers from Serbia.

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    5. There are a dozen other routes offered from Skopje that are not offered from Nis. And people are certainly taking those flights.

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    6. There are no flights from SKP to FCO, SZG, BLQ and MLA.

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    7. No one is disputing that but SKP management says otherwise so my question is what makes them thing people will not fly out of INI in favor of SKP, MLA being a good example.

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    8. I think Wizz flies two times per week from SKP to MLA.

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    9. Malta is operated by Wizz Air from Skopje, so you might want to check your information.

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    10. I don't know what exactly it is you want to claim? That people from Southern Serbia don't use Skopje? Because that certainly isn't true. Just as people from Macedonia go to Nis, so do people from Serbia go to Macedonia. Get over your pride and ego.

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    11. There is no pride and no ego here. SKP and OHD want to become regional hubs or whatever so my question is how do they plan on attracting passengers from other areas such as Serbia where there are more and more flights that are offered from North Macedonia. I gave MLA as an example but there is also Malmo which seems to be performing fantastically from INI. Does SKP have any strategy how to preserve those Serbian passengers or will they just give up?

      I think you are the one with ego issues here.

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    12. There are daily flights from Skopje to Malmo, and there are flights from Skopje to Malta too.

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    13. Yes and INI got both of those in recent times so my question is how is SKP responding to this competition from INI? Are they doing something or are they just complaining in the media?

      INI is actually advertizing its flights, they even had some ads in Pristina.

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    14. Who exactly are they complaining to? What are you on about?

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    15. According to wizzair.com there will be three weekly flights from SKP to MMX this winter season. Daily flights are only in summer.

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    16. Actually, from 16.09 they are reduced from 7 to 5 (SKP-MMX)

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    17. @9.43, give up. The guy has not even read the article neither does he have a clue about operations from Skopje. First he didn't know about flights to Malta, now he had to go to check about the Malmo flights.

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    18. I am not the Malta guy but in stead of writing pointless comments why don't you answer my question! Does SKP management have a strategy to fight PRN and INI besides moaning and nagging in media? I gave an example of INI which has ads for its flights and organized transport from the whole region, Pristina included.

      It's a valid question very much related to today's topic.

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    19. Who is moaning or nagging in the media? Since you have not read the article and think they are moaning or nagging (I suggest you search the meaning of those words) your 'contributions' are pointless.

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    20. sorry your majesty,
      everybody will try to get hold of SKP management ASAP, even now on Sunday -just to answer your question.

      btw, I honeslty don't know why was INI even mentioned here- both SKP and PRN have almost 10 times more traffic than this airport.

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    21. He actually tells you what they are doing. But to find out, you have to read the article.

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    22. He says things without really saying anything at all:

      '"We think that our excellent location, large number of affordable destinations, as well as our high quality and competitive services pave the way for Skopje and Ohrid airports to become joint regional air traffic hubs. Therefore, we expect the number of travellers from the region to increase in the coming period, and we will continue to work hard to achieve this goal"'

      PRN can literally claim the same thing. Also no greater details on how they will continue to work hard.

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    23. Read the last paragraph about the promotional activities they are doing in neighboring countries. Also, he certainly didn't list all the things they are doing in other markets like cooperating with tour operators, bus companies for transfer from Pristina Airport to Skopje Airport, advertisements etc.

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    24. I second that, I would never go to SKP if I have the same flight from INI and by doing this I support the local economy and not the one of the neighbor. Plus an AS A319 is nicer than flying LCC W6 A320

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    25. I don't think the idea is to attract passengers on routes that are already covered from all airports. Also I think they are mainly focusing their efforts on Pristina and eastern Albania. Hence promotion in Elbasan.

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    26. Yes but Elbasan are using OHD, TIA and PRN. Isn't SKP a bit too far from them>?

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    27. Yes OHD, but CEO is talking about both airports since they manage both. Like I said I don't see anything bad between competition between PRN, INI, SKP/OHD. It can only benefit locals who will have more options and choices. Look at how much things changed for all three compared to say 10 years ago.

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    28. With more low-cost flights being offered from TIA and PRN, Albanians are starting to use SKP much less than before

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    29. Do you have any statistics or proof to back that up?

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    30. @ 12:07 not according to PRN airport manager. But I guess you know better.

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    31. SKP is growing at a slower rate so there could be some truth to what he's saying? PRN is booming and so is TIA which will even overtake some ex-YU airports this year.

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    32. And it has not crossed your mind that growth in Skopje may have slowed due to the opening of nunerous routes from Ohrid this year which makes it unnecessary for many to use Skopje instead.

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    33. OHD flights are filled with Albanians actually.

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    34. I'm sure you're there, counting every day.

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    35. Anon 12:20 Do you have any statistics or proof to back that up?

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    36. Also do you realise that are literally only 2 routes that can serve Albanians from OHD. DTM, LTN, FMM, MXP are already served from TIA, while VIE will start this December

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    37. Interesting.

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  3. What is the status of the development of Kukes Airport? It could certainly have an impact on all airports in the region.

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    1. It's still closed.

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    2. Terminal and runway are being reconstructed at the moment

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    3. @Anon9:56 Do you have any videos or reportage on that?

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    4. @Anon14:11 https://www.infrastruktura.gov.al/nisin-punimet-per-ndertimin-e-aeroportit-te-kukesit/ official from Albanian ministry of infrastructure (in Albanian)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr5VtyZrP58 Video (in Albanian)

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  4. This is obviously a response to the PRN airport guy from last week.

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    1. Yes a much more measured and matured response.

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  5. Nice developments and improvements for Macedonia, especially OHD. I am still quite puzzled why the Gulf carriers didn't have much "success" in SKP.
    FZ has barely 2 weekly flights and QR only 3. It seems that Macedonians are not really keen to fly eastwards or it also seems TK is holding a strong grip on that market.

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    1. Didn't TK decide against adding more flights to SKP? I think they were supposed to add a third daily on some days.

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    2. No, stop making things up.

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    3. correction, in summer QR has 4 weekly flights.

      One of the reasons for UAE may be visa requirements for Macedonian Citizens- 100 eur for a visa is a major turn off imho

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    4. I am not making things us, read the comment from Anonymous2 January 2019 at 10:39

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2019/01/macedonian-airports-set-for-another.html

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    5. Aha now anonymous comment is your source of factual information.

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  6. How is SKP performing this year?

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    1. 2019 (01.01-31.07.) 1,300,790 Increase of 7.4%

      So a bit slower growth than the past 7-8 years.

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    2. Growth in third quarter should be significantly larger due to the new routes.

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  7. It's good to see Eurowings flying from Ohrid, perhaps they could attract them to Skopje too. It would attract even more passengers.

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  8. Attracting more legacy carriers would, in my opinion, also result in more passengers from neighboring areas. Legacy coverage is something the region is lacking.

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    1. Lufthansa should be the carrier they aim for.

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    2. EW planned SKP but then cancelled plans. I don't think they'll be coming back since their finances are a true mess.

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    3. They did start Ohrid this year though.

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    4. But they also opened a base in PRN.

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  9. I'm wondering whather we will see more new routes from Wizz from either SKP or OHD before the 3 year subsidy agreement for the current new routes expires.

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    1. W6 has to put somewhere all those new planes that they have ordered..

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  10. PRN and INI trolls are having a ball today

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  11. funny how the PRN and INI trolls are triggered everytime when SKP is in question

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  12. At first, headline sounded like a clickbait with words hub ambitions. Then I found the quote in the text about SKP and OHD becoming joint regional air traffic hubs!?! Wait, plural as in hubS? What are you talking about?

    To start becoming a regional hub, W6 (who else?) would have to start offering connecting flights at SKP. That's not likely at all, but to make both OHD and SKP into "joint hubs" is plain crazy and is only possible by using a lot of joints! It doesn't make any sense what that dude is saying about joint hubs.

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    1. Don't confuse an airline "hub-and-spoke" model with a mere "hub," which doesn't have a universal definition other than to mean that an airport has many direct flights and, therefore, is attractive to passengers in its catchment area.

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    2. Those direct flights you mention are spokes. There's no functioning hub without spokes. However to function as a hub, airport has to offer transfers between those spokes. INI has spokes but it's not a hub as you can't arrive from Tivat with JU and continue to Bratislava with Ryanair on the same ticket. Montenegro Airlines offers some connections as TGD which makes it a small hub. SKP has more spokes than TGD but it's not a hub.

      Expression "hub and spokes" are frequently shortened as hub, there is no real difference between the two.

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    3. Technically, a hub Is any airport which allows passengers to connect through it without a need to leave its airside. And which enables airlines to sell tickets that connect through it using it's information system, baggage sorting etc. I am pretty sure both PRN and SKP Are such hubs now.

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    4. I thought SKP is only point-to-point airport. What airline offers connections at SKP (or PRN)?

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    5. he never said "hub" he was talking about "regional traffic centre". check SKP's airport twitter

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    6. Lost in translation.

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  13. Please stop with the ego trips and nationalism. Jus read the article. The comment sections is unbelievable. So much hate 😣

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  14. stop complaining and making it about nationalism why argue for another 30 years while the rest of Europe moves on. Sometimes I think the region is stupid.

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  15. I really hope that new Kosovo Government will start with subsidies as the Macedonian Government does. It would be fun in such a situation.

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