Macedonian airports handle record 2.6 million passengers


Macedonia's two international airports, Skopje and Ohrid, are preparing for another record year after they handled a combined total of over 2.7 million passengers in 2019, adding some half a million travellers on the year before. The airport's operator, TAV Macedonia, is targeting new markets and plans to expand capacity in both Skopje and Ohrid.

The General Manager of TAV Macedonia, Alper Ersoy, spoke to EX-YU Aviation News about the airport's achievements in 2019 and its goals for the upcoming year. You can read the full interview below:

Are you satisfied with the performance of Macedonia's two airports in 2019?

We are very happy with the performance of the two Macedonian airports. 2019 has been a very successful year for TAV Macedonia, in terms of passenger growth at both Skopje and Ohrid airports. From the beginning of the year, until December 30, a total of 2.7 million passengers (2.652.838) traveled through both Macedonian airports - Skopje International Airport and Ohrid St. Paul the Apostle Airport, which is a 14% annual increase, while at Ohrid Airport alone we have had remarkable annual passenger growth of 72% during the same period. Solely in November 2019, we had a remarkable 240% annual increase in passenger numbers at Ohrid Airport, while at Skopje Airport a solid double digit growth of 15.2%.

These growth rates have been achieved as a result of the constant route network development at Skopje and Ohrid airports. Only in 2019, TAV Macedonia added four new destinations from Skopje Airport (Bremen, Baden Baden, Turku and Larnaca), while eight new destinations were added from Ohrid Airport - Memmingen, Dortmund, Milan and Malmo (regular, year round routes), plus: Stuttgart, Dusseldorf, Maastricht and Adana (seasonal routes). Skopje Airport currently serves 44 destinations, operated by thirteen airlines. Ohrid Airport serves 22 destinations, from which eight are regular year round and fourteen seasonal, also operated by thirteen airlines.

All this is a result of the good cooperation we have with the Government, as well as all aviation stakeholders - CAA, M-NAV, the police, customs, and all airlines as our clients. We will continue to work jointly on route network expansion, as well as the improvement of our services.

What are some of the markets you are targeting at the moment in terms of future air services from Macedonia?

Currently there are 44 destinations from Skopje and 22 destinations from Ohrid, connecting Macedonia with many cities in Europe, the UK, Balkans, Turkey and the Middle East.
We are closely monitoring passenger flow to destinations which are not in our network and communicating with airlines and tour operators over new markets. We are targeting any market which has the potential and demand for passengers.

It has been suggested that capacity at Ohrid Airport will be expanded soon. When could we expect the expansion of the terminal building?

TAV, in cooperation with the Government, is ready for the realization of these infrastructure projects. In the coming period, the administrative procedures should be finalised. If all procedures are completed, we’ll work to expand capacity at both Macedonian airports in 2020. TAV Airports has always kept its commitments to the Macedonian authorities and we are working harmoniously with the Macedonian Government to make sure all our commitments are kept.

Considering the recent collapse of Adria Airways, the upcoming sale of Croatia Airlines, the opening of a Eurowings base in Pristina and Wizz Air’s growth in Macedonia in 2019, what is your assessment of the aviation sector in the region and what the future may hold?

Unfortunately, 2019 was not a very good year for airlines. We noticed that airlines are more conservative in entering new markets as long as yields are not at the required level. On the other hand, the airline industry is highly cyclical and has fluctuations from time to time. We do believe that following the existing turbulent period, the airline industry will do better again soon.




Comments

  1. Anonymous09:06

    Fantastic result for 2019

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  2. Anonymous09:07

    So they actually plan to expand SKP in 2020 as well. What would this involve?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous21:37

      skopje airport can fit 4 to 4.5 milion passeners a year ,,,this year was 2.3 milion and ohrid airport 350k almost,,,,they only will extand ohrid airport I think,,,skopje not needed

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:12

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

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  4. Anonymous09:13

    Wizzair was definitely be the story of 2019 for Macedonian airports. Let's see if some other airlines launch flights to SKP in 2020.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:17

      When has Wizz not been the story of the year for Macedonian airports in the past 6 years? :D

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:22

      lol true

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:13

    I still remember people predicting how Skopje's "bubble will burst" and that its numbers would detract.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:13

      Sooner or latter normal generic growth will begin. But anyway SKP is a success story in its own right. Congrats!

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:17

    Any chance for Wizz to upgrade any of the remaining 3 A320s at Skopje to A321s?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:22

      I don't think so. 2 A321s are enough for the moment.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:39

      There are no 321s in SKP. The base is 5x 320s.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:41

      ^ umm you might want to check your info. There are 2 A321s in Skopje since 2018.

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2018/01/wizz-air-to-station-a321s-in-skopje.html

      Delete
    4. The thing is that they switch between 320s and 321s depending on the season.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous20:28

      So at the moment they have 5 A320s in SKP?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous22:03

      Good morning.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous06:25

      Good morning Anon 22.03!

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:21

    So what is the prediction for Skopje and Ohrid in 2020? What should the numbers look like at the end of the year?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:34

      2.9 million in my opinion.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:34

    Congrats, North Macedonia!

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:33

      Also to Ohrid in west Macedonia.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:34

      If they extend ohrid airport u will see 200 thousand albania from albania go there
      They should fix the edelweiss air connection to new york and add 2 weekly flight with new istanbil airport for new york
      If they do that they need to build new terminal.in ohrid for 2 milion passenger
      I say next year will be 3.1 to 3.5 milion

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:34

    Great to see so much development in Macedonian aviation lately.

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  10. Anonymous09:44

    More regular airlines with flights to actual hubs please.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:53

      I agree. We really need is flights to major hubs like LHR, CDG, FRA, MUC, AMS, FCO, BRU.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:15

      At least one of this please

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:19

      EW tried MUC but unfortunately it didn't work out in the end. If OS keeps on struggling in PRN now that Wizz is attacking them there, we can maybe expect them to put greater focus on SKP which seems to be performing really well for them.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:45

    I would prefer if SKP would try and attract some European legacies like Air France, KLM, British Airways, Lufthansa that can offer good onward connections.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:52

      Read what the CEO says:

      "We noticed that airlines are more conservative in entering new markets as long as yields are not at the required level."

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:57

      So that means that legacies believe that yields are an issue in SKP? Yields in general or because of Wizz Air?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:15

      Most probably.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:57

    Anyone know how LO is doing in SKP?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous10:35

    Plans for 6th plane by Wizz?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:54

      2021 or 2022.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:54

      It would make more sense to base a plane in Ohrid now.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:57

      they add an aircraft every 2 years so not very likely but who knows

      Delete
  14. Anonymous10:52

    waiting for Abu Dhabi and St. Petersburg routes

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:54

      Baku too.

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    2. Anonymous10:55

      Wizz Air Abu Dhabi should definitely launch AUH-SKP. I think they could be very successful against sluggish Flydubai.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:07

      @10.54 is there really demand for Skopje-Baku flights?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:23

      Of course, they could attract many tourists to come and visit Macedonia, Wizz could stimulate demand even more. I think thanks to historic ties of Macedonia with France we can maybe expect one or two destinations in the future? Transavia is expanding in Nantes and Montpellier so maybe we get a link to SKP in the future? Montpellier could be a good entry point for all southern France.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:34

      which historical ties? being the only country that blocked us from joining EU?

      Speaking of France they only route I can see is Nice (and Lyon if it really serves as an alternative to Geneva which im not convinced yet)

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:37

      Only countries in Europe that Azeris dont need a visa are the countries of the future Mali-Schengen plus BiH. If you give them cheap flights they might come but who knows

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:40

      @anon 11.07 Many thought there was no demand for Skopje-Barcelona, Skopje-Malta, Skopje-Larnaca or Skopje-Turku but they all seem to have worked out.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:44

      No flights to FRA, MUC, LHR, FCO, CDG and you are waiting for Abu Dhabi and Baku? Smh

      Delete
    9. Anonymous12:03

      Oladi. What have FRA, MUC, LHR, FCO, CDG to do with Wizz flights to anywhere. beside that there are DOH and DXB already

      Delete
    10. Anonymous12:17

      Sorry, i forgot that Wizz can add flights to anywhere from countries like NMK where they are paid by the government

      Delete
    11. Anonymous12:18

      But the Macedonian goverment should try to cancel the visas for its citizens for UAE and Azerbaijan (I think they need visa for there too).

      Delete
    12. Anonymous12:40

      both dont needs visas for Macedonia

      Delete
    13. Anonymous12:43

      Macedonians need visas to travel to UAE or Azerbaijan.

      Delete
    14. Anonymous13:04

      Oladi covece. all Europe needs visas for Azerbaijan but its an easy online visa. at least you learnt something today. every Emirate airline arranges visa through their webpage

      Delete
    15. Anonymous13:19

      My point was that is additional cost to travel.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous11:08

    Congrats SKP and OHD! Wizzair has definitely made an impact. Let's see what other route they could open from SKP this year.

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  16. Anonymous11:30

    now that ADP (Aeroporte de Paris) bought 46% of TAV it would be logical to open SKP-CDG and try to distribute some of the transfer pax from SKP via CDG . There are more connecting opportunities at CDG then VIE for example. just look at AF's NA network. TAV lost its Istanbul airport anyway

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:37

      Maybe we could see AF launch CDG-ZAG-SKP with fifth freedom rights?

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    2. Anonymous11:41

      ^ Why?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:45

      a daily embraer from HOP SKP-CDG for the beginning is enough

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:04

      It would be very low risk for AF. ZAG is booming for them so they could spare a few seats for SKP market. Then until SKP matures they can also sell local traffic from ZAG, there is a lot of demand from Croatia to Macedonia. It's a no brainer.

      CSA wanted to do the same but they messed up the times by flying in the middle of the night.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous15:42

    one has to wonder what is the ceiling of SKP.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:11

      I think it will stabilize somewhere between 5 and 6 million.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous16:32

    The current INI expansion might hurt SKP performance because of the more primary destinations. Secured organic traffic for at least 3 years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous07:23

      Well INI managed to handle more passengers than TZL in November and December so that's a start.

      Delete
  19. Yea ..they should be proud ..because people tend to fly from macedonia ...but in one way 😁 its another thing the custom is very rude there ...especialy if they see that u libe outside macedonia and going on vication there ...

    ReplyDelete

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