Wizz Air to reduce Skopje fleet


Wizz Air plans to reduce its Skopje fleet from five to four aircraft as a result of the effects of the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic and the opening of new bases across the continent. The budget airline has pulled aircraft from a select number of its other bases as well, including Budapest, Warsaw, Cluj, Vilnius and Timisoara. Overall, the airline is shedding some 1.000 jobs across the company, with the airline’s EX-YU bases already having had their headcount reduced. However, despite the cuts, no routes will be suspended from Skopje, with some flights to be operated by out of base aircraft and crew. The airline has already announced plans to launch a new service from Skopje to Salzburg starting July 3. There are currently four Wizz Air aircraft on the ground in Skopje, all of them Airbus A320 jets. They have been operating short flights within Macedonian airspace this week for licensing purposes of its crew, most of which have been grounded for months.

Wizz Air has delayed the resumption of its flights from Skopje and Ohrid until July 1 due to travel restrictions imposed as a result of Covid-19. Both Skopje and Ohrid airports remain closed, with no date set for their reopening. Wizz Air passengers with bookings affected by flight suspensions will be automatically informed via e-mail, in case the customers booked directly via the airline’s or mobile app. A total of 120% of the original fare will automatically be uploaded to the customer’s Wizz account, with the amount to be used in the next 24 months for the purchase of Wizz Air products and services. Passengers can also opt for a cash refund, which will take longer to complete, and will be informed about the necessary steps for a bank transfer or transfer to a bank card in a separate e-mail. In this case, customers will be eligible for only 100% of the original fare. Passengers who made their bookings via travel agencies, including online travel agencies, should get in touch with the company from which they purchased their tickets. Ohrid Airport has been closed since early March, while Skopje shut its doors for commercial traffic on March 18. This Tuesday, the Macedonian government declared a new state of emergency lasting until June 22.

Skopje has been Wizz Air’s biggest and busiest base in the former Yugoslavia. The carrier stationed its fifth aircraft in the city last year with some jets upgraded from the 180-seat A320s to the 230-seat A321s, although this winter saw its entire Skopje-based fleet uniformed to the A320s. During 2019, the airline accounted for over 60% of all passengers from the Macedonian capital. Late last year, the Macedonian government outlined plans to invest 1.7 million euros into the country’s aviation sector during this year. The majority of the funds were to be directed towards Wizz Air for the upkeep of new routes launched in 2019 based on a three-year subsidy agreement.

Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    If they are not suspending any routes it's not a big loss really

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:03

      Except for the people who lost their jobs...

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:05

      Well there is one change. OHD-MXP becomes seasonal and will no longer operate during the winter.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:11

      That's a shame, I guess it might be back next winter

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:32

      Yes, there is a significant reduction in the seat capacity. No more A321s.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:44

      When did they retire the A321s from SKP?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:46

      "The carrier stationed its fifth aircraft in the city last year with some jets upgraded from the 180-seat A320s to the 230-seat A321s, although this winter saw its entire Skopje-based fleet uniformed to the A320s."

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:54

      Yes but was it right at the beginning or in January/February after New Year

      Delete
    8. Anonymous10:02

      middle of December. One went directly to VIE for their expansion (and battle with Lauda)

      Delete
    9. Anonymous11:30

      @Anonymous 09:03:

      Unfortunately, people are selfish. Nobody cares about anyone else but themselves. My thoughts are with all of those involved who will have to relocate due to downsizing.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:02

    It will be interesting to see how things develop in SKP considering they are growing in PRN and TIA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:05

      You think they would sabotage their base in Skopje so they can develop Pristina and Tirana. Don't think so.

      Delete
    2. Nemjee09:14

      You don't understand the way Wizz works. They are not loyal to any airport, they are only loyal to the highest bidder. If PRN or INI offer them a better deal they will go for it no questions asked. If a route from SKP is affected by it then it will be cut. They are a for-profit business and as such they don't care about various airports. Bottom line is all that matters.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:17

      Yes but I'm pretty sure Skopje makes them money.

      Delete
    4. Nemjee09:19

      No one said otherwise, those airports were purely used as examples. If one day a route no longer makes money for them in the region it will be cut. For example when they were forced to suspend MMX-INI, they still found a way to operate it because it was a profitable route for them.

      Delete
    5. Nemjee09:22

      Btw are there any routes out of SKP on which they face direct competition?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:25

      Nope, but I believe TAV has a silent policy of not encouraging Wizz to compete directly against the few other airlines. I believe there is a reason Wizz is flying to Vienna only from Ohrid, while from Skopje they fly to Bratislava.

      Delete
    7. Nemjee09:26

      Interesting, thank you.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous09:35

      could be true but also only a myth. Wizz got incentives from VIE to fly to OHD (would not have happened if they choose SKP), and got subsides for BTS (which was not gonna happen if they choose VIE)

      ZRH has Edelweiss and Chair

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:04

    I notice that they do these aircraft swaps most often in Dortmund for some reson.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:04

      * reason

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:48

      maintanance?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:55

      No. They simply have matching schedule for DTM flights from different bases. There are always around 10 Wizz aircrafts in Dortmund at 08:00-08:30 in the morning, including flights from big bases. So, the crew just changes from aircraft to another one and plane goes to another base, for different reasons...

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:05

    We will have to wait and see what happens. A lot of flights from CLJ and TSR were cut days after the bases were reduced.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      The difference is that the Macedonian government pays Wizz to fly from SKP.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:10

      It depends a lot on how this current situation lasts in Macedonia. The longer the airport is closed, the less happy Wizz Air is.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:11

      Not all destinations are subsidized

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:15

      That's true. Only the ones launched in the last 3 years still are.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:07

    "They have been operating short flights within Macedonian airspace this week for licensing purposes of its crew, most of which have been grounded for months."

    So that's why they have been circling around Skopje lately

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:08

    Anyone know all the cities they have reduced their fleet?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      Budapest (15 to 13), Warsaw Chopin (8 to 7), Katowice & Gdansk (7 to 6), Cluj Napoca (7 to 5), Skopje (5 to 4), Kyiv Zhuliany (4 to 3), Kutaisi, Timisaora & Vilnius (3 to 2), Craiova, Debrecen, Sibiu & Wroclaw (2 to 1).

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:10

      Thank you!

      Delete
    3. But in same time they open

      Milan Malpensa (5 planes)
      Larnaca (2 planes)
      Lavov (1 plane)
      Salzburg (1 plane)
      Tirana (3 planes)
      Bacau (1 plane)
      Dortmund (2 planes)
      St. Petersburg

      and till end of year Abu Dhabi and London Gatwick

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:21

      True but the reason they are able to do that is because they have reduced the fleet in other places. As far as I'm aware they have not received any new aircraft recently, so these are purely coming from swaps from other bases.

      Delete
    5. Nemjee09:23

      Actually, DTM will have three A320s.

      Delete
    6. Nemjee09:27

      Anon 09.21 I think they have received a few A321neos but from what I remember around 34 older A320s will leave their fleet soon.

      Delete
    7. @Nemjee,
      You don’t remember well, 8 oldest A320 will be retired till June 2021, while 14 new A320neo/A321neo will be delivered for that period of time.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:12

    Time to open a base in PRN.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous09:12

    Are all the frequencies on routes being kept the same?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:22

      only CGN gets -1

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:16

    I was looking at Wizz timetable in BEG and there are some empty slots, I am sure they will use them for either INI or SKP flights. Some SKP planes were used for INI flights (BSL for example).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:23

      Anyone know if the OHD flights are operated by Skopje based planes or others?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:30

      Memmingen and Milan yes. Dortmund no

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:22

      There is no logic SKP flights to be operated with BEG slots from WizzAir.
      From SKP Base with SKP slots are operating:
      SKP-Bremen-Gdansk-Bremen-SKP
      SKP-Memmingen-Ohird-Memmingen-SKP
      SKP-Basel-Ohrid/Nish-Basel-SKP
      SKP-Bratislava-Oddesa-Bratislava-SKP
      SKP-Dortmund-Palanga-Dortmund-SKP
      All others 27 destinations are running from SKP base with SKP based aircrafts: Turku, Stockholm Skvasta, Oslo Sandefjord, Gothenburg, Vaxjo, Malmo, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Berlin, Hannover, Cologne, Nurnberg, Baden Baden, Frankfurt Hahn, Karlsruhe - Baden - Baden, Friedrichshafen, Salzburg, Paris, London Luton, Brussels, Eindhoven, Barcelona, Venice Marco Polo and Venice Treviso, Milan Malpensa, Budapest, Malta, Rome, Larnaca, ( Basel, Dortmund, Bremen, Bratislava, Memmingen ).

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:22

    It is interesting that so many bases are reduced but BEG is increased

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:46

      Actually, BEG is their only existing eastern European base to be boosted both in terms of planes, destinations and overall capacity. For example WAW had one A321neo and that one was removed.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:16

      Unfortunately despite growth jobs have been lost at all Wizz bases.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:19

      Don't know about the rest but in BEG they were hired once flights started

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:20

      No unfortunately that was not the case. In BEG either.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:58

      WAW didn't have NEO at any moment.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous14:34

      Hahah so how is Wizz operating flights now out of BEG if they didn't hire those who were fired in the past? XD They surely didn't bring foreign crew to work. hahaha

      As for WAW, it had one A321neo there. For a short period of time. It did. It really did.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous14:43

      I'm telling you no one has been hired and some people have been fired.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous15:08

      Anon 14:34

      WAW never had a NEO aircraft and crew there is not even trained for it, yet.

      BEG - Yes, they fired people and now they ask people from other bases to change base and move to BEG.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous19:21

      There was a neo based in WAW before the virus. Quite easy to find it using Google.

      Delete
    10. WAW had an A321 NEO and I can tell you that almost all of the crew members had a training for the type.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous07:51

      Nonsense. Wizz would not bring in people from other bases because that would require them to deal with the ministry of interior which issues work permits for foreigners. It's much easier to just re-hire those they fired. Please, stop making things up like this whole story that WAW didn't have an A321neo when it obviously did.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous09:08

      As a Wizz employee I can only say you have no clue what you are talking about or how things work at Wizz. Stop embarrassing yourself.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:23

    I don't know if it's related but for many of their Skopje routes the timetable changes towards the end of July (different operational days). Could be related to this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:42

      Could be the plane reshuffling and some of those routes being operated from other basis.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:25

    not every day all the 5 planes were overnighting at SKP so they have done some reshuffling.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:30

    While they might not be ending any routes, it reduces the chance of them launching new routes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:32

      They are launching Salzburg in weeks!

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:42

    Considering the amount of new bases they have opened some routes could easily be taken over by those. For example LCA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:53

      yes but LCA will be operated by SKP plane

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:48

    What's impressive is that until corona, Wizz Air was almost as big in SKP as OU is in ZAG (in terms of available seats on the market). Don't forget Wizz had high density A321s.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:08

      The 321s were pulled from SKP last year, well before the corona. They just use it as an excuse for everything.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous10:00

    Bratislava-Odessa is flown with a SKP based aircraft

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:20

      Maybe we'll see SKP ODS?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:21

      No because neither is in the EU.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:27

      ODS would be cool but as the previous one said not possible

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:29

      Can the Macedonian government renegotiate some of their bilaterals and nominate Wizz Air as its designated carrier? Or is that impossible because Wizz Air is registered in Hungary?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:47

      i stil dont understand how Eurowings is flying GVA from PRN. maybe something like that

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:02

      SKP ODS, what is the business sense here please? :D
      I also would like to see SKP - Uzbekistan but it remains wishful thinking

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:09

      you were the same that said "who will fly to that finish village"

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:20

      Anonymous 10:47
      Switzerland and Norway are part of the EU open skies group so they are covered.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous11:35

      @11.20 Wizz is not allowed to fly SKP-GVA but Eurowings is doing PRN-GVA. pls enlighten us :)

      Delete
    10. Anonymous12:15

      Odessa would make a lot of sense because of Ukrainians who come to Macedonia

      Delete
    11. Anonymous12:56

      How many Ukrainian tourists visited North Macedonia in 2019?

      Delete
    12. Anonymous14:34

      According to official statistics 58.221

      Delete
    13. Anonymous15:40

      That's massive. I am sure they were all from ODS :D

      Delete
    14. Anonymous16:47

      Amazing news! Ukraine is an important market for Ukraine. Same culture and alphabet and historical ties. 58 thousand is a huge number of tourists!!

      Delete
    15. Anonymous18:35

      "Ukraine is an important market for Ukraine. " - hahaha.

      Delete
    16. Anonymous20:56

      sarcasm ON :DDDD

      Delete
  17. Anonymous10:30

    Oh well, that massive SKP expansion was expected to come to and end and be redistributed elsewhere. SKP is basically covered.
    I doubt we will see a W6 expansion anytime soon. Just proves that the traffic is exclusively German and Swedish and very little Turkish. This also explains why SKP never got a chance to be connected to primary airports such as MUC, CDG, AMS, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:42

      The government could simply offer a new round of subsidies and you will have Wizz base a new plane.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:48

      and they announced SZG yesterday
      and they (gov) will ;)

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:55

      Which other routes could work from SKP for Wizz (which can actually be launched in line with bilaterals)?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:03

      The problem with SKP is quite similar to LJU because you have many new airports nearby. Needless to say, the INI expansion also hurt the results and the PRN additions as well. Close to SKP you have at least 5 airports with quite similar destinations. SOF is also used. You can see cars with MK registration plates at the terminal or ones parked in T1. The distance is barely 180km.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:38

      @11.55 LJU/Klagenfurt, PRG, Billund to start with, Ancona was already in the making (pre-corona). If we have to fantasize about bilaterals there you got GVA and TLV as two most obv. choices but i dont think there will be bilaterals.

      @12.03 lol

      Delete
  18. Anonymous11:54

    :(

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous12:01

    Let's hope they can actually resume flights from the 1st of July.

    ReplyDelete
  20. ObedinetaMKD12:50

    EXYU, I thing that this is not true, go on website and check all morning departures after 20.07, each week you have five morning start departures, so you can conclude that they stand on 5 aircraft.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:52

      It is true unfortunately. It was confirmed to us in internal communication. One aircraft less. It could happen that the plane will be moved from winter or that they will make changes to timetable later. Also expect lot of Macedonian crew to be working from Tirana base to keep their jobs.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous12:52

    Missed opportunities for SKP before downsizing could've been destinations like: MAD, PMI, CTA, LGW, ODS, LIS, LEJ, MAN, LYS and most importantly TLV - year-round destination.
    It's also unthinkable not having Moscow as a destination.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Well, we can all dream about the destinations we’d like them to open, but you have to think of the bilateral agreements and other limiting factors. Russia for example, has very strict rules. Flying between the two non-EU countries is almost impossible, as their airplanes are registered in Hungary. UK branch is created due to Brexit, to overcome these issues, as it’s one of their biggest markets.

      Delete
  22. When wiz start flying to Skopje and Pristina any date been updated yet and how many flight will be both country's in the week

    ReplyDelete

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