Wizz Air hits Skopje with fresh round of route suspensions


Wizz Air is further reducing its network from its base in Skopje this coming winter season, with the airline to temporarily suspend another seven routes. The carrier will not be resuming flights to Barcelona, Bremen, Hannover, Laranaca, Sandefjord, Skavsta and Vaxjo until late March 2021. It follows the budget airline's decision to suspend flights from Skopje to Salzburg until the spring of next year. As a result, Wizz Air currently plans to maintain services from the Macedonian capital to 23 destinations during the winter, however, this is likely to change. The airline will run flights from Skopje to Basel, Baden Baden, Brussels, Bratislava, Berlin, Beauvais, Budapest, Copenhagen, Cologne, Dortmund, Eindhoven, Friedrichshafen, Gothenburg, Hamburg, Hahn, Malta, Malmo, Memmingen, Milan, Nuremberg, Rome, Turku and Venice. A number of these routes are temporarily suspended and not due to resume before the start of the 2020/2021 winter season.

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.

Following its reopening on July 1, Skopje Airport has had to deal with significantly reduced demand, not only due to the coronavirus pandemic, but also an entry ban for the majority of Macedonian nationals to most European Union member states, as well as a flight ban from certain markets. Currently, the airport is served by seven airlines, which is expected to grow to ten over the winter when Flydubai, Qatar Airways and LOT Polish Airlines are expected to restore their operations. However, Skopje’s traffic was down 16% in early September compared to late August, as Wizz Air’s temporary route network suspensions began to impact on the airport’s performance.

Comments

  1. Anonymous09:01

    And more to come unfortunately.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:11

      I think so too. I don't see much of a chance of Malta resuming in winter.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous17:56

      The resumption of all routes that are temporarily suspended until the end of October is uncertain.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:02

    Good for SKP. I hope they will get some normal airlines, for a change.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:26

      Wizz is not normal for you? lol

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    2. They move to TIA

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:02

    It will be interesting to see whather all the flights to actually resume.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:10

      They will all come back.

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    2. Anonymous10:07

      We will have to wait and see what happens

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  4. Anonymous09:03

    So about 1.6 million passangers cost them 1.7 million yearly? Sounds as a better deal to me then with JU, OU and YM.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:05

      With 60% of traffic concentrated on a single airline, it's never a good deal.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:07

      I guess. It also means flights to places like Hahn and Beauvais instead of Frankfurt and Paris, no chance of catching a connecting flight etc. Everything has its positives and negatives.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:53

      Value for money wise it's pretty good deal. 1 euro per passenger basically.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:57

      It is true that little bit better then LCCs for the connectivity but what i was saying, for a 1.7 million € a year they got 1.6 million passangers. And now compare that to JU, OU and YM and you will see how good actually this deal is. But you are right when you are talking about the conenctivty, but still i dont belive it is worth so much for money we gave to JU, OU, YM and what we get from them.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:01

      You forget that JU, YM and OU hire hundreds of locals directly, and thousands indirectly to support their operations. Wizz Air does not. For example thanks to JU and OU, there are big aircraft maintenance companies in BEG and ZAG which not only maintain planes from those two airlines. So it's not all black and white.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:16

      But still these airlines do not worth how much money we gave them.

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    7. Anonymous10:20

      Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I would much rather have a national airline than risk it with a foreign carrier which is under no obligation whatsoever to stay and can pick up and leave whenever it wishes to.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:00

      I also share your oppinon but still I think it is so much money spend on these national carriers.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous11:05

      Anon 10:01,All crew in the W6' planes from/to SKP are Macedonian-also makes sense to have a crew who actually speak the local language.
      Btw, they also sell Skopsko beer (not that this matters but in light of comments like JU sells cacak potato chips and therefore JU supports the Serbian economy).

      Delete
    10. Anonymous11:09

      You can't compare 50 crew members - many of them now being forced to move to Tirana to keep their jobs - to hundreds that work at the national airlines in Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia. And you don't support the local economy simply by selling a few local products on board. At the end of the day, none of those three airlines will close up shop while Wizz can certainly decide to debase planes from SKP, which it has already done with one aircraft

      Delete
    11. Anonymous12:19

      Indeed, it is pretty simple- if there's no demand- they will leave, if there is demand (as in the past) they will stay and expand, so no need to throw money into botomless pits.
      And btw, Wizz employs way more than 50 local crew members, and fyi, ground staff is also needed for planes based and sreved at an airport.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:08

    SKP will be more affected than most other ex-Yu airports because Wizz Air accounts for so much of its traffic.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:11

      Do not put all your eggs in one basket.

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    2. Anonymous17:26

      Yes bu the positive side of it all is that Wizz Air will probably not discontinue a single route.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:11

    :(

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:12

    It's not surprise now that lots of people are being fired by TAV at the airport.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:18

      How many?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:38

      Some Wizz staff in MK have also been dismissed.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous17:25

      Some cabin crew have been offered to work at new bases, particularly Tirana.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous17:54

      That's better than loosing their jobs.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:14

    Unfortunate.

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  9. Anonymous09:14

    After years of interest in ex-Yu, Wizz Air is slowly looking elsewhere.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:15

      Not really, this is all just temporary because of the virus.

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    2. Anonymous17:54

      Let's hope so.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:15

    This will be good news for PRN at least.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:27

      just wondering how..

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    2. Anonymous09:44

      I guess because more there are more people with permanent residency or citizenship from EU countries (Kosovo diaspora)

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:17

    Vaxjo and Barcelona were not operated in winter 2018/19 either but they did operate them last winter.

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  12. Anonymous09:17

    Very sad

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:17

    Don't panic, MK. Everyone is affected.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous09:19

    With EU unlikely to open its borders any time soon, this was bound to happen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:29

      Unfortunately. I think this is directly the impact of the border closures.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:19

    Ryanair should seize the opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:21

      Are you serious???

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    2. Anonymous09:22

      What are they going to open? A flight to some EU city into which Macedonians can't enter?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:25

      would be the right ocassion but until the entry ban in EU is lifted is totally unimaginable

      Delete
    4. Anonymous17:29

      I don't think Ryanair is too interested in this region unless it gets massive discounts or subsidies.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:22

    :( pity

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous09:22

    The entry ban for EU is very ridiculous, especially when applied for people from the Balkans. If you compare the coronavirus numbers nowadays to the one in most EU countries, there are many more cases in the EU then in the Balkan countries, and someone is keep blocking us from travelling and affecting many economies

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:22

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:23

      It's mostly a political decision.

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    3. Anonymous09:26

      It shows how much the EU loves and respects us.

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    4. Anonymous09:27

      +100

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:28

      @9.26 +1

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:54

      It's the worst decision ever that the EU took against Western Balkans, to keep its borders shut. The have to open the borders at some stage even if people will have to have 1 or more negative corona test to travel. They exported the virus to us, not us to them! It's absolutely ridiculous!

      Delete
    7. Anonymous14:09

      Same for Turkey!

      Delete
    8. Anonymous17:28

      The closure of the borders is the direct reason for these suspensions. Had this not been the case the flights would most likely have continued.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:27

    I really hope they resume all these routes in March.

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  19. Anonymous09:28

    It seems mostly routes to Germany have been unaffected.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:29

      I'm assuming because it's mostly used by people who either have German citizenship or residency so they can travel to/from Germany.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:30

      It is also used by people with work permits in Germany who can also enter.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:30

    Im a MK gasto from Germany. Only a handful Macedonians I know visited MK this summer. Demand is indeed very low at the moment.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous09:31

    It's time for SKP to act fast and not rely on 1 airline only. I mean W6 has brought so many good numbers but it's time to attract legacies by offering them some discounts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:49

      The only airline that completely terminated flights to SKP since this pandemic began is in actual fact a legacy - Aegean.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous09:32

    I am not surprised at all by the winter cancellations in these circumstances. Makes sense.

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  23. Anonymous09:32

    What happens to us that already have bought tickets for November?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:35

      You will get a voucher valued 120% of your ticket price or you can ask for full refund but that will take some time.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous09:36

    What did people expect?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous09:37

    I don't think the A321s will return to SKP for some time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:55

      When did they retire the A321s from SKP?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:56

      "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
    3. Anonymous10:02

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

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    4. Anonymous10:05

      middle of December.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:06

      one of the SKP A321s was restationed to Vienna.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:40

      So the 321s were pulled from SKP last year, well before the corona.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:43

      Yes, it says winter 2019/2020

      Delete
  26. Anonymous09:44

    If you enjoy stats:

    the latest numbers (LF) for Germany-ExYu (July '20, one way D->ExYu)

    Bosnien u. Herzegowina 52.8% (of which TZL 51.1%)
    Kosovo PRN 77.6%
    Kroatien 77.1% (DBV 65.2%, SPU 83.8%, ZAD 81.1%, ZAG 65.1%)
    Mazedonien 61.1% (SKP 60.1%)
    Montenegro 57.1 (TGD 55.8%)
    Serbien 40.4% (BEG 43.8%)
    Slowenien LJU 72.8%

    speaking about Macedonia, the best route LF-wise was Berlin-SXF

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous09:57

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:01

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

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:06

      what has TIA to do with SKP, SMFH.

      Delete
  28. Anonymous10:17

    Those cancellations have been driven from the troublesome route to Finland that was quite notorious. Domino effect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:21

      It's driven by a lack of demand. Has nothing to do with Turku, which, btw is not planed for suspension.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:29

      @10.17 epic fail druze! what would Ex-Yu would be without your comments. HAHAHA!

      Delete
  29. Anonymous10:38

    Time to open a base in PRN.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:43

      Why? PRN is in the same situation as SKP.

      Delete
  30. Anonymous10:39

    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).

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous10:45

    I doubt we will see a W6 expansion from SKP anytime soon again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:49

      is this the notorious guy?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:52

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

      Delete
  32. Anonymous10:49

    Budapest? Wtf.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:51

      ?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:35

      They need to keep Budapest as it's paid by the Hungarian government.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:19

      Routes such as Budapest, Barcelona, Malta, Venice never made sense.

      Delete
    4. Negativna Obsesija13:59

      @13.19 haha mr.notorious again!!!

      Delete
  33. Anonymous11:03

    Let's hope they can actually resume flights from March 2021.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous15:41

    It's not a good sign that numbers are retracting on the previous month.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous16:33

    fairytale gone wild...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:55

      We are in a middle of a pandemic. The fairytale would have continued otherwise.

      Delete
  36. Anonymous17:27

    How many routes has Wizz Air now suspended in ex-Yu? Must be over 50.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Anonymous17:30

    So we can conclude that these 7 destinations are probably their worst performers at the moment?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:53

      Well they certainly won't cut routes that are performing well.

      Delete
  38. Anonymous21:29

    That's what you get for placing your bet only on W6 and giving full control to them. Your hands are now tied and have no alternative but to sit and watch. If you dare to seek any alternative Wizz might punish you harshly so just sit there and be quiet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous22:12

      ok. thanks for telling us

      Delete
  39. Anonymous21:35

    Lol yeah because amid the pandemic there is a queue of airlines wishing to fill the void. Lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous00:24

      If other airlines get the same exclusive treatment, guaranteed tender wins, years of uninterrupted no-questions asked government subsidies, other LCCs being kept away... yes there would be other airlines interested. Kick Wizz out and you'll see the interest.

      Delete

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