Macedonia allocates €1.1 million for new routes


The Macedonian government will provide 1.1 million euros in subsidies to airlines this year in order for them to launch new routes to the country. The Minister for Transport and Communications, Blagoj Bočvarski, said, “The government sees all airlines operating on the Macedonian market as serious partners for the development of air traffic in the country and we will continue to work with them. This year, 1.1 million euros have been provided in the budget as financial support for the launch of new routes”. He added, “As countries gradually lift their Covid-19 restriction, air traffic will begin returning to previous levels”. 

Over the past decade, Macedonia has granted incentives for the launch of new routes to interested carriers through a public tender in three-year intervals. All have been won by Wizz Air, which was the only one to show interest. Mr Bočvarski has already said the budget airline will launch flights between Abu Dhabi and Skopje, although ticket sales are yet to commence. Last month, Ukraine’s Windrose Airlines commenced services from Kiev to the Macedonian capital. Governments across the region have been attempting to stimulate carriers to either maintain flights or launch new services in face of the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, the Slovenian government opted for a similar strategy by granting close to one million euros to airlines flying to the country, with a further one million to be provided this year. 

The General Manager of airport operator TAV Macedonia, Metin Batak, has said that ongoing entry restrictions for Macedonian citizens continues to be one of the biggest obstacles for the recovery of air travel in the country. Speaking to EX-YU Aviation News, Mr Batak said, “The biggest challenge for recovery of Macedonian passenger traffic are the travel restrictions for Macedonian citizens established by EU member states due to Covid-19. Namely, citizens with Macedonian passports cannot enter any EU country, except if they are an essential worker (mostly medical workers) or have a certain type of visa (depends on the country). An additional headache is that different EU states have different restrictive policies introduced due to Covid-19. There is no coordinated approach to the problem within the EU and that affects all the countries geographically located in Europe and beyond. This is an external factor that we as an airport operator cannot mitigate with 77% of Macedonian air traffic concentrated in the EU. This is mostly the government’s competency. However, we are in a situation in which we cannot sit and wait. We must act”. He added, “We initiated and proposed a model of systematic testing at our airports to the Macedonian government, Ministry of Health and all relevant authorities. We hope to start with the opening of borders from some of the main EU markets, and then one by one, other countries would implement the same practice. It is a complicated process that, besides establishing the right health authority that would perform the testing at the airport, involves bilateral agreements between Macedonia and EU member states, therefore, we will need all the support we can get from the government and the relevant EU bodies”.


Comments

  1. Anonymous09:03

    Let me guess, Wizz Air will get the money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:15

      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.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:08

    Let's hope it results in more new routes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:54

      We will probably see more routes from Germany even though we have flights to 10+ cities.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:08

    What else can be launched from SKP?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:12

      Flights to Russia and Israel could work.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:44

      PRG, GVA and AMS are all still possibilities. Although GVA can only be launched by easyjet.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:50

      and its the most obvious destination still missing

      Delete
    4. Anonymous14:00

      OHD to TRF or OSL by Wizz

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:25

      yes, skopje needs GVA and that can be served by WizzAir, also PRG was served by Czech Airlines before, it will work if WizzAir launch SKP-PRG, and i think that KLM wont make a mistake if start to operate AMS-SKP.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:10

    why not

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:11

    ( SZG maneuver )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:12

      This money was allocated before Wizz Air suspended SZG along with 40 other routes at various airports. So your conspiracy has no basis.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:19

      then todays news is totally wrong because its the last tender's money

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:25

      It isn't, they allocated the money at the end of last year. But SZG was suspended a week ago. So again your conspiracy is completely misplaced.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:31

      wait and see

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:11

    Let's see if some other airlines launch flights to SKP in 2021.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:15

    More regular airlines with flights to actual hubs please.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:19

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

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:24

      You will need national carrier for that..

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:25

      At least one of these please

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:24

      BRU is the most relevant one, after joining Nato and hopefully start of the eu-talks, these flights will be needed.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:18

    I just hope that 2021 will be year to restore the traffic close to what was back before the pandemic. There are also some speculations in the sport portals that Qatar Airways will become the main sponsor of FK Vardar and takeover the concession from TAV for the airports but more updates should be known next week...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:19

      Until when does the TAV concession run?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:26

      Does QR run airports anywhere else?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:28

      Entebbe Airport in Uganda.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:33

      Doha

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:39

      Those are the only two.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:50

      "I just hope that 2021 will be year to restore the traffic close to what was back before the pandemic"

      Unfortunately that will not happen. Not even close. Predviđanja vlazduhoplovnih stručnjaka (EASA, ERA, EUROCONTROL) su sledeća:

      Best case: 2024
      Intermediate: 2026
      Worse case: 2029

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:20

      @9.19 they won a 20 years concession in 2010. So until 2030.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:20

    This has nothing to do with new routes im afraid

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:25

      What does it have to do with?

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:29

    First and foremost I hope we see LOT, Flydubai and Qatar Airways restore flights.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:31

    Plans for 6th plane by Wizz?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous09:32

    waiting for Abu Dhabi and St. Petersburg routes

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:36

    rumour has it Belavia ...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous09:39

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

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous09:40

    Since ADP (Aeroporte de Paris) now holds 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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:46

      +1 happy that im not the only one preaching about this

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:42

    Zurich is the second busiest route out of Skopje so it's beyond me how Swiss mainline failed in Skopje. It would be nice if they came back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:46

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:48

      because they dont take us seriously (same for PRN)
      They are outperformed by Chair on both airports ...

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:49

      I think it has more to do with problems at Swiss than our airports.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:45

      They send Edelweiss which is totally same thing as Swiss mainline. Flew with them and they are just like Swiss, no difference except in livery and codes.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:19

      But is there a particular reason they send Edelweiss then?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous13:36

      Anon 09:42
      Did they ever flew there even?
      Anon 12:19
      Edelweiss is part of Swiss which usually operates leisure routes from ZRH so problably they consider PRN and SKP leisure destinations. But still, its totally the same thing, no difference. Its not like Swiss failed there as many hillarious people say.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:43

    I think that this LLC funding needs to stop cause it's killing the competition and it's not fair for the other companies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:50

      koji bre kompetishn. SKP had 700k pax before LCC now it had 2.4 mio pre Corona
      Austrian, Turkish and Croatia were also growing in the last 2-3 years

      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:44

    Excellent news

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous09:45

    Let's hope it's more successful then the one in Slovenia which gave money to Montenegro Airlines (which went bankrupt a week after), Swiss which has had no flights in almost a year to LJU and no money to easyjet which was Slovenia's largest airline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:54

      its inappropriate but i had to lol at youre frist sentence.

      Having said that I really hope for a SKP-LJU resume

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:04

      "Slovenia which gave money to Montenegro Airlines " Did they? I mean was transaction really done?

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:46

    How many destinations will Wizzair have from SKP in five years?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:47

      It will probably have more than 75% market share

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:01

      I think they could have around 40 destinations.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:11

      Only if Macedonian government offers subsidies.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous10:00

    I think this strategy has been rather successful for MKD so I support it, especially in these sort of circumstances.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:04

      It will be employed by a lot of countries and airports with no demand recovery in sight.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous10:02

    Any chance of getting Aegean to restart flights?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:04

      I don't think the route made them money. Same with SJJ.

      Delete
    2. Aegean has summer seasonal operations from ATH to SKOPJE with OA dash 800

      Delete
    3. Anonymous20:51

      It will not be returning anytime soon mate

      Delete
    4. Anonymous20:52

      It has been terminated @unknown.

      Delete
  23. Anonymous10:04

    The Macedonian airport plan for testing is really good but I highly doubt EU will cooperate in letting these passengers in unfortunately.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:36

      Yes, unfortunately

      Delete
  24. Anonymous10:05

    wondering why Easyjet never launched any Balkan flights from ZRH

    cant believe their Porto or Napoli route generate more pax then BEG, SKP and PRN

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:19

      Lots of people from Portugal and Italy work in Switzerland. Plus both Porto and Napoli are top tourist destinations.

      Delete
  25. Bravo for Macedonia!
    They are managing to keep connectivity and links for their citizens with very little funds. And it is working for years now!
    Other Balkan states should follow their example.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:23

      Still no flights to major hubs.. CDG, BRU, AMS, FRA, MUC, LHR, SVO, MAD

      Delete
  26. Anonymous10:18

    I hope we see Arkia, Aeroflot and TAROM start flights.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous10:19

    There no flights in Europe to anything east of Skopje except Kiev. Hope we see some airlines from that region.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:22

      Flights to/from Moscow are long overdue.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:22

      Also flights to Sofia are needed.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:06

      Were there flights once upon a time between SOF and SKP?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:57

      Yep, they used to be operated by Hemus Air back in 2007 but didn't last too long if I recall correctly:

      https://seenews.com/news/bulgarian-flag-carrier-launches-sofia-skopje-flight-221571

      Distance between both capitals is less than 200km, so not sure if it will work well.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous19:32

      Also no direct flights to Tirana.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous19:33

      How long would that flight to TIA take?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous20:01

      Doesn't really matter. It would be an useless flight, unless there were 20 euro tickets

      Delete
  28. Anonymous10:20

    What a line-up of Wizz planes on that Skopje photo :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:06

      Wizz central

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:29

      Skopje "Wizz Air" Airport.

      Delete
  29. Anonymous10:44

    There is a petition to bring KLM to N. Macedonia.. https://www.change.org/p/klm-introduce-klm-flights-to-north-macedonia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:06

      KLM barely has any presence in ex-Yu. Doubt they will start flights to SKP.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:47

      They fly only to SPU and ZAG and they are really succesful there.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous19:35

      Yes, shame they don't spread their wings a bit. I think they would be surprised.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous19:36

      At least they could try serving SKP through Transavia like they do LJU and BEG.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous19:57

      They suspended SOF and TIA even before Covid. Don't see any chance for SKP

      Delete
    6. Anonymous20:16

      KLM-cityhopper with their embraes will be just fine

      Delete
    7. Anonymous20:45

      Ok, i am waiting for KLM announcement then hahahah

      Delete
  30. Anonymous10:44

    What makes repeated subsidies to Wizz legal?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:19

      Why would it not be? There is a tender where anyone can apply. Wizz won because it is the only one applying for the subsidies.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous15:10

      Only one applying every time means no one else could win. That's what makes is questionable.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous15:40

      @15.10 lol

      Delete
    4. Anonymous18:36

      These subsidies are not line with EU law, according to 2014 EU guidelines for state aid to airlines: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:52014XC0404(01)&from=EN

      Delete
    5. Anonymous18:57

      This is regulation for EU member states. Last time I checked Macedonia was not one of them and I doubt it will become one in 3 years so there is not issue.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous18:57

      I really don't see an issue with these subsidies. If I remember correctly they were open to all low cost airlines and were offered on a tender. Obviously selecting Wizz Air was a smart choice since they have opened so many routes and based aircraft in SKP.

      Delete
  31. Anonymous11:06

    Excellent news!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous11:18

    More and more countries are restoring to these policies.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Anonymous13:11

    Fantastic news. As things start to normalise this year, I hope we see several new routes from SKP.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous13:12

    Don't trust this minister one bit. He said last month how tickets to AUH would be on sale by the end of December and here we are...

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous14:04

    Is it Wizz: Skopje - Ljubljana an option (in post-covid time)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:41

      the 40k MK diaspora is stil there

      Delete
    2. Anonymous18:59

      It's the only suspended ex-Yu route LJU management said they would work on restoring.

      Delete
  36. Anonymous18:58

    This policy has been a great success for Macedonia really.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous19:07

      It was a great success for Wizz but name me one European LCC other than Wizz that has come to Skopje since 2012.

      Delete
  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  38. At the huge request of the Macedonian diaspora, the following flights should be introduced in the next period
    From Skopje Airport:
    1) Skopje-Geneva
    2) Skopje-Prague
    3) Skopje-Ljubljana
    Most likely all three destinations would be served by EasyJet. Just for the simple reason that Skopje can not connect with Geneva through an airline other than EasyJet. So the Macedonian government should grant subsidies to EasyJet. If Wizzair manages to provide adequate documentation and sign international agreements to service the Skopje-Geneva, then Wizzair would receive the subsidies.
    While the following destinations should be introduced from Ohrid Airport:
    1) Ohrid-Trieste-Italy (to include the Macedonian diaspora living in Slovenia and Eastern Italy, as the location of this airport allows the use of passengers in both countries).
    2) Ohrid-Brussels or Eindhoven

    ReplyDelete
  39. It has been repeated many times here: Wizz Air has no right to operate SKP-GVA flights, because as a company registered in the EU / EEC, at least one of the two points (departure and arrival) must be in the EU.

    An "exception" can be made, but only on the basis of a bilateral agreement.

    ReplyDelete

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