New York remains Skopje’s busiest unserved route


The United States was Skopje Airport’s busiest unserved market during the last normal year for commercial aviation in 2019, while New York was the Macedonian capital’s top unserved route over the past two years. Over 19.000 people either originated or departed between Skopje and New York City’s airports in 2019, according to global data provider OAG, with Chicago following as the seventh busiest unserved destination. Istanbul was used as the primary point for transfers between New York and Skopje, from which passengers connected onto Turkish Airlines. It was followed by Vienna and Belgrade. Overall, the Turkish carrier was the single most utilised airline for flights between Skopje and the Big Apple, accounting for 39% of the market. It was followed by Austrian Airlines with a 23% market share and Air Serbia with 17% of transfers.

Skopje Airport has previously attempted to secure flights to New York. In 2017 it submitted a joint proposal with the Macedonian government for Turkish Airlines to introduce services to the United States via Skopje. Macedonia and Turkey have an Open Skies Agreement in place with both the United States and Canada, which permits for a Turkish carrier to be issued fifth freedom rights by regulators from all parties involved. At the time, Turkish Airlines said it would study the proposal and expressed interest in the potential service. "Turkish Airlines is one of the world's leading carriers. We believe that there is a chance that, for the first time, Skopje could have an intercontinental service that would cover the needs of Macedonians living abroad. It would also greatly increase passenger numbers at Skopje Airport and would help turn it into a regional hub", the Macedonian government said at the time.

Overall, 48.525 passengers flew between Skopje and points in the United States in 2019. New York retained its position as the busiest unserved route from the Macedonian capital in 2020 as well, although with significantly fewer passengers due to the coronavirus pandemic. Unlike many in Europe, Macedonian citizens are permitted entry into the States with a valid visa but must not have transferred through a country that is a member of the Schengen Zone. Prior to the pandemic, Skopje Airport’s operator said, "As TAV Airports, we are actively promoting both Skopje and Ohrid airports in various fields in order to attract new airlines and expand the route network and passenger numbers. We have always established close relationships with our airline clients through our world-wide airport operations. This is also the case in Macedonia, and we are ready to provide the utmost support to an airline which would consider flying transatlantic from Skopje. Skopje Airport is operationally capable to handle such transatlantic flights and ready to support carriers which would consider operating. A nonstop flight to North America would lead to additional feeder flights from the Balkan region to Skopje. The airport would attract many passengers from surrounding countries".


If you would like to find out the full list of the busiest unserved routes from Skopje, of which two of the top ten are in the United States, five in Europe, two in Australasia and one in Asia, subscribe for this week’s EX-YU Aviation Premium Newsletter here.


Comments

  1. Anonymous09:03

    Interesting. New York seems to be in demand from most ex-Yu airports.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    I have to ask how would Balkan connectivity be improved if for example TK operates these flights to the US. Unless TK bases planes in Skopje and starts flying to other Balkan countries (which would be difficult in securing fifth freedom rights), how would this happen?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:40

      Is Turkish still involved in the Albanian airline venture?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:04

      Of course they are

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:06

    Ok I don't think there is a chance of it happening but with flights from Skopje to North America, it could serve Albanian and Kosovo passengers too and that market is quite big.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:07

      If that happened then it would kill Austrian Airlines in both SKP and PRN.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:30

      Would people from northern Greece also use these potential flights?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:02

      Highly doubt, someone would have to drive across the border to pic them up. They can use Emirates (and other possible carriers that will be flying to Athens) and then just pop on an Aegean/Sky Express flight to Thess/Kavala/Alexandroupoli.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:07

    Would have thought Air Serbia would have a bigger share of transfer traffic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      Air Serbia doesn't offer competitive times out of SKP

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:23

      Maby JU can try BEG-SKP-JFK-SKP-BEG.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:26

      Such a routing would not benefit passengers from Serbia and I doubt they would do that just to accommodate passengers from Macedonia. What they should do is actually work on the timing to offer a seamless transfer to and from Skopje for the US flights.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:58

      @Anonymous09:23

      Perhaps JU can try BEG-SKP-PRN-TGD-SJJ-ZAG-LJU-JFK-BEG.

      That would mean they "clean up" the ExYU market completely.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:41

      lol

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:09

    Goes to show how strong Turkish Airlines is in Skopje.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:04

      Yes you are right. Nobody is using AirSerbia for NewYork from Skopje, everyone uses Turkish Airlines for North and South America and for asia too. Qatar Airways And FlyDubai are not that much used for Asia transfers, mostly for Australia. And if Turkish Airlines launches flights to Australia, then Qatar will deffenetly terminate skopje service.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:19

      Gosh the TK fanatic again :D

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:41

      TK is not going to launch flights to Australia. It's too expensive.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:13

    So... 19.053 one-way passengers equals to:
    - 52 one-way passenger per day (both from the US and North Macedonia)
    - 26 0ne-way passengers (from one of the cities) per day

    If all passengers would take this direct flight, and noone took the transfers... you would have a full flight every 10 days?

    Wow, the market!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:16

      That's just O&D to one city. The assumption is that if flights start you get traffic from other US cities as well.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:18

      These numbers don't include people who for example, pick up their luggage and then check in for another flight (say Wizz flight)

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:18

      BEG-JFK O&D before flights started was just above 30,000. Now they handle over 70,000.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:26

      PRN which had flights to JFK has fewer O&D passengers than Skopje.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:34

      OTP and SOF can't support flights to the US, but SKP will... Interesting :D

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:49

      There are enough passengers from Skopje for summer flights to the USA.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:13

    I remember in some haze that Skopje used to have charters to Toronto. Can anyone remember that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:46

      I don't remember there being flights between Toronto and Skopje. When was this?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:13

      Toronto! Im surprised YYZ is not in the top ten

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:20

      There use yo be charters in the late 70's and early 80's with JAT. Once per week with B707. Yugotours was selling them.

      Delete
    4. @ Anonymous at 11:13

      Toronto was thirteenth busiest.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:49

      interesting and thanks!

      Delete
    6. True. There were B707 charters SKP to YYZ, same as for example ZAG to YVR, but speaking of SKP and long-haul, there is another very interesting fact people usually don't know about : Regular flights from Sydney - Singapore - Kuwait used to land in SKP once weekly on B707 approximately 1975-1980. On departure, flights were from BEG only, but operated once weekly from both SKP and OHD to BEG with same Australian flight number, 600 if I remember well, international flight status and only one hour transit time.

      Delete
    7. Yes You remember very well.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:22

    Seems everyone wants to have flights to the US.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:28

      It is fast being replaced by flights to China.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:27

    Now it makes sense why JU launched New York over Chicago. I guess the demand from neighboring countries for JFK was large so they recognized they could get suitable feed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:43

      That and I guess JFK is better connected to the rest of North America?

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:28

    "A nonstop flight to North America would lead to additional feeder flights from the Balkan region to Skopje."

    That would only be true if a strong Macedonian national airline started such transatlantic services. Or maybe a new Wizzair long haul company based in MK that also had to introduce transfer possibilities.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:29

    I wouldn't be surprised if TK starts these flights one day, especially if they get some form of subsidies from the government or TAV.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:32

      Sooner or later TAV will finally make some deal with TK in Macedonia. They have been trying to get them on board for the new national airline.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:16

      forget it. That was a populist dream among two leaders which stopped when one of them "moved" to BUD.

      Its more wisely for TAV to get Pegasus start something like Pegasus MK (like they did Pegasus Asia where they have a share of 49%).It suits the market more

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:18

      Interesting. Does Pegasus Asia still fly? Where were they based?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:31

      Oh did they stop? had no clue

      but the idea od Pegasus MK is more appealing to me

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:34

      Pegasus bought a 49% share in a Kyrgyz company Air Manas and rebranded as Pegasus Asia. But as I believe Pegsaus has exited the venture and the company is called Air Manas now again.

      But yes, Pegasus MK would be interesting.

      Delete
  12. Maybe it’s time for Air France to launch SKP as they are flying daily to JFK, ORD and IAD (+ US airlines codesharing )
    Moreover, it will add a route to Paris CDG and finally bring a legacy airline in SKP

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:37

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:38

      And I'm sure there is a lot of demand to Paris as well.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:44

      Does AF fly to Detroit? Thats one key city when youre talking about macedonian diaspora

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:46

      Of course there’s demand but the only issue if AF would come to launch SKP will be the price : from BEG they are never under 200€ ( return ticket )

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:49

      Yes they do. Not every day for the moment but only 3pw ( AF378 )

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:53

      They do fly to Detroit according wiki.

      a HOP Embraer should do with their bigger network from CDG in comparison to VIE

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:01

      Cheers.

      Its bizzare because Aéroports de Paris is de-facto in charge of SKP through TAV of course which they bought recently

      Delete
    8. Anonymous10:09

      I’d rather see an A319/A320 instead of their Embraer simply because the flight between CDG and SKP is 3 hours long and AF doesn’t send their Embraer fleet when it’s more than 2hrs

      Delete
    9. Anonymous12:45

      Agree, it's time for Air France to cone to Skopje. Did they ever fly to SKP in the past?

      Delete
    10. Anonymous21:04

      I don’t think AF flew to Skopje before.
      Given that a lot of main European airports aren’t linked with SKP, maybe it would be better if a new Macedonian national airline was established and then flying to cities like CDG MUC FRA OSL BRU FCO ARN VIE

      Delete
    11. Anonymous09:12

      We will never launch Macedonian national carrier. We already support WizzAir and it is very difficult to start that procedure for launching an airline, i dont believe that our airline will ever be launch again. In the past we had Avioimpex which collapsed just becouse of coruption and politics.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:33

    First connect with the European continent and then connect with North America. Priorities please.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous09:37

    Hypothetically what could the frequencies of flights from Macedonia to US be?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:38

      Seasonal May to September 2x per week.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:39

    A legacy airline should definitely launch SKP route such as Air France as Wizz suspended Paris until March and also because CDG is a big hub for American routes
    AF is flying daily to JFK and 3pw to MIA, ORD, DTW and IAD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:46

      With current entry ban into US from Schengen countries and those transferring through Schengen countries there would be little use of those connections.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:47

      Yes but that ban does not apply to US citizens and I assume majority of Macedonians living in US are US citizens.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:44

    wow i didnt expect TK's 39% New york share

    Austrian had its best year in SKP in 2019 (according pax numbers). I can imagine they dominate the west europe transfer markets because they are significantly cheaper then TK on these routings

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:48

      The big question is what happens with Austrian after Covid. This pandemic has really hurt them. I think the worst out of all LH group airlines.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:56

      we will see but LH is not gonna give their ExYu dominance to some other player

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:48

      It would be nice if LH started flying to Skopje.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:46

    Where is the Macedonian diaspora in the US located?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:48

      Chicago and Detroit.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:54

      followed by New Jersey

      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:50

    Those figures are probably high because of the huge Albanian diaspora in NYC. Plus, SKP still lacks basic and important primary destinations in Europe. No AMS, CDG, MUC and both DXB and DOH are lost so really wondering how a SKP-JFK route can survive.
    Fact is, TK and OS will take great advantage as both carriers have plenty of flights to NYC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:47

      The article says five of the top 10 unserved routes from Skopje are in Europe. I'm guessing the three European cities you listed are there (I do not think Beauvais is considered as Paris).

      Delete
  19. Anonymous09:51

    missed opportunity for British Airways: JFK in first position and supposedly LHR at second place in the unserved routes rankings ...

    even Ohrid has (pre-pandemic) year long two weekly connection to London area. Wizz is flying in march 4-5 weekly from SKP.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:49

      It's odd BA launched seasonal Pristina over Skopje.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous22:32

      Because there is probably bigger point to point demand. The Pristina flights from London don't actually connect onto anything

      Delete
    3. Anonymous22:32

      And they also operate just once per week

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:52

    Serbia and Croatia are the only two countries in Ex Yu that can sustain long haul traffic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous22:31

      For now

      Delete
    2. Anonymous22:39

      Well, obviously for now. One day Losinj may sustain long haul traffic for all we know

      Delete
  21. Anonymous10:28

    With doubly daily flights from SKP, one that arrives in BEG at 6am and another at afternoon vawe at 4pm I think that Air Serbia would have much better market share in Macedonia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:52

      True dat.
      Hopefully will happen once the plague passes.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous10:28

    The best thing that could happen to Skopje is if Wizz Air starts transatlantic flights :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:32

      Keep calm and wait for the A321 XLR :D :D

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:29

      It was exactly my thought. Wizz is geting the A321 XLR with range of 8'700km. Skopje-New-York is about 7'500km. In such a plane will be around 200 seats, that mean a max. capacity of around 40'000 passanger in two weekly flights. It's absolutely possible, especially with wizz-prices, like 300-400 Euro both ways. I hope it comes true

      Delete
  23. Anonymous10:46

    At this point I don't think that Skopje has the potential to sustain a long route like that, even if there was no corona.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:10

      Never say never

      Delete
    2. Anonymous22:31

      No one said there should be flights. It's just the busiest unserved route.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous10:50

    Can the new A321XLR be used on this route?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous22:30

      I think it wouldn't be able to make it.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous22:31

      Actually my mistake. I checked the range and the actual distance. It could reach Skopje from New York.

      Delete
  25. Anonymous11:06

    wondering who the asian one is in the Top 10??? some turkish city (Izmir) or TLV would be my first guesses

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:10

      Most likely a Turkish city.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous22:30

      Ankara? Antalya? Izmir?

      Delete
  26. Anonymous13:15

    theres stil 20% that have flown with other airlines. Probably LOT comes in at number4. Swiss could have few digits as well

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:10

      Yes, I'm pretty sure LOT takes quite a few passengers to the US and Canada.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous16:09

    Interesting stats. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  28. would be amazing to have flights from NYC to SKP as it would cut several hours in travel time flying to Istanbul then coming back to Skopje. Maybe with large Balkan diaspora living in NYC tri state area it can happen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:38

      Fingers crossed

      Delete
    2. Anonymous17:38

      In curious what's the usual connecting time for SKP-JFK via IST?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous17:42

      It would make more sense to launch KBP-SKP-JFK with Ukraine International or DXB-SKP-ATH similar to what EK did in ATH.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous18:34

      Lol

      Delete
  29. Anonymous19:15

    Air Serbia should do more to capture greater share of US bound market from Skopje

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous22:29

      It does not seem to be a priority for them.

      Delete
  30. Anonymous22:29

    With so many European destinations listed in top 10, the moral of the story is that Macedonia needs a new MAT.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous23:06

      With 14 attempts during the last 30 years, I don't think this is likely to happen:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_defunct_airlines_of_North_Macedonia

      Delete

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