Russian carriers plan to establish Skopje flights


Russian carriers have expressed interest in commencing operations to Skopje with the two countries reaching an agreement to ease aviation regulations. In a letter to the Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency, the Russian Ministry for Transportation noted, “Russian airlines have expressed interest in operating flights to Skopje, however, in accordance with the Air Services Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Macedonia dated March 22, 2001, "the frequency of flights ... of designated airlines will be agreed between the aeronautical authorities of the parties". In connection to this, we propose to conduct an agreement by exchange of letters about the absence of frequency restrictions on all specified routes for the designated airlines of the parties”.

The Macedonian air regulator accepted the proposal of the Russian ministry. “We would like to point out that we fully agree for designated airlines from the Russian Federation to operate to our country without restrictions on the frequency of flights on all specified routes. On the basis of this Agreement by the exchange of letters, Russian airlines may submit applications to operate public air services without restrictions to/from North Macedonia”, the Civil Aviation Agency said. Its head, Tomislav Tuntev, noted that Russian carriers have expressed interest in establishing flights between Moscow and Skopje this year.

There are currently no scheduled services between the two countries. During the last normal year for the aviation industry, in 2019, Moscow was Skopje’s eighteenth busiest unserved route, with 5.518 passengers traveling indirectly between the two cities. This is based on passengers traveling on a single ticket or itinerary, prior to market stimulation, which would result from the launch of a nonstop air service. During 2020, Moscow retained its position as the eighteenth busiest unserved routes from the Macedonian capital, although with a significantly reduced passenger volume. Russian low cost carrier Pobeda, an Aeroflot subsidiary, featured Skopje in its first draft of international destinations in 2016, however, the service was never launched.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:03

    Finally!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    Which airline could operate Moscow-Skopje?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:12

      It's based on designated airlines back in 2001. So I assume Aeroflot.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:05

    Russia-Macedonia market is quite large and underserved. I do hope flights finally start.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:13

      If it is that big why was it ignored for so long? Pobeda or any other airline out there could have launched flights by now. If they didn't then it means market is just not that big or big enough.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:14

      So what you are saying is that all routes in the world that have potential are already served and flown by airlines? Not a single unserved route left? Just because someone hasn't launched a particular route does not mean there is no potential, market or that it is unprofitable.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:19

      There is a lot of potential. Many people would fly via Moscow to reach other cities in Russia.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:24

      How it is quite large when no airline established flights? It even says that in the last paragraph.

      "Russian low cost carrier Pobeda, an Aeroflot subsidiary, featured Skopje in its first draft of international destinations in 2016, however, the service was never launched."

      Also the number of people that traveled indirectly between the two cities is quite small, and Moscow was the eighteenth/18th busiest unserved route from Skopje.

      "During the last normal year for the aviation industry, in 2019, Moscow was Skopje’s eighteenth busiest unserved route, with 5.518 passengers traveling indirectly between the two cities."

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:26

      This is only between Skopje-Moscow. It does not include Macedonian passengers who flew from other cities, potential transfer passengers from/via Moscow and like the article says, which you missed to quote, it is before market stimulation. For example a similar number of people flew Belgrade-Luxembourg but the route is starting this summer.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:14

      Market stimulation won't add many more passengers. Also regarding domestic transfers, there would have been another city mentioned in the article, right? Like for example in this article about New York being the busiest unserved city in the US, which includes cities like Chicago, Miami, Detroit and Washington.
      Asian transfers were covered by Qatar, Dubai and Istanbul, but Moscow might offer better connections to northeast and east Asia like Japan, South Korea and China.

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2021/02/new-york-remains-skopjes-busiest.html

      You can't compare North Macedonia and Russia like you can compare Serbia and Russia.
      First politically, both countries aren't that close. There were Russian diplomats being expelled from the country. Also MKD citizens need visas to enter Russia.
      Second economically, people from MKD don't migrate to Russia for work. That's why you have almost 100 000 Bulgarian passports issued to MKD citizens in the last 6-7 years and all of them now working and living in the EU.
      Third and last, culture and tourism might work. Even thou Russian is no longer taught in schools (English and German are most sought after languages from students here), people are familiar with Russian culture and literature. Since i'm not familiar enough, i can only assume Russians are familiar with North Macedonia and its culture/architecture/history. So individual tourists and tour groups might work both ways.
      That is the only way market stimulation might work. But you can't forget that people from North Macedonia travel for tourism much more to nearby countries and are more inclined to travel for tourism to popular summer destinations and warmer places rather than spend their summer holiday in northern Europe. During the winter again, Bulgaria, Serbia, Italy and France are popular ski destinations. That leaves you with a pretty small frame of a few days and extended weekends when people might travel to Moscow or St. Petersburg for a city break.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous10:18

      You are saying if Aeroflot started flying to Skopje it would be used purely by domestic transfers? You realize the airline has a huge network?

      Delete
    9. Anonymous10:25

      If you have read what i have written, you would have noticed that i said that Moscow might offer better northeastern and east Asian transfers.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous11:01

      Based on that data, there were 8 passengers per day flying between SKP and MOW (one way, 16 both ways). That's a tiny market and I don't know what kind of market stimulation you would need to fill a two weekly SSJ flight. Then let's not forget one stop flights via BEG, IST, VIE and so on.
      Flights to Moscow are not commercially viable. There is a reason no one introduced them yet.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous11:07

      Well someone has obviously expressed interest.

      Delete
    12. At the moment any flights between Russia and Yugoslavia will boom, the only condition - must not be EU state, due to lockdown between EU-RU. Russians will happily escape to adriatic coast once that will be possible, because they cannot go elsewhere in “europe” stule countries

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:09

    Skopje-Moscow year round and Ohrid - Moscow seasonally.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:22

      It would work.

      Delete
    2. LOL
      Ohrid Moscow.
      Even Skopje to Moscow will fail.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:15

    Did MAT ever fly to Moscow?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:21

      No they didn't.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:23

      Surprising

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:52

      It is not surprising as MAT were so bad. But yeah, even Avioimpex didnt fly to Russia, only charters.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous21:58

      MAT wasn't that bad. They flew to several major European cities which are have not been linked to Skopje since. Example Amsterdam Schiphol.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:16

    I assume the majority of passengers to/from Skopje fly with JU?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:19

      Yes

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:33

      TK is the leading transfer carrier in SKP and not JU.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:36

      It does not mean it is the leading transfer carrier on every single route. It is overall. As there was an article here recently, JU handled most of the passengers between SKP and New York even though TK is the leading transfer carrier in SKP. Understand now?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:03

      Don't forget that JU and SU cooperate and together they offer up to 5 daily BEG-SVO ... before covid of course. That's why they are so popular for transfers.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:20

    Can Wizz launch flights from Skopje to Russia?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:22

      No they can't because they are an EU carrier. If they registered in Macedonia and were added to the bilateral air agreement then they could.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:23

      They can fly Skopje-St Petersburg. At the end of 2019 Russia allowed EU airlines to operate flights from LED to any city in Europe. So they could launch that flight.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:54

      WizzAir may launch SKP- LED flights next year, as their contract with SKP airport finishes next year, and if they want to continue it they will have to open another four routes like in 2019, so i think that LED is comming.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:58

      That's if Macedonian government launches new tender, although I assume they will. Especially in these circumstances.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:15

      Of course they will. They will make a new tender.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:24

    Finally. Anything other than Wizz Air. Their huge dominance on SKP should be reduced.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:17

      I don't get your comment. No one else is prevented from flying to Skopje if they want.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous21:59

      I didn't say they are prevented. But they are discouraged when one airline receives a lot of support to start new routes and has much less risk.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous10:12

    I hope Aeroflot starts flights

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:19

      Me too. It would offer the best product and best connections.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:20

      Plus, it would be nice to have another legacy airline in Skopje.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous22:00

      It would be nice but I don't think it will be Aeroflot. I'm thinking there is a bigger chance of its being Red Wings or Nordwind or someone like that.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous10:14

    When Skopje gets flights to Moscow it will pretty much be covered with all parts of Europe, which is a great success in my opinion, considering coverage just a few years ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:18

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous22:01

      True. There will be good connectivity with the west, north, rest of the Balkans and east with Moscow and Kiev.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous10:47

    All of this would be much easier if Macedonia had a national airline.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:50

      What for? So it can fly to Moscow??

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:51

      There is Wizz which is de facto national airline.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:17

      Definitely not easier on the state budget.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous10:50

    Great news!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous13:01

    North Macedonia is visa free for Russian citizens.

    How is the other way around?

    Russian visitors are an asset for the area.

    Just an example. Russians now can travel visa free to nearby Albania: new rules from April 1st 2021 til the end of 2021 (for now). They can stay in Albania for 90 days within 180 time frame.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:12

      Nobody mentioned Albania, the news are for Skopje which is capital of North Macedonia.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:26

      I dont know why, but Macedonia together with Serbia is elligible for the new Russian e-visa, which means easier access to the visa for Russia without having to apply personally at an embassy, without all the fuss that made getting a Russian visa such a pain the ass in the past .
      The new visa will also only take a few days to get accepted .
      That applies also for all EU-members .

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:27

      Serbian citizens can enter Russia visa free.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous15:39

      Serbians visa free with biometric passport,
      with nonbiometric passport they can apply for e-visa .

      Macedonians visa free if with invitation and tourist voucher .

      source Wikipedia : visa policy of Russia

      Delete
    5. Anonymous15:42

      Ok. No one has non biometric passports in Serbia anymore. All stopped being valid on 31st december 2009.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous16:23

    A Moscow-Skopje flight would be shorter than many of the Russian domestic flights .
    They have flights even to much more crazy and unknown places like Tamchy, Kulob and Gyumri .
    Getting Aeroflot would be best because of all the transfers .


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous22:09

      How long would SKP-SVO be?

      Delete
  15. Anonymous17:08

    I have a feeling it will rather be one of the Russian LCCs that start this route but let's see. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous22:08

      Same. But whoever it is, it's a good development.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous21:55

    This is good news. Macedonia needs to improve connectivity to major European hubs so Moscow connection would be much welcomed.

    ReplyDelete

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