Skopje seeks flights to former Yugoslavia


Macedonian authorities are looking at ways to boost connectivity between Skopje and other points in the former Yugoslavia. Skopje Airport currently offers nonstop services to Belgrade and Zagreb operated by Air Serbia and Croatia Airlines respectively. Over the past decade, the airport has also boasted links to Ljubljana, Sarajevo, Podgorica and Split, however, there are no longer airlines able to run most of those routes. In 2020, Ljubljana emerged as Skopje Airport’s twelfth busiest unserved route following the collapse of Adria Airways. In 2019, 40.293 passengers flew between the two capital cities, although this was up until late September when operations ceased. Ljubljana Airport’s management has stressed that Skopje is an “extremely important” route and that it would attempt to find a replacement for Adria. Ultimately, the onset of the coronavirus pandemic has delayed any chance of services being restored soon. Wizz Air, which boasts a base in Skopje, is a potential candidate for the route.

Based on OAG data, during the last normal year for commercial aviation, in 2019, over 4.000 passengers flew indirectly between Sarajevo and Skopje. Bosnia and Herzegovina's former flag carrier, B&H Airlines, maintained flights between the two cities on an off-and-on basis for several years between 2006 and 2015. At one point, services operated via Podgorica as well, although the airline had no fifth freedom rights between the Montenegrin capital and Skopje. In 2019, over 1.400 passengers flew indirectly between Podgorica and the Macedonian capital. In 2017, the governments of Macedonia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina drafted an agreement which called upon foreign carriers to operate subsidised flights between the three countries, however, the initiative never took off.

TAV Macedonia’s Marketing and Revenue Manager, who is also the President of the country’s Chamber of Tourism, Vladimir Gramatikov, recently noted, “Connecting Split and Dubrovnik with Macedonian airports will be our key focus in the coming period together with our partners in Croatia”. In 2019, over 3.000 passengers flew between Skopje and Split. The route was briefly served by Croatia Airlines in 2015. Initially planned as a seasonal summer operation, it was cancelled after just two rotations.

Skopje Airport's top unserved destinations in the former Yugoslavia in 2019


* Flights between Skopje and Ljubljana discontinued in September 2019

Skopje Airport's top unserved destinations in the former Yugoslavia in 2020




Comments

  1. Anonymous09:05

    Can anyone explain where all the demand between Skopje and Ljubljana is coming from?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      From Skopje and Ljubljana.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:13

      I understand. I meant what is the reason for it.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:23

      Aren't there a lot of students from Macedonia studying in Slovenia? Also I guess there used to be a lot of transfers via Ljubljana when Adria was around.

      Delete
    4. Prepelica09:24

      A lot of Albanians from North Macedonia are living in Slovenia. Ofc. there is some demand coming from business travelers as well.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:36

      Actually most of those passengers came from Kosovo because SKP-LJU prices were much lower than those on PRN-LJU. With good road connections, almost free bus transport between those two cities people saved a lot of money to use flights out of SKP.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:42

      Makes sense. Thanks.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous12:03

      lol . theres more then 40000 Macedonians in Slovenia. there were 30k mk tourists in Slo, 20k slo tourists in Mk in 2019. its probably the Most needed route from Skp at the moment. you have buses to slovenian places i have never heard before

      Delete
    8. Anonymous14:09

      Lol! Most optimistic forecast is that number of Macedonians is between 15 and 20k in Slovenia so please stop with fake news or please share with us where you got data.

      https://www.rtvslo.si/slovenija/bilo-bi-fer-da-slovenija-prizna-makedonce/513122

      https://www.domovina.je/v-sloveniji-trenutno-najhitreje-raste-stevilo-tujih-prebivalcev-ter-stevilo-prejemnikov-denarne-socialne-pomoci/

      "Največ veljavnih dovoljenj za prebivanje imajo državljani Bosne in Hercegovine, sledijo državljani Kosova in Srbije."

      So we solved question regarding VFR traffic, lets solve about business travellers as well.

      In Kosovo you have many major companies from Slovenia like IPKO (telekom), Petrol, NLB, then you have Slovenian army placed there. Not to mention smaller companies.

      Please enlighten me which Slovenian companies have subsidiary in North Macedonia

      Delete
    9. Anonymous15:03

      we can feel your excitement withe the few companies but Slovenia is doing business with Macedonia since 1992...

      Dude NLB has subsid. in the whole of exYu... NLB Skopje dates back to 1985 nlbskupina.si

      the 40000 come from the Slo ambassador in Mk and he surely kniws more then that macedonian guy interviewed in that article..

      the SLO ministers are not repeatingly asking for this route if there were no reasons for it. as much as you dont want to accept this

      Delete
    10. Anonymous16:07

      There's a demand for the route clearly, article states 40 000 per year, so would be mad not to have a plane on that route, why Croatian Airlines didn't jump in when Adria went bust is beyond me, but it shows how bad and incompetent managment @OU really is and why the airline is doing so poorly.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous20:13

      Believe me I am the one who think that LJU needs daily connections with most ex-yu capitals but when we talk about market demand then I consider myself as one who knows that area quite well.

      It's well known that there are more Kosovarians then Macedonians around the world due to political situation in Kosovo. Just walk through any city in Slovenia (except if you are from Žužemberk) then you will quickly notice that almost every 5th person speaks Albanian/Kosovarian. You will rarely hear Macedonian in Slovenia.

      You mentioned ministers who are asking for this route, please give some links to see any minister looking for that. If you mean "experts" like Skobir and Krašnja who only take numbers of passengers when Adria flew but they did not took into account different pricing policy on both routes (PRN and SKP) which is crucial in this case. Single family could spare up to 200 eur to travel from SKP.

      If they would want to get exact information they could easily check nationality of passengers travelling on those routes and picture would be much different.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous22:46

      says the anon NLB expert here who pretends to know more then airport managers and ministers.. priceless

      Delete
    13. Anonymous07:54

      That's why LJU is where it is because we have such managers and ministers...priceless!

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:13

    It is sad that there are no longer airlines that are able to operate most of these routes.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous09:13

    OU is planning just 2x weekly flights to Skopje this winter unfortunately :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:16

      How many flights will JU have?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:17

      Seven weekly.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:20

      I think Air Serbia's winter timetable is still not finalized but in mid September they will have 8 weekly flights. This is actually quite impressive.

      In winter if they have flights to SKP they are currently supposed to have 7. I have a feeling they will be down to 1 or 2 like OU in the end.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:22

      Why would it be down to one or two when they had more flights than that last winter when the situation was much worse.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous13:14

      It wont end on twice a week becouse there are and there will be passengers which are transit, that is why the route is profitable. AirSerbia connects Skopje with many european main airports via Belgrade, like Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris, London... Plus LOT will not fly to SKP this winter so it means that there will be more space for Air Serbia, Austrian And Turkish Airlines. Austrian Airlines plans 12 weekly flights to SKP while Turkish airlines will increase them from 7 to 14 times a week.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:14

    Wizz Air should try Skopje-Sarajevo. Even though it is two non-EU markets I doubt anyone would object to the flights.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:15

    So Sarajevo was the busiest with 6 one way passengers per day in 2019? With such abysmal numbers don't expect anyone to introduce flights. Not even Wizz Air could make this work with huge amounts of subsidies.

    Best case scenario is to see with JU to introduce additional flights to SKP so that there is better connectivity with the region.

    For example

    19.30-20.40
    21.40-22.50

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JATBEGMEL13:01

      Travelling between ex-YU countries by air tends to be overpriced. Alot of that demand opts to travel by car, bus or combi.

      OU pulled out of TGD while operating the route with the Dash citing low demand. FR will reintroduce the route next month with a B738. Lets wait and see how FR does on the route.

      I believe demand is there, however not for the prices that are charged. For example, cheapest SKP-SJJ return ticket is 170€ and a 7 hour trip via ZAG when purchased 2 months in advance. BEG-SKP is 147€ return 2 weeks in advance, or 128€ with almost 13 hours of travel via VIE.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:26

    This is not by far enough demand to operate direct flights between SKP and listed unserved cities

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:28

      Demand is stimulated when there are actual flights.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:29

      Its enough for LJU.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:40

      @anon 09:28

      I totally agree with that. You can not measure demand unless you have actual flights, with good connections and prices.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:11

      BCN has now 30k (Malta ev3n more). How much was the unserved number to Memmingen and Friedrichshafen? zero! now they are served with a a321...These numbers are irrelevant for low cost airlines.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:34

    The thing is these flights need to be operated by small capacitu turboprops. Sadly there is no airline that can do that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:53

      Wizz can operate SKP-LJU 2-3 times per week.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:59

      Good luck with filling a320 on that route. JP barely managed to fill CR9 with p2p and transfer passengers.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:07

      1. Ryanair is going to operate some routes from ZAG that had less indirect passengers in 2019 than SKP-LJU in 2020.
      2. You can't compare Adria with other airlines.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:22

      True but why can't Adria be compared to other airlines?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:26

      Because Adria failed on so many routes where others had success.

      Delete
    6. JATBEGMEL13:19

      JAT used to operate alot of domestic routes which are sadly 30 years later not available today. They were then operated mostly with DC9's, B727's and B737's. I don't see why turboprop's have to be a must.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous14:14

      @anon 10:07

      which routes do you mean? And if there were no direct flight on this route, how did you measure demand? If you mean O&D from ZAG airport than this data is not worth much.

      Demand si driven by many parameters and key one is for sure connectivity and then affordable prices.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:51

    I think it would be more important for SKP to get flights to main European hubs like LHR, AMS, CDG, FRA...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous11:03

    The most sensible thing would be for SKP to give subsidies to JU for these flights. The ATR is ideal for these kind of regional, 1 hour flights. Also it's extremely cheap to operate so costs would be low.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:06

      cheap for them but not cheap for the pax

      Delete
  10. Anonymous11:41

    A few years ago they a said a Bulgarian airline was interested in operating Sofia-Skopje-Podgorica-Sarajevo. But nothing ever happened.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:41

      When I saw they I mean the government. It's mentioned in the article that they were willing to subsidize these flights.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:46

      * say not saw

      Delete
  11. Anonymous11:44

    "Ljubljana Airport’s management has stressed that Skopje is an “extremely important” route and that it would attempt to find a replacement for Adria."

    Two years on and still waiting....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:46

      LJU still hasn't covered Adria destinations like Copenhagen, Stockholm, Vienna let alone Skopje.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:17

      PRN, TIA, MUC, PRG, SOF etc..and I don't think that BRU, ZRH, CDG, FRA is covered at all with current schedule.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous15:47

      @11.46 they didnt fly to CPH or ARN twice daily ...

      Delete
  12. Anonymous12:08

    Wow I'm surprised Split was number two! How didn't Croatia Airlines make it work?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JAT was operating LJU-SPU-SKP 4 weekly on B727. Adria was operating LJU-SPU, scheduled, on MD80. Why OU does not operate it? LOL! I guess everyone following this blog already know my answer.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:19

      because they sold tickets for 300 euros (while connecting through ZAG was half the price, skroz bizarno) . I flew MUC-SKP in 2019 and remember that our flight ZAG-SKP was delayed because we waited for connecting pax from SPU...

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:26

      30k mk tourists in HR is not much but when you consider that you need only 1500 (in one direction) montly to feel two weekly A320's (or MUCH LESS for OU 's aircrafts) imagine the unused potential between the two countries.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous14:40

      @pozdrav: Back then LJU-SPU with an old unreliable Yugo took days. Nowadays it's a couple of hours in an air conditioned car even in the middle of the summer.

      Delete
    5. JATBEGMEL14:58

      @ pozdrav iz Rijeke

      I guess we are waiting for foreign companies to come in and show how it's done. Oh, how I wish we had emoji's on here so I can add a face palm emoji to this comment.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous15:09

      Ryanair could easily run summer flights from places like Pula and Split to Belgrade and Skopje

      Delete
    7. @An.14.40
      Yes, and we had only one type of yoghurt during those hard days full of fear, hunger and poverty. But thanks God we are so developed and happy today and we have Croatia Airlines which is just about to beat Emirates on every field

      Delete
    8. And once again @An.14.40
      LJU-SPU is minimum 6 hours drive, under perfect conditions, without queing on border crossing and toll stations. Not to mention costs which for one person are significantly higher than air fare with LCC or any normal airline, not uhljeb rip off mafia zajednica

      Delete
    9. Anonymous20:00

      Most people going to Split from Slovenia are going to be tourists, either as family or groups, so if you divide the cost of car by 4, going by plane doesn't make sense. Especially when you add the benefit of mobility once you arrive at your destination if you have a car, so you can explore around.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous12:31

    Wizz bi rasturao na sezonsku SKP-SPU. Try to reach the croatian coast from Macedonia overland. Its a nightmare that involves 217 border crossings...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous13:04

    for the statistics freaks :) and since its a mk topic...

    Top 15 tourists markets in MK in June: 1.SRB 2.PL 3.ALB 4.ROM 5.UKR 6.KS 7.TUR 8.BUL 9.GER 10.GRE 11.USA 12.RUS 13.CRO 14.BiH 15.SLO

    (Top 5 May: 1.SRB 2.KS 3.TUR 4.ALB 5.UKR)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous14:14

    Strange they are not seeking flights to SOF. Sadly, politics are really evident. Gullivair is already preparing flights to TIA next month and not included SKP as initially planned.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Such a beautiful photo! Those dusk colors are amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous16:03

    Skopje has up to 3 daily flights to Antalya but not a single weekly to the Adria coast.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous20:02

      One of the reasons is that you get more for your money (Macedonia not being very rich country) in a Turkish all-inclusive resort than on the Croatian coast.

      I'm not saying they can be directly compared, but if you just want a nice stress-free vacation by the sea/pool, Turkey beats Croatian coast by cost every day.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous16:29

    Wizz Air can work perfectly on SKP- LJU, because currently a lot of passengers travel from Macedonia to Slovenia by bus, which is longer, and more expensive than flying Wizz with 20€ or less fares, most of them students living in both Ljubljana and Maribor, but as well on the Slovenian coast. It IS a very important route for both SKP and LJU.
    I definitely expect LJU in the next package of new Wizz routes from SKP.

    Split could also work perfectly in the summer season, as Cyprus, Malta and BCN do, if not even better. It can be also used as a connection to Bosnia.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous18:20

    The problem is that Slovenia, Croatia and Macedonia they are all aliens to each other. The Yugo days are long gone when there was one single country.
    Todays younger generations dont have memories of a common history. They are more orientated on western countries whre they usually migrate to e.Germany.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous19:58

      +1. More people from say Slovenia can more relate with people from Western Europe than Macedonia, and vice versa.

      Yugoslavia is just a faint memory for everyone under 30, who were born in the independent countries.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous22:39

      says somebody that has no connections to under 30s. The music scene at the moment is thriving as it was during the new wave. concerts, festivals ... bands from exyu are touring all over thr place. biggest number of tourists are from neighbouring countries ...

      Delete
    3. Anonymous22:52

      Ljubljana is the new yugo melting plot

      like it or not

      Delete
    4. Anonymous00:31

      @18.20 you must be someone from US or AU to be so much out of reality

      go and ask Severina, Grašo or Rundek if they feel like aliens at their sold out concerts in Macedonia

      Delete
  20. Btw JAT used to operate DAILY DBV-SKP on DC-9 during summer season

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous20:04

      Different country, different times.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous20:11

      I remember the days Dubrovnik was full of young people from the other republics .
      Nowadays Dubrovnik can feel like a foreign country, sometimes you hardly find people that speak croatian ..

      Delete
  21. Anonymous21:42

    This is bad news for Air Serbia as there will be less transfer pax for an already indebted company like ASL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous21:53

      Give it a rest.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous21:59

      He doesn't want to give it a rest, so use a language he will understand: This is a much bigger problem for Croatia Airlines. They are smaller than Air Serbia, have much less transfer destinations to offer SKP passengers, they don't have long haul offer and are at the same time getting hit by a massive Ryanair expansion in Zagreb. Therefore, really bad news for Croatia Airlines.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous08:18

      @ Anon 21:59 No one asked for Croatia Airlines. Curb your whataboutism.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous08:20

      @ Anon 21:59 Btw I would like to be addressed as she! I identify as female so please have at least a little respect for people if you don't respect their opinion.

      Delete
  22. YU has enough on it's plate as it is at the moment but maybe OU can station a plane in SKP since they have spares at the moment.

    They get transfers, plus boost their business a bit.

    ReplyDelete

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