Flydubai and Qatar Airways undecided over Skopje return


Gulf carriers Flydubai and Qatar Airways are yet to resume operations to Skopje, two and a half years following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, despite restoring the remainder of their networks in the former Yugoslavia. Flydubai launched flights to Skopje in October 2012 and maintained the service until the onset of Covid-19. In its last three years of operations, passenger numbers averaged at around 27.000 per year. Flights were initially to be restored in October 2020 but were moved to March 2021, then November of that year, before being shifted to late October 2022. Reservations have now been closed entirely for the route. Since the pandemic, Flydubai launched operations to Ljubljana and increased its frequencies to Belgrade, while restoring flights to Zagreb, as well as seasonal services to Dubrovnik and Tivat this summer.

Qatar Airways, which this week posted its biggest profit on record, amounting to 1.5 billion US dollars last year, has told EX-YU Aviation News services to Skopje will resume once commercially viable, as a result of the pandemic. However, the Qatari carrier has restored the majority of its pre-Covid network and launched several new routes since. The Macedonian Minister for Transport and Communications, Blagoj Bačvarski, has held talks with the Qatari Ambassador to the country, where he emphasised the need for Qatar Airways to restore services between Doha and Skopje. “It is especially important for us to renew the flights between Skopje and Doha, in order to maintain business relations between the two countries”, Mr Bačvarski said.

In 2019, the majority of Qatar Airways’ Skopje passengers were transfers. They primarily originated or were destined for the Australian market – 33%, followed by India 7%, Thailand 5% and Singapore 4%. The airline has scheduled its return to the Macedonian capital on several occasions, however, reservations for the route have been closed since last year. In its last full years of operations, in 2019, Qatar Airways handled 29.856 passengers on its flights to and from Skopje, which was almost the same as the year before, when it welcomed 29.874 travellers on the route. Qatar Airways is the official carrier of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which takes place in Doha in November and December and is facing a shortage of aircraft, although these are primarily wide-body jets.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    Unfortunately, I don't think they will come back.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:04

    These two were having issues at SKP even before the crisis.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous09:11

    Why though?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:38

      Because there is no demand. FZ constantly moving their flights while increasing everything else and opening new routes is a good indication.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:12

    Sad :(

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:12

    Seems like the prefect time for Wizz Air Abu Dhabi to step in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:21

      If Flydubai can't make it work from DXB, why do you think Wizz Air Abu Dhabi can make it work from Abu Dhabi?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:38

      Their fares are cheaper?

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:13

    Sadly, SKP also relies on its sizeable Australian diaspora. I guess people halted travelling during the pandemic and appetite for travel went down during the last 3 years. We see it from Australia to other countries as well.
    If there is no new stupid virus, the aviation industry is expected to fully recover by 2024 (similar to pre Covid levels) as they claim so maybe those 2 Gulf carriers return to SKP and them Macedonian Aussies start booking again.
    Greets from beautiful Ruse, Bulgaria. I hope I can visit Ohrid this summer in spite of our sour relationship with Macedonia lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:15

      Australians are travelling in big numbers again. The country has been fully open for 5 months already.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:25

      Yes, but it will take some time to retrieve the big numbers enough to fill a 320 from DOH to SKP. This is what I meant.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous05:17

      Even sour ones can visit Ohrid without any problems.🇲🇰🤣🥰

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:22

    One would think there is enough P2P demand for FZ to work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:23

      Do Macedonians need visa to enter UAE?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:31

      Yes

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:23

    I believe FZ might come back eventually, Qatar I doubt it.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:35

      Why not QR?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:43

      Because FZ can attract point to point passengers and transfers while Qatar can only rely on transfers.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:23

    Qatar Airways should start LJU, more logical destination.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous09:27

    Slovenia is getting Doha flights before Skopje

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:35

    Has Qatar resumed Thessaloniki?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous09:36

    I guess that's great news for TK.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:37

    Qatar is the only oneworld airline operating to Skopje. Hope we see them back sooner rather than later.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous09:41

    QR prices are unbelievable. Transfer fares are so expensive it makes no sense to fly with them anymore. I remember regularly getting fares to Bangkok from BEG in 2019 for 500 euros, now they are 1500! Same story across their network. At least in the case of BEG, the only city they are offering cheap fares to is DXB.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:48

      Yes their fares are through the roof while pre Covid they had amongst the best fares. Guess that's how they managed that record profit.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:17

      They are a bit arrogant lately and I don't like the way they treated Airbus with the A350. Come on, man just because your country is always very hot and got nothing but desert and malls doesn't mean you have to publicly humiliate a well known worldwide aircraft manufacturer. I used to like them a lot but have fallen into my eyes now.
      Guess what? There are also other alternative airlines and Doha was only a transfer city nothing more.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous19:28

      Airbus deserves no respect . Look how they treat passengers on their aircraft .
      They stopped servicing their aircraft n Russia endangering the lifes of people .
      That is the result if you have a duopoly ..

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:45

    Advanced bookings must have been poor on Flydubai. They were selling tickets for this winter until recently.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous09:48

    I'm not liking there isn't any provisional resumption date

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous10:33

    Is there any demand from alternative Gulf cities like MCT, BAH or KWI?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:52

      Much less than from Dubai for which there also isn't enough demand.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous12:12

    How are Macedonians flying to Dubai now? Where do they connect mostly?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:02

      I would assume mostly with TK. Although I must say there were always Macedonians on FZ flights to Belgrade in the last year and I took 5 of them.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous12:38

    Qatar Airways is already making a mistake that is not back to SKP, who can check TK flights please just see it ,full flights with destinations also served by QR, pre pandemic SKP was in first three transfer destinations from SYD and MEL.UAE has big MKD diaspora, agencies are selling DXB like crazy, tourism travel to Thailand,ZNZ, SEZ,MLE now is all going through BEG, so not returning to SKP is a stupid mistake by QR.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:39

      In that case really odd they have not returned. How do they book these passengers? With JU to BEG and then with QR?

      Delete
  20. Anonymous13:53

    I don't like this :(

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous13:54

    Anyone remember their frequencies pre Covid?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:05

      There were 4 weekly frequencies between DOH-SKP

      Delete
    2. Anonymous17:34

      Flydubai 2x p/w and Qatar 4x p/w.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous17:37

      Wasn't FZ more in the past?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous18:24

      Yes but they reduced it before covid

      Delete
    5. Anonymous18:32

      I see, thanks for the information.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous13:54

    Expected

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous15:54

    It would be nice to have an airline with a little number of planes and launch flights to AMS, CDG, FRA, LHR, MUC, DXB... and other destinations (charters to Ohrid for example). Wizzair isn't flying to many big airports.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous18:35

    Shame. Meanwhile Flydubai increasing Moscow flights to 28 weekly from Sptember.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:54

      how much frequencies have they now to Moscow?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous19:00

      At the moment 23. Originally they planned just 7 weekly for summer.

      Delete

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