Macedonian government adopts airline subsidy plan


The Macedonian government has adopted a plan to determine the amount of financial support it will provide to airlines for the launch of new routes to the country between 2023 and 2025. A decree was also adopted during the 100th session of government on the method and criteria for granting financial support and the necessary documentation that should be submitted by the beneficiaries of the subsidies. In the coming period, the government will issue a public call for granting subsidies to airlines for the introduction of new routes. “Enabling travel to additional destinations in Europe and the world will also open opportunities for economic development, promotion of tourism and cooperation between citizens and the business sector from our country and from other countries”, the government said in a statement.


  1. Anonymous10:50

    What kind of routes could we see ?

  2. Anonymous12:02

    Frankfurt , Amsterdam , Paris , Munich ... They want Skopje be connected with the main airports in Europe , not only the villages airports like now. And also not to count only on one main airline which now is Wizz ,they want more airlines with new destinations to entry the market.I think we are the only one country on Balkan that are not connected with the main airports in Europe ,and that sucks.We have around 47 destinations and non of them is to main hubs ..This need to ne changeg in future.

    1. Anonymous15:03

      True, buddy. Even Chisinau airport is being so well connected. Read many comments online that many Moldovans have Romanian passports, so it's easy for them.

    2. Anonymous15:41

      Its not a problem for us Macedonians to travel across the world with our passport , the problem is that our diaspora lives near the small airports in EU , not the main one.But finally needs to think about bringing tourists from everywhere not only our diaspora.

    3. Anonymous17:07

      This is the same story for many years now but ain't happening. With TAV running the airport they want all the transfers to go via Turkish, and the goverment want somebody to come and kiss their a*s, and give them %. Obviously to start AMS, FRA, CDG, LHR we need the big players like Lufthansa, KLM, Air France, British. But they are no comming to Skopje to aplying fornsll some political BS. The mimistry of transport and TAV need to go to this companies and present numbers that will get their attention to start flying to SKP.
      With whats going on in macedonian aviation sector right now, good luck that something like this will happend any time soon, and by soon I mean YEARS 😀
      SKP is the only capital without at least one route to the Europe's main hubs.
      Well done to the politicians and TAV

    4. Anonymous17:12

      The problem is not that the diaspora isn't living close enough to main hubs. Many Macedonians around Munchen,Frankfurt and Amsterdam. Much more than these "villages". Problem is that Wizzair is an lcc and lcc's don't fly to cheap airports and not main airports.

  3. Anonymous12:30

    So starting from 2023 JU might get subsidies for the route BEG-OHD ?

    1. Anonymous16:36

      Maybe that’s the reason why JU is considering the flights to Ohrid again.

  4. Anonymous13:30

    Kinda unbelievable after so many years that North Macedonia is still paying for people to visit it.
    Seeing so many travel reports, it was always visited by land from neighbouring countries.
    The job will be tough with the booming Tirana, Pristine and Belgrade numbers. Not to mention the cheap and accessible prices in Sofia. Thessaloniki also offers many connections in summer. Let's see what happens.

    1. Anonymous13:56

      It's smart. They are gonna subsidise routes that are close to enough demand. So that will not cost a lot of money and you will at the end have profit because it's like 1 euro per passenger. That tax money they will defenitly get back. And people who make good travel blogs about Macedonia or Balkans are ussually people who visit all countries in europe or the world. Beside Macedonia is on the only one who get susidese. Slovenia give sussidies to airlines, JU got subsidies from their government, Croatia airlines got subsidies from their government(yesterrday they had an lawsuit against raynair) Croatia airlines made a big loss and who is paying that loss the Croatian taxpayer. You need understand that if a Macedonian goes to Belgrade to fly to Barcelona for example the Macedonian economy loses money.Missing income are also costs. I know that person pays for it's self but becasue we don't have have a flight to Barcelona the Government misses more money than a couple of euro they need to subsidise per passanger. But I agree that they shouldn't sussidese routes thet have zero demand but only routes that are close to sufficient demand.

    2. Anonymous14:54

      The example with Croatia is kinda justified. This is a country visited by millions of people, it has a small population and huge coastline and many airports compared to its population ratio. Serbia's government is backing its airline because after all, a big city of 1,6 million definitely needs at least 1 airline.
      My opinion is that Skopje and Ljubljana are "punished" by geography because they are surrounded by bigger airports or with more visited countries which is not necessarily a bad thing because someone can fly to Zagreb today, because it became cheaper now, and include Ljubljana and this will probably increase with Schengen membership - both capitals are very close.
      Same with Sofia and Skopje - if they had smarter politicians, they can at least construct a 180km highway or build a railway that has been waiting for more than 80 years instead of both being the typical Balkan d__kheads. Skopje is even closer to the former Bulgarian capital - Veliko Tarnovo imagine.
      Barcelona is a good example you gave because this is a city that literally everyone visits all the time and always has demand. But, as you can see it has been stopped for obvious reasons.
      Now, I know this will not please the likes of many people but Skopje's traffic today is greatly thanks to the large Albanian diaspora. So large that in fact, Albania will be having its 3rd airport soon. Look at Pristine today, the second busiest ex-YU airport and Kosovars still need visas to visit Europe. Imagine if it were the contrary case.
      Also lets be more realistic, Tirana is seriously catching up with Belgrade and even Sofia and Thessaloniki in terms of traffic.
      I am trying to bring facts and show reality and that it won't be an easy job at all for Skopje and you can't just continue subsidising flights all the time. Also, this huge reliance on Wizzair is not going to be any good. Look at Banja Luka, they brought both Wizzair and Ryanair and made a very healthy balance and BiH is working seriously on its airports inspite of the recent loss of Wizzair in Sarajevo.

    3. Anonymous17:08

      In the past SKP and PRN were close to each other. Now that PRN has done a great job to make their network better with cheaper prices(It is not that SKP was that cheap in the past but prices to PRN were ridiculous high than) SKP lost a big part of it's Kosovar passengers. The difference is now 500k and I think that SKP and PRN have now a much healthier passengers exchange rate than in the past. SKP doesn't really profitate much of Kosovar pax anymore. In Macedonian we have Macedonians and Albanians that live abroad. There are many Albanians but still the majority of the diaspora is Macedonian except for Switserland(Both are citizens so doesn't matter). Besides mostly of these Albanians go to their family in Macedonia so they will most of the time use SKP. Most of them come from Tetovo,Gostivar and Kicevo and from there SKP is one hour closer than PRN, so it makes sense that they use SKP. And there are also many that are actually from SKP. I am not for subsidising everything but routes that are close to enough pax and Barcelona was defenitly such a route is defenitly worth. Now subsidies are used for stupid routes such as Billund and Vaxjo to serve a really small diaspora. These destanations aren't really interesting for Macedonian people.I want to congratulate Tirana they are performing very good even though I think thay have been performing the past 7 years under their potential,, but still an excellent achievement. But the point is that every airport needs to be able to catch atleast as many passengers from their own country and now with missing gulf and some holiday destanations SKP is missing some of their own pax. And in my opinion subsideis can also be given to other airlines than Wizzair.

    4. Anonymous18:32

      I agree with the foolish subsidies to some villages with smaller diaspora rather than having connections to main European capitals (if this is at least what the country honestly is heading towards). Skopje today is not even connected to Amsterdam or Brussels and this is really concerning if you have poorer countries like Moldova really speeding up lately. Georgia, I will not even mention.
      Of course we all have to congratulate Tirana because ever since they applied their policy of harshly cutting their airport fees and seeking connections, they suddenly boomed. Albania has a nice coast and developing tourism, let's not lie about it. Poles for example are visiting it more and more every year.
      My point is that NMK itself feels like a cluster sometimes and not "opening up". And glad that you mentioned Tetovo, because very recent 10 minute videos like this one show the pure reality:

      I wish the country all the best but find it surreal that with its mountains, nature, cuisine similar to all Balkan countries has so much to offer and that the world typically watches us and even Western Europeans envy us for still being who we are or many still listen to our music, peaceful countries and so much diversity in the real sense.
      Is TAV to blame for fostering mainly Turkish connections (not that this is a bad thing) and not focusing on Europe or leisure destinations?
      Do you know how much potential there is in the Israeli, UK market for NMK? Israelis are crazy about Eastern Europe you can simply go to the Tel Aviv airport website and see the crazy connections there are from Athens all the way to Tallinn. There is a Holocaust Museum in Skopje and barely nobody knows about it.
      Again, SKP can be the starting point because it is obviously not the most beautiful city in the country but you have many more that are more authentic such as Bitola, Krushevo or Veles. No attack here, just reality.
      Have the feeling that SKP airport was built by the Turks to serve the Albanian diaspora and that the country sometimes wants to heads towards Europe, but kinda stuck.
      Didn't see SKP assisting in important European aviation events or routes. Again, I will give the example with Sarajevo and BiH because I think it's the stellar in ex-YU. I remember only 10 years ago how their aviation was and look where they've reached today.

    5. Anonymous20:44

      Albania has much bigger touristic potenital than Macedonia, but for me it's important that we get the maximum out of our market and that maximum is for Albania of coursce higher than Macedonia. As you mentioed Israel and Poland there were 2 weekly flights from Ohrid to Katowice and Tel Aviv this summer but capacity at Ohrid is limited. But we should not forget that the diaspora spends more money in the balkan countires than tourists. A Kosovan Albanian from Switserland is gonna spend more in Albania and Kosovo than for example a backpacker that goes from country to country(so don't see it as something negative for the country). Same goes for Macedonia so we should defenitly accomodate the diaspora, but at the moment only the european diaspora has enough options of flights. For the American and Australian diaspora it's not convienent. But don't forget these gasto wizzair flights there are always western europeans that go random to Macedonia becasue there is a direct flight. But we need some legacies for better connections. But the question is how to attract them.

    6. Anonymous21:40

      This is what I was trying to say, bro. Why limit Ohrid when it is much more interesting and has more to offer compared to Skopje? I am still puzzled about the Gulf connections because of the huge Macedonian diaspora in Australia. As far as I know, QR have serious issues with their A320s and waiting for the Boeing MAXs because they decided to go that way following the A350 "scandal".
      Absolutely agree about the Wizzair gasto routes. Good question how to attract legacies...all airlines love easy money like anybody else, maybe first subsidise flights to Frankfurt or Munich or Amsterdam or Paris to begin with and slowly bring the latter. Another good option is to invite another LCC big player to compete with Wizzair and enjoy more O&D traffic.
      Look what happened in ZAG. Ryanair presence is not small at all given the city's size.
      Same with Sofia, not a tourist magnet city but definitely has a lot around it.
      So, Skopje can play with that card. An entry level to the country but it has much to offer close to it.
      Macedonia has a beautiful landscape similar to its neighbours and trust me, many Westerners are craving to see such places not cramped with tourists or third world citizens.
      In the Balkans we have very nice places like Ohrid, Budva, Nesebar, Novi Sad, Zadar, Mostar and the dirty, fat and selfish politicians not doing anything but stigmatising the situation. I wish Macedonia all the best. Just makes me mad how much potential our lands have especially in terms of aviation precisely because of our mountainous region.

    7. Anonymous23:20

      Ohrid and Skopje have the same amounts of Tourtist according to statistical office, but Skopje is 15 times bigger. And there are beaches hotels and resorts in Ohrid but it's not an coast with a big lenght so It gets really easy full. There is a big domestic tourism in the summer and 11-12 charter flights to Ohrid in the summer season. A variation of lcc''s would be very good for SKP but I hope we don't get a Bosnia scenario. I think that Wizz was oke with Raynair in Banja Luka but they really did not like the fact that Raynair started flights in Tuzla. It's honestly sad that SJJ lost most of their Wizzair flights because SJJ is the city in Bosnia that has the most potential for tourism and not Tuzla. Furthermore in SKP Wizzair can make room by terminating Frankfurt Hahn so that Lufthansa can start FRA or reduce frequencies to Memmingen so that Lufthansa can start Munich but that will never happen. But most important is that balkan countries strenghten their economies. And I think in the past 10 years Serbia is a great rolemodel for that.

    8. Anonymous04:55

      Ohrid is completely forgotten and abandoned in terms of air traffic. I would certainly blame TAV on that one because they ain't being very active on that one.
      Balkan economies have definitely grown not only in Serbia my friend. You forgot about Bulgaria and Romania. In Sofia today they have almost 50 metro stations and had only 8 10 years ago. The capital is booming with constructions especially in its outskirts
      Google is opening an office in Bucharest.
      Why is all this good? Because the region is becoming wealthier and hopefully we never ever again become involved with idiotic wars.
      I personally blame TAV for lacking the right persons on both airports in Macedonia. It is just not normal to work with 1 airline only unless of course TAV and Wizz have an internal "business love affair".

    9. Anonymous11:34

      @13.30 nice try. Every single airport that you mentioned have incentives which are way bigger bigger then the subsidies provided by the macedonian government.

  5. Anonymous07:25

    North Macedonia sure does like subsidies.

    1. Anonymous11:32

      especially since they are peanuts compared to the subs from the rest of the region


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