Wizz Air plans to grow Skopje-based fleet to six


Wizz Air is looking at adding a sixth aircraft to its Skopje base from May of next year and has increased planned frequencies on a number of routes from the Macedonian capital as a result. The development is also a clear sign the airline plans to take part in the upcoming public call, to be issued by the Macedonian government, aimed at subsidising the launch of new routes from the country between 2023 and 2025. Wizz Air has won all three previous such tenders. The budget carrier, which has handled over a million passengers on its Skopje and Ohrid operations so far this year, plans to increase frequencies to Baden Baden, Berlin, Bratislava, Charleroi, Dortmund, Hamburg, Memmingen and Stockholm Skavsta from May next year. Wizz Air maintained operations from Skopje this past summer season with five jets.

Wizz Air is said to be considering new services from Skopje to Slovenia, Prague, as well as the resumption of some routes which have been discontinued by the carrier from the Macedonian capital over the past few years, such as Barcelona. New services from Ohrid are also expected if it wins the upcoming subsidy tender. On the other hand, the Macedonian government has said a new subsidy model has been drafted, which differs from those in the past, with the aim of attracting as many new airlines as possible. Previously, no other carrier has shown interest in the subsidy scheme other than Wizz Air.

Commenting on the Macedonian government’s subsidy policy, Wizz Air’s CEO, Jozsef Varadi, previously told EX-YU Aviation News, "We think that, strategically, it is important for the country to continue to develop its infrastructure and accessibility. Given the stage of development of Macedonia's market it looks like some government aid is important and it has been a successful recipe for building traffic from Skopje, but it is a government decision" Asked whether Wizz would continue to grow its operations out of the country even without state subsidies, Mr Varadi noted, "We would look at the commercial opportunities on a constant basis and if we would find a new route opportunity that is totally justifiable, yes, we would do it on its own merit".



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    This is an impressive fleet size for an LCC in the region.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:34

      How many planes do they have based in Sofia?

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    2. Anonymous13:12

      6, soon 7th

      Delete
    3. Anonymous15:09

      And 3 in Varna and 1 seasonal in Burgas. They are scared of Ryanair who slowly are expanding in Burgas as well. Plovdiv is their new battleground lol. They remind me a bit of Banja Luka or some Polish airports where there is constant rivalry. This is only good because prices go down when you have more than 1 player.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous21:32

      This is good only until one of them surrends and go away. The one which stays start to blackmail the airport and rise ticket prices.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:51

      But in sofia maintain only 10-12 per day in november, ryan are on much more flights....Wizzair are losing traffic at sof.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    And most of them are A321s.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:11

      Yes it should be 5 A321s and 1 A320.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:34

      wow nice!

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:04

    Not Wizz again

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:07

      You get what you pay for.
      If you and the other passengers from Skopje Airport are willing to pay for tickets in the amount of 300 eur and more, then I am sure LH and some other legacies would be happy to accomodate.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:30

      and the joke is Wizz fares are rarely under 200€ for a return flight to lets say Memmingen-SKP , without lugagge ...

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:31

      Probably Wizzair again. This was announced like 1 week ago and look how fast they reacted . Raynair would want also some routes in the strong western european market(Germany,Sweden,Switserland) before they start gonna start less strong routes as Barcelona, Prague or Paphos from SKP, so they are probably not gonna apply. They want atleast an 30% stake in the western european market from SKP which they won't get.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:50

      my preferred outcome of the tender woud be a new aircraft added to the Wizz base and one new transfer opportunity.

      As much as I love the idea of Ryanair @SKP I think they only attack at airports where the leading airline is somehow weak (like in Vienna or Zagreb or Rome) or there is none. Stil Ryanair ignoring a hardcore gasto route like Weeze-SKP puzzles me

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:04

    Impressive

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  5. Anonymous09:11

    Very interesting response from Varadi. So he thinks Macedonian market needs subsidies to develop?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:10

      Of course he does, he wants tax payers money.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:15

      yet they opened new routes the moment they found out Ryanair were in talks with the macedonian government.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:12

    And how many planes do they have in Skopje this winter?

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    1. Anonymous10:28

      They have 5 A320.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:28

      I meant 4 sorry !

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:32

      Thanks

      Delete
  7. Anonymous10:31

    This is a sign that they will get the subsidies.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:33

      Does anyone know how these tenders work? Does the government contact airlines to tell them that there is a tender going on.

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    2. Anonymous10:36

      Yes, they said once they contact airlines of interest.

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    3. Anonymous10:47

      Ok thanks. I find it surprising that no one else is interested.

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    4. Anonymous11:03

      The tender rules were made in a way that it makes it difficult for anyone to apply other than Wizz Air. We will see what will happen this year as they have apparently changes some of the conditions.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous10:32

    What about plans to open PRN base?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:33

      I don't think there are any plans for a PRN base.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous10:35

    Any plans Wizz Air has should be taken with huge caution knowing how they operated this year with announcing and then cancelling routes, delaying flights etc.

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  10. Anonymous10:44

    How many passengers could we expect at SKP next year?

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    1. Anonymous14:12

      this year it's gonna be a bit under or a bit over 2 million so next year 2,1 million(prudent estimate) if they increase frequncies and launch new routes.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:19

      one based aircraft is 250-350k pax (depends A320 or 21) if used fully for that base. Those 8 frequency increases already match 4 new routes

      Delete
  11. Anonymous11:01

    If Ryanair manages to launch Paphos, Barcelona, Ljubljana, Vienna, Prague and some other destinations this would be a good beginning

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    1. Anonymous11:08

      Agree. It would be good to see companies like RyanAir or EasyJet despite Wizz. There are many more destinations in Europe we don't have flights to.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:17

      Agree, with Amsterdam and Vienna they could easily compete with Wizz's Bratislava and Eindhoven

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:06

      Anon 11:17
      I don’t think Ryanair has a base in Amsterdam, from there they only fly to both Dublin and Malaga, not sure they’ll fly SKP-AMS

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:22

      AMS makes it really difficult for lcc's. Raynair flies to AMS from Dublin and Malaga because they have no choice. If they do not agree to than KLM could not fly to Dublin and Malaga.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:38

      ok i see. Easyjet has a base in AMS though but they are very modest in terms of serving East Europe

      Delete
  12. Anonymous11:18

    SKP-LJU is the new SKP-GVA. ten years in the making :D

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:11

      The New Switzerland finally happening :)

      Delete
  13. Anonymous11:24

    If the tender is only to unserved capital cities (or main airports) as rumoured the Wizz candidates could be something like : Prague, Ljubljana, Madrid

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:12

      I don’t see the point of serving Madrid honestly, is there even any demand ?

      Delete
  14. Anonymous12:25

    First wizz needs to return Malta , Larnaca , Barcelona , Hanover thats the old routes before the Covid , and after this they need to launch new ones. Its clearly that 90% Wizz will take the new tender , and if it not it still will stay as one of the main airlines in SKP airport.Every single wizz airplane flying from SKP is always full , this shows the reputation is strong and more then milion passsenger in country less then 2 milion is not a small job even it was runway rehabilatation and covid ban. Maybe will some other airline enter our market but I am surr that Wizz will still stay main airline follow with Turkish.

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    1. Anonymous12:47

      They already returned to Malta. But it's currently seasonal so operating 8 months in the year. Wizzair said that they are actually planning to retrun to some routes they terminated such as Barcelona and maybe others. I agree with returning routes like Barcelona and Larnaca but not giving subsidies for Hannover. Bremen and Dordmund are not that far from their. It will only attract diaspora and Germans who visit Macedonia. There are more then enough German routes so no reason to subsidse a new one, but it's oke if Wizz want to launch it without subsidies.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:04

      Yes you are correct , but there is alot Kosovo citizens flying to Hanover and they were using wizz route .. Wizz promises to return to some of older routes and they will next year that is fact , but they also need to introduce a new one . Maybe some other airlines will entry our market with new routes , but Wizz reputation will still stay strong because of its small airports routes..We definitly need airlines that will connect us to the main airports in Europe.Wizz is okay for diaspora people but not for tourists or let say connection flights to North America , Asia ...We only have Warsaw , Vienna and Istanbul , but we need more such as Amsterdam , Frankfurt Paris , Munich

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:51

      They should defenitly give subsidies to Lufthansa to start FRA or MUC. I don't think Raynair is gonna step in becasue the Macedonian government want new routes such as Barcelona,Paphos,Prague or Ljubijana. These routes doens't have the strongest demand so Raynair won't start flights from SKP if they get only destanations with not the best demand. Besides Wizzair is already interested so the current government is probably not gonna wait until other airlines are interested. I think Wizzair will launch some new routes if they get the subsidies but I hihgly doubt they will return all terminated routes +some new ones. They are probably gonna start 2 terminated routes and maybe one new at it's best.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous14:14

      Wizz only gets subs for new routes (and maybe in this case also suspended ones) but the more routes the more €. They usually went for 6 routes (SKP& OHD combined)

      Delete
    5. Anonymous15:06

      Prague will be good option for Wizz also and Ljubljana , follow with Barcelona , Hanover , Larnaca and some other routes ,wizz is definitly N0.1 in our market. And will stay because of its routes for our diaspora across Europe. Handling over a milion passengers its good sign for Wizz to intense its network from SKP. And I am pretty sure that any serious airline will come to our country , we will not see Lufthansa , Air france or KLM , I dont know why but they just not see any potential from SKP since this day. Maybe they will now if our country promise them financial help.. Turkish and Austrian are also strong factor so it will not be asy for anyone to get their passengers. But I am optimist and hope to see new airlines and destinations soon.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous13:58

    I have some feeling (based on 0 evidence) that somehow AirSerbia will get some of the subsidies from SKP airport. There has been much talk about this Open Balkan idea, and it was said that it would be much easier for citizens to work in any of the three countries involved (without need of special procedures). This would allow AirSerbia to be more or less counted as a domestic airline. I could see AirSerbia doing something similar to Nis. Maybe flights to Ljubljana from SKP (it could be scheduled INI-LJU-SKP-LJU-INI). Just a hunch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:10

      For this the Open Balkans needs to become a full economy union like the EU and as far as i know its stil not the case although its the main reason for creating it

      Delete
    2. Looking at the geographical position of BEG or INI i doubt JU will launch flights between LJU and SKP. I have no evidence but I guess JU gets most of transfer pax on this route and launching a non-stop flight between the two would only jeopardise their transfer pax loads on LJU - BEG - SKP - BEG - LJU route. Their ATR fleet would perfectly fit the needs of the market.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous20:31

    Shouldnt Wizzair be organising their already flights, the ones where they take peoples hard earned money, & then leave them on the tarmac as they've oversold the flight.
    The trouble im having even making contact with this airline is disgusting there is no customer service & their behaviour needs to be investigated

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous21:04

    Wizzair introduced flights to Lisbon and Milan from Belgrade before Covid, which were never implemented even after the end of Covid.
    They only kept Barcelona, ​​which is a flight full of passengers.
    Instead of Lisbon and Milan, they have a destination in Sweden that no one has even heard of.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous01:29

    What do you think about Tirana airport?

    ReplyDelete

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