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Qatar Airways eyeing Skopje

A high ranking delegation from Qatar will visit Macedonia in March, during which the country’s national carrier is set to announce flights between Doha and Skopje. Macedonian press reports that Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar Al Baker, will be part of the delegation which will be sizing up potential investments in the country. The airline is believed to be planning to launch flights to Skopje at the end of the year. Qatar Airways is hoping to attract transit passengers from the Macedonian capital which would connect onto its flights to Australia, the Far East and South Africa.

Qatar Airways’ potential arrival into Skopje could shake up Flydubai’s operations to the city. Last October the low cost carrier launched two weekly flights between Dubai and Skopje. The service will increase to three times per week during the 2013 summer season. However, the majority of Flydubai’s passengers on the service connect onto Emirates’ flights to Australia. Qatar could also pose as added competition to Turkish Airlines which also depends on large amounts of transit passengers on its flights from the Macedonian capital. The airline will operate two daily flights between Istanbul and Skopje this summer.

Qatar Airways launched flights to Zagreb via Budapest earlier in 2012 and inaugurated services to Belgrade via Ankara in November last year. The airline does not hold fifth freedom rights on the Ankara – Belgrade – Ankara sector. On the other hand, it has been granted rights to sell tickets between Zagreb and Budapest. Whether Skopje will become the carrier’s third destination in the former Yugoslavia will be answered in March.

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B&H Airlines to Skopje from April

B&H Airlines to Skopje from April

B&H Airlines will launch flights to Skopje Alexander the Great Airport on April 1. Services, with the ATR72, will operate four times per week. Originally, B&H intended to launch flights to Skopje during the winter holiday season but instead it opted to postpone the service until the summer. The airline also intends to launch flights to Amsterdam and there is a possibility for services to Zagreb to be inaugurated as well as the Bosnian carrier looks to strengthen its cooperation with Croatia Airlines. Flight details for the Sarajevo – Skopje s

B&H’s return will be welcomed news for Skopje Airport. Nordic Air Sweden has already announced that it will launch flights from Copenhagen to the Macedonian capital in late February while a possible Wizz Air expansion is also on the cards. Furthermore, Jetairfly will resume its seasonal summer flights from Brussels. Skopje will now be served by four national carriers from the former Yugoslavia – Adria Airways, B&H Airlines, Croatia Airlines and Jat Airways. With 828.831 passengers handled in 2012, Skopje will need a significant 20% passenger increase this year if it is to break its one million passenger record set in 2000.

B&H Airlines has operated flights to Skopje on and off for several years. At first the airline flew to Skopje via Podgorica. The national carrier suspended the flights after some time citing low interest. It planned to return to the Macedonian capital in the summer of 2012, however, its fleet shortage and Turkish Airlines’ exit from the carrier made it impossible. A total of five weekly flights were scheduled, departing Sarajevo in the evening with the return flight to leave Skopje early next morning, so as to connect onto B&H’s services to Europe. All EX-YU airlines rely on Macedonian transit passengers to Western Europe, with B&H now ready to re-enter the game as well.

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Skopje to become Wizz Air’s 17th base

Skopje Airport will become Wizz Air’s 17th base as the airline plans to station an aircraft in the Macedonian capital by the end of the year. From October 28 the airline will launch flights from Skopje to Milan, Eindhoven, Dortmund and Munich (Memmingen). All of the services will operate twice per week. Two weekly flights to Malmo in Sweden will launch on October 29 while on October 30 the low cost airline will inaugurate three weekly services to Basel. All of the services will be subsidised by the Macedonian government over the next three years. The low cost airline will continue operating its existing flights from London and Treviso to Skopje.

Wizz Air has also been offered the opportunity to launch flights from Skopje to Brussels. In case of any further expansion at Skopje, the no frills airline will launch the route. Towards the end of the year Wizz Air will base an aircraft in the Macedonian capital. On Thursday, the airline will hold a press conference and announce the new route launches, providing more details on scheduling.

Wizz Air’s expansion in Macedonia comes as a result of the government’s subsidised flights scheme. The only other airlines to have shown interest in the tender procedure besides Wizz Air were Croatia Airlines and easyJet, however they did not put in an offer. Skopje will be Wizz Air’s second base in the former Yugoslavia following Belgrade. Furthermore, in October the airline will launch flights to Ljubljana and still maintains a seasonal service to Split. Earlier in the year talks with Sarajevo Airport broke down after the airport’s management stated that “great demands” were placed by the airline.

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New flights from Skopje announced

Skopje Alexander the Great Airport will soon see flights to six new destinations. The new routes come as a result of the international tender call to low cost airlines which offers government subsidies to those willing to operate flights to the Macedonian capital. The Macedonian Prime Minister, Nikola Gruevski, said yesterday that the tender is in its final phase and details are soon to be released. However, he did confirm that the new destinations will be Munich, Dortmund, Basel, Eindhoven, Malmo and Milan.

It is being tipped that Wizz Air, which already operates flights from Treviso and London to the Macedonian capital will operate the bulk of the newly announced flights, while easyJet will take the Basel – Skopje route. However, precise details will be announced on June 21. All of the new services are set to begin at the start of the 2012/2013 winter season in late October. The flights will be subsidised over the next three years. Recently, Flydubai also announced its service launch to Skopje from Dubai on October 18.

Macedonian airports are recording the strongest growth in the region this year. The positive trend continued in May as well. Skopje and Ohrid handled a combined total 75.479 passengers, an increase of 14% compared to the same month last year. The exceptional result is despite a sharp decline in the number of operated flights of up to 15%. In the first five months of the year, the two airports welcomed 314.854 passengers through its doors, up 20% on 2011.

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Flydubai to launch Skopje in October

As was exclusively reported by EX-YU aviation news back in April, Flydubai will be launching flights to the Macedonian capital this year. The low cost airline has scheduled its inaugural service for October 18. A total of two weekly flights will operate between Dubai and Skopje using the Boeing 737-800. It will be the airline’s second destination in the EX-YU region, complementing its existing five weekly flights to Belgrade. At the same press conference Flydubai announced it was also launching services to the Romanian capital Bucharest.

Flydubai’s CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith, said, “Our two latest routes illustrate Flydubai’s commitment to expanding connectivity from the Middle East to new destinations that have historically been underserved. This offers more choice to our customers, increasing international travel options and avenues for trade. Furthermore, our base in Dubai provides the sizeable Romanian and Macedonian expatriate populations around the globe with affordable links to their home nations”.

The new service will most likely have an impact on Turkish Airlines which has so far enjoyed a bounty of transit passengers who choose to fly via Istanbul to various points in the world. Flydubai will also hope to catch the attention of the Macedonian diaspora in Australia who will be able to transit via Dubai to Skopje. The airline has so far been unsuccessful in attaining a major share of Serbian diaspora passengers from Australia on its services to Belgrade. Flight details for the Dubai – Skopje flights can be found here. Tickets are already up for sale.

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Low cost airline apply for subsidised flight

The Macedonian government has announced an open call for all low cost airlines willing to launch flights from Skopje to six new destinations in Europe. The services will be subsidised over the next three years by the Macedonian government. The tender outlines that the six new routes must include at least one city in Spain, Italy, Scandinavia, the Benelux region as well as central Europe. The new routes are expected to be launched by the end of the year. “The introduction of new flights is important for both tourism and business but also to those living abroad which have to change several aircraft, increasing expenses”, Nikola Gruevski, the Macedonian Prime Minister, said yesterday.

Wizz Air is being tipped as a favourite to apply for the subsidies. The airline already operates flights from Treviso and London to the Macedonian capital. However, low cost airlines from Turkey are likely contenders as well. The move to subsidise flights from Macedonia came after the Turkish operator of Skopje Airport, TAV, was unable to find an airline willing to base an aircraft in the Macedonian capital. EX-YU aviation news can now reveal that in 2011 talks were held with both Jat Airways and Turkish Airlines to base an aircraft in Skopje. Flights to Rome, Zurich and Amsterdam were in play for both airlines. However, in the end, both declined.

Despite not having a home carrier, both Skopje and Ohrid airports have seen a boom in traffic this year. In the first four months of 2012, the two welcomed a total of 239.364 passengers, an increase of 20% compared to the same period last year. In April alone the two airports handled 68.343 passengers, up 19% on April 2011. Earlier last month it was revealed that the low cost Middle Eastern airline Fly Dubai is considering launching flights to Skopje by the end of the year

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Skopje Avio Kompanije – Skopje Авио-компании – Airlines Skopje

AIRLINES COMPANIES

Skopje Avio Kompanije – Skopje Авио-компании – Airlines Skopje

Croatia Airlines Skopje Macedonia

  •  ++ 389 2 11 58 58
  • ++ 389 2 23 89 40
  • ++389 2 11 42 03
  • Dame Gruev 3 Skopje Macedonia
  • www.croatiaairlines.hr

Adria Airways Skopje Macedonia

  • ++ 389 2 3117 009
  • ++ 389 2 3165 531
  • Dame Gruev bb Skopje Macedonia
  • www.adria-airways.com

Austrian Airlines Skopje Macedonia

  • ++ 389 2 321 61 20
  • ++ 389 2 314 83 72
  • ++ 389 2 312 81 77
  • 27 Mart 12 Skopje Macedonia
  • www.austrianairlines.com

JAT Airways Skopje Macedonia

 

  • ++ 389 2 256 12 13
  • ++ 389 2 311 83 06
  • Partizanski Odredi 17 Skopje
  • www.jat.com

Macedonian Airlines Skopje Macedonia

  • ++ 389 2 329 23 33
  • ++ 389 2 322 95 76
  • Vasil Glavinov 3 Skopje Macedonia
  • www.mat.com.mk

Turkish Airlines Skopje Macedonia

  • ++ 389 2 256 20 53
  • ++ 389 2 311 61 49
  • ++ 389 2 311 82 43
  • Dame Gruev 3/9 Skopje Macedonia
  • www.turkishairlines.com

CZECH Airlines Skopje Macedonia

  • ++ 389 2 329 05 72
  • ++ 389 2 323 90 25
  • Airport Petrovec- Main hall, Skopje
  • www.csa.cz/mk

Alitalia Skopje Macedonia

  • ++ 389 2 311 86 02
  • ++ 389 2 256 23 20
  •   www.alitalia.com

 

      Edelweiss Air AG Skopje Macedonia

  • ++ 41 43 816 50 60
  • ++ 41 43 816 50 61
  • Operations Center B. O. Box 8058 Zurich-Airport Ground Map
  • www.edelweissair.ch

BELLE AIR EUROPE Skopje Macedonia

  •   ++ 389 70 23 34 30
  •  ”Alexander The Great”, Airport1043 Petrovec, Macedonia
  • www.belleaireurope.com

Skopje Avio Kompanije – Skopje Авио-компании – Airlines Skopje

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FlyDubai thinking about Flights To Skoplje

Flydubai has begun a feasibility study into launching flights to the Macedonian capital Skopje, a source at the airline has confirmed for EX-YU aviation news. The low cost airline is pondering at the prospect of tapping into the Macedonian market, following last year’s launch to Belgrade. Currently, data and costs are being crunched, although the airline has been enticed by subsidies which are being offered for low cost airlines by the Macedonian government. The subsidies are set to run until at least 2015. Furthermore, there is a sizable number of transit passengers the airline could carry from Macedonia.

Before a decision was made to look into Skopje, Flydubai was considering launching flights to Zagreb. However, the airline decided against the move due to operational purposes. While Flydabai’s Boeing 737-800s can make it to Zagreb, the crew’s duty times would expire on the return leg. Thus, this would require a mandatory rest period for the crew in Zagreb, which would increase costs for the low cost airline.

Late last year, the Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency said that flights between Skopje and Dubai would be launched in 2012, although it never revealed the airline in question. This summer, Flydubai will operate five weekly flights to the Serbian capital, its only destination in the former Yugoslavia. It has so far had mixed success on the route. Flydubai’s potential service to Skopje would indirectly compete with Turkish Airlines, which takes the bulk of Macedonia’s transit passengers (some 14% so far in 2012). If all of the numbers add up, Flydubai will launch services to Skopje later on in the year.

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Macedonia does better

Macedonia’s two international airports, Skopje and Ohrid, have so far this year reported growth of over 20%. In March, the two airports combined welcomed 57.596 passengers, an increase of 24% compared to the same month last year, despite the loss of both ČSA Czech Airlines and Malev Hungarian Airlines. During the first few months of the year, most passengers departing Skopje Alexander the Great Airport were heading to either Zurich (26%) or Istanbul (14.3%). So far this year the airports have seen an average passenger increase of 23.5%.

“Following the modernisation and concession of Macedonia’s airports, there has been continual passenger growth. Last year Macedonia’s airports handled 834.273 passengers, which represents an increase of 15% on the year before”, the Ministry of Transport and Communication said in a statement. The airports have also seen an increase in flights despite the loss of the above mentioned big players.

Skopje Airport handled the most passengers in its history in 2000 when it welcomed 1.020.000 passengers through its doors. Ohrid Airport saw its best year in 1999 with just over 80.000 passengers. This year it should surpass its record in the lake side town. During the 2012 summer season, Macedonia won’t see too many new airlines on the market. Jetairfly will begin seasonal flights from Brussels to both Skopje and Ohrid in May and Jat Airways will resume its seasonal service to Ohrid. On the other hand, Kon Tiki Sky, the controversial new start up airline, which has promised to launch numerous destinations from Macedonia’s capital, hasn’t been issued a license.

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Ex-YU airlines should unite

The Secretary General of the Association of European Airlines, Ulrich Schulte Strathaus, has told the Slovenian daily “Dnevnik” that in order for the national carriers of the former Yugoslavia to survive they will need to unite into a single airline. “The once single Yugoslav market is now fragmented and a regional solution is necessary. The region needs an airline that would cover local needs and connect with global hubs”, Strathaus says. He notes that he recently discussed the issue with Adria Airways’ management. “It would be great if Adria Airways, which has extensive knowledge of the Balkan market, were to initiate a regional summit which would be dedicated to this issue, however, due to political quarrels I doubt this could happen”, Strathaus adds.

The Association of European Airlines counts 34 members, mostly national carriers. Adria Airways, Croatia Airlines and Jat Airways are all members. Montenegro Airlines also used to be a member of the association but mysteriously left after a few months. Strathaus believes that certain markets in the former Yugoslavia are too small to have their own national carrier. He notes that Serbia can’t find an investor for Jat, Croatia Airlines and Montenegro Airlines are operating with mounting problems and that B&H Airlines will go bankrupt when Turkish Airlines ceases financing it.

Last year, an idea to unite the former Yugoslav aviation market was put on the table during talks between the Serbian government and Turkish Airlines. It was suggested that a regional airline, Balkan Airways, could serve as a national carrier for Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia. In September 2011, Croatia Airlines and Adria Airways reached an agreement over a common business plan model. The two airlines agreed to strengthen ties and cooperate on jet leasing as a means of improving efficiency and streamlining fleet utilisation.

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