Mat voluntarily grounds aircraft to prepare for competitionMacedonia’s Mat Airways could resume services next week after it grounded one of its aircraft, as reported on Monday. The airline says that it voluntarily grounded its Boeing 737-500 and took “time out” to reconsider its position on the market and better prepare for increased competition. Mat Airways operated its last service on June 20. Since then its sole aircraft has been grounded while Skywings International Airlines decided to split from Mat, only a month after it joined the charter airline. Mat’s management says that its aircraft will probably return to the sky next week and has been given a new look. On the other hand, Mat has halted the sale of all its tickets.
The Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency says that it did not play a part in Mat’s service suspension and adds that the airline has a permit to operate flights from Skopje and Ohrid to Zurich, Dusseldorf, Berlin, Hamburg, Vienna and Copenhagen until June 15, 2012.
Meanwhile, the Turkish low cost Pegasus Airlines will commence 3 weekly flights from Istanbul’s Gokcen Airport to Skopje and 2 weekly flights from Izmir to the Macedonian capital. The airline will compete against Turkish Airlines, which operates flights to Skopje out of Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport. Flights from Izmir commence on August 15, while services from Istanbul will begin a day later on August 16. Flight details can be found on the right hand side in the new route launches section.