Macedonia to subsidise low cost flights

New flights from Skopje and Ohrid
The Macedonian Government will offer low cost airlines a total of 1.4 million Euros in subsidies in an attempt to attract more tourists and passengers to both Skopje and Ohrid airports in 2012. The Macedonian Civil Aviation Agency recently announced that it is working on connecting Skopje with Milan, Dublin, Basel, Paris, Barcelona and Dubai. Currently, low cost airlines operating to Skopje do not receive subsidies from the state but are given incentives from airport operator TAV through lower landing and handling fees. The practice has so far proved successful. After Wizz Air launched flights from London and Treviso to the Macedonian capital, Pegasus Airlines, Blu-express, Belle Air Europe and the semi low cost Air Berlin followed. Soon, German Sky Airlines, a subsidiary of Sky Airlines from Turkey, will commence flights from Zurich to Skopje. The Civil Aviation Agency announced that these flights will be launched sometime during the winter season.

Wizz Air could be one of the airlines to take advantage of the government’s subsidies by expanding its offer from the Macedonian capital. Recently, Gyorgy Abran, Wizz Air’s Chief Commercial Officer, said at a press conference that the no frills carrier plans to introduce new routes soon. “We plan to introduce more routes, but we will first wait and see how our current offer performs”, Abran said.

Meanwhile, Ohrid Airport has managed to secure new flights for the coming summer. The mixed Turkish-Dutch airline Corendon will launch two weekly flights from Eindhoven in the Netherlands to Ohrid during the 2012 summer season. Flights will be inaugurated on May 4 and will operate until October 16. The airline has previously operated seasonal flights from Amsterdam to Ohrid.


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