The state subsidies for the new air routes, the advancement toward the Single European Sky system and the modernization of the airports have contributed to the increase of the number of passengers at airports “Alexander the Great” in Skopje and “St. Paul the Apostle” in Ohrid in the last year.
The first unofficial records of the aviation authority show that last year 900.000 passengers have passed through the Macedonian airports which would estimate roughly a 10% increase against the 2011 records.
– It is a small difference from the targeted number of million passengers flying from the airports in Skopje and Ohrid. This is mostly due to the cancelation of the operations of the Hungarian airlines “Malev” and the withdrawal of “Czech Airlines” from the operation of flights to Prague. Still, this is a very good result considering the crises of air traffic in Europe in general due to the financial difficulties of the Euro zone. The report of the Airports Council International shows that last year the European airports have faced a reduced number of passengers by 1,5 to 2 % – says Mr. Dejan Mojsoski, the Director General of the Civil Aviation Agency.
In the course of the last year, several low-cost carriers i.e. “Wizz Air”, “Pegasus” “Fly Dubai”, “Air Berlin” have commenced their operations causing a decrease of the costs of the air tickets, and providing better air travel opportunities to Europe and worldwide for the Macedonian citizens. The high level of interest is supported by the fact that only in a single month, more than 15.000 passengers have taken the low-cost flights of “Wizz Air” to Malmö, Dortmund, Eindhoven, Basel, Toulouse, Munich and Milan which commenced on 28 October last year.
– Last year was a successful one, which was recognized by EUROSTAT. The EU Agency of Statistics has noted that Macedonia has the largest increase of the number of passengers by air in regard to the last year records for the non-EU countries. We expect further boost of competition that would lower the prices, increase the number of routes as well as the quality of the services rendered– says Mr. Mojsoski.
He says that the Macedonian aviation authority will support any airlines interested in operating air services to our airports.
At the beginning of the summer of 2012 the USA opened its sky for flights from Macedonia. The Civil Aviation Agency has concluded an Air Services Agreement on behalf of the Republic of Macedonia with the civil aviation authority of the United States of America. However, we are still waiting for an air carrier to offer air services to American airports.
– We are working on attracting airlines that would establish scheduled air services between Macedonia, USA and Canada, where we have a great number of immigrants. We are oriented towards low-cost carriers and introducing of new destinations. An important part in the process of attracting new airlines is played by the airport concessioner TAV Macedonia intending to turn the Skopje Airport into a regional center in the Balkans – says Mr. Mojsoski.