Wizz Air Blooms in Macedonia

Central and Eastern European low-cost airline, Wizz Air is to grow its operations from Macedonia in summer 2015 with the arrival of another based Airbus A320 at Skopje’s Alexander the Great International Airport and the launch of services from the country’s second largest city as it makes its debut at St Paul the Apostle Airport in Ohrid.

Wizz Air will introduce a third A320 in Skopje from the middle of the year introducing twice weekly flights from June 29, 2015 to Friedrischshafen, Oslo-Torp, Barcelona, Hamburg Luebeck and Nuremberg. The additional capacity the new aircraft provides will also allow the carrier to increase the number of weekly flights on existing routes to Cologne (from two to three weekly), Gothenburg (from three to four weekly), Frankfurt Hahn (from two to three weekly), Malmo (from five to seven weekly), Milan Bergamo (from two to three weekly) and Paris Beauvais.

The growth in Skopje will be supplemented by the introduction of flights into Ohrid from the start of the start of the following month. With effect from July 1, 2015, Wizz Air will add a twice weekly link to the city from Basel Mulhouse Freiburg, increasing its total network to 110 destinations and its Macedonian network to 20 routes across ten countries.

"This announcement is great news for Macedonia. By expanding our Skopje fleet and adding Ohrid to our route network, we create more travel opportunities and a greater choice of destinations,” said John Stephenson, executive vice president, Wizz Air. “This is expected to create more local jobs as well as further stimulate tourism in Macedonia.”

Wizz Air made its debut in the Macedonian market in June 2011 when it launched flights to Skopje from London Luton, subsequently adding flights from Treviso Sant'Angelo in September the same year. The network was boosted to seven destinations in October 2012 and to its current 14 destinations from April 2014.

In our analysis, below, we look in greater detail at network capacity in and out of Macedonia this decade. According to data from OAG Schedules Analyser, available scheduled seats have almost doubled between 2010 and 2014 with an average annual growth rate of 22.7 per cent across the period.

Wizz Air is the largest carrier in the Macedonian market having overtaken Turkish Airlines and Austrian Airlines with its capacity offering in 2012. Last year it held a 42.8 per cent share of total capacity in and out of the country, up from 32.4 per cent the previous year.

Richard Maslen

Richard Maslen has travelled across the globe to report on developments in the aviation sector as airlines and airports have continued to evolve and…