Skopje "Alexander the Great" Airport

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This article is about the Skopje Airport. For other uses, see Alexander the Great Airport (disambiguation).
Skopje Airport
Аеродром Скопје
Aerodrom Skopje
Skopje Alexander the Great Airport.jpg
IATA: SKPICAO: LWSK
Summary
Airport type Public/Military
Owner TAV Airports
Serves Skopje
Location Petrovec, Republic of Macedonia
Hub for Wizz Air
Elevation AMSL 238 m / 781 ft
Coordinates 41°57′40″N 021°37′37″E / 41.96111°N 21.62694°E / 41.96111; 21.62694Coordinates: 41°57′40″N 021°37′37″E / 41.96111°N 21.62694°E / 41.96111; 21.62694
Website skp.airports.com.mk
Map
LWSK is located in Republic of Macedonia
LWSK
LWSK
Location in Republic of Macedonia
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
16/34 2,950 9,678 Asphalt
Statistics (2012)
Passengers 984,407[1]
Source: Republic of Macedonia AIP at EUROCONTROL[2]

Skopje Airport[3] (IATA: SKPICAO: LWSK) (Macedonian: Аеродром Скопје, Aerodrom Skopje, or Skopje "Alexander the Great" Airport[2][4] (Macedonian: Аеродром Скопје „Aлександар Вeлики“, Aerodrom Skopje "Aleksandar Veliki") is the larger and busier of the two international airports in the Republic of Macedonia, with the other being the Ohrid Airport. It is located 17 km (11 mi) southeast[2] of the national capital Skopje in the Municipality of Petrovec.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The first commercial flights in Skopje were introduced in 1929 when the Yugoslav carrier Aeroput introduced a route linking the city with the capital, Belgrade.[5] A year later the route was extended to Thessalonika in Greece, and further extended to Greek capital Athens in 1933.

In 1935 Aeroput linked Skopje with Bitola and Niš, and also operated a longer international route linking Vienna and Thessalonika trough Zagreb, Belgrade and Skopje.[5]

After the Second World War, Aeroput was replaced by JAT Yugoslav Airlines, which linked Skopje to a number of domestic and international destinations until the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s.

Development since the 2000s[edit]

In December 2006 the government of the Republic of Macedonia announced plans to rename the airport after Alexander the Great, sparking a renewed diplomatic spat with Greece, because both countries consider Alexander the Great as part of their own heritage.[6][7] The new name is alleged to create confusion with the already existing Kavala International Airport named Alexander the Great (Greek: Μέγας Αλέξανδρος - Megas Alexandros), which lies in the neighbouring Greek region of Macedonia.[8]

In 2008 the Macedonian Government signed a contract with the Turkish company Tepe Akfen Ventures (TAV) for a twenty-year long concession during which this company would manage Macedonia's two existing airports - the Skopje Alexander the Great Airport and the St. Paul the Apostle Airport in Ohrid. In September 2011, the new terminal building, extension of the runway, new administrative building, cargo building and new access road with parking facilities were opened.[9] The goal of the project is to increase the capacity of Skopje Airport to four million passengers per year with plans to turn Skopje Airport into a major transit and cargo hub for Southeast Europe. Renovations of the Ohrid airport terminal building and VIP sections were completed in the Spring of 2011. The concession contract also includes the construction of a third airport intended for cargo transport near the eastern Macedonian town of Štip which eventually would be transformed into Macedonia’s main airport. The total amount of the foreseen investment is 200 million Euros with 30 to 40 million Euros total concession payments to the Macedonian Government over the 20-year concession period.

Tepe Akfen Ventures Airport Holding is one of the world's fastest expanding airport operators currently managing the Turkish airports of Atatürk, Esenboğa, Adnan Menderes and Gazipaşa along with Tbilisi and Batumi in Georgia, Monastir and Enfidha in Tunisia. TAV is also bidding to take over the management of Ruzyně International Airport and Riga International Airport.[10]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Adria Airways Ljubljana
Air Serbia Belgrade
Alitalia
operated by Alitalia CityLiner
Rome–Fiumicino
Austrian Airlines Vienna
Belair Zurich
Corendon Airlines Seasonal charter: Antalya
Croatia Airlines Zagreb
Edelweiss Air Zurich
flydubai Dubai
Germania Charter: Düsseldorf
Helvetic Airways Zürich
Jetairfly Seasonal: Brussels
Nesma Airlines Seasonal charter: Hurghada
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen
Seasonal charter: Antalya, Bodrum
SunExpress Seasonal charter: Antalya
Swiss International Air Lines Geneva (begins 4 April 2015)
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk
Wizz Air Basel/Mulhouse, Beauvais, Bergamo, Charleroi, Cologne/Bonn, Dortmund, Eindhoven, Gothenburg-City, Frankfurt–Hahn, London-Luton, Malmö, Memmingen, Stockholm-Skavsta, Treviso

Statistics[edit]

Alexander the Great statue at Skopje Airport

The number of passengers has increased since 1990, from 312,492 passengers in that year, to 984,407 passengers in 2013. However, traffic was often dropped in twenty years. In 2000 the airport handled 1,005,852 passengers, but in 2001 the number of passengers dropped to 499,789 due to the Kosovo war.[11] In 2014 Skopje airport has welcomed its millionth passenger again, first time since 2000.

Traffic figures at Skopje Alexander the Great Airport
Year Passengers Change Cargo (t) Change Aircraft movements Change
1990 312,492 1,872 3,466
1991 397,660 Increase27,3% 1,088 Decrease41,9% 7,158 Increase106,5%
1992 390,025 Decrease1,9% 1,023 Decrease6,0% 7,079 Decrease1,1%
1993 577,425 Increase48,0% 4,338 Increase324,0% 10,681 Increase50,9%
1994 603,447 Increase4,5% 6,936 Increase59,9% 10,803 Increase1,1%
1995 583,053 Decrease3,4% 10,205 Increase47,1% 11,692 Increase8,2%
1996 422,598 Decrease27,5% 3,209 Decrease68,6% 8,618 Decrease26,3%
1997 440,988 Increase4,4% 4,881 Increase52,1% 8,995 Increase4,4%
1998 511,784 Increase16,1% 5,239 Increase7,3% 10,321 Increase14,7%
1999 840,985 Increase64,3% 11,682 Increase123,0% 23,912 Increase131,7%
2000 1,005,852 Increase19,6% 4,335 Decrease62,9% 24,234 Increase1,3%
2001 499,789 Decrease50,3% 3,262 Decrease28,8% 16,673 Decrease31,2%
2002 520,497 Increase4,1% 3,271 Increase0,3% 13,725 Decrease17,7%
2003 500,012 Decrease3,9% 2,083 Decrease36,3% 12,428 Decrease9,4%
2004 497,105 Decrease0,6% 2,004 Decrease3,8% 10,940 Decrease12,0%
2005 525,965 Increase5,8% 1,815 Decrease9,4% 12,101 Increase10,6%
2006 547,198 Increase4,0% 1,903 Increase4,8% 12,637 Increase4,4%
2007 626,144 Increase14,4% 2,194 Increase15,3% 13,085 Increase3,5%
2008 658,367 Increase5,1% 2,771 Increase26,3% 10,666 Decrease18,5%
2009 602,298 Decrease8,5% 2,125 Decrease23,3% 9,871 Decrease7,5%
2010 716,000 Increase18,9% - - - -
2011 759,928 Increase6,1% - - - -
2012 828,831 Increase9,1% - - - -
2013 984,407 Increase18,8% - - - -

Ground transportation[edit]

Taxis[edit]

Pre-ordered taxis to Skopje should cost not more than 1600 MKD.[12]

Buses[edit]

There is a new bus service linking the airport and the City (with stops at Hotel Continental, International Bus/Railway Station, Hotel Holiday Inn/City Centre and Hotel Alexander Palace). One-way ticket price: 150 MKD. Schedules: http://skp.airports.com.mk/default.aspx?ItemID=491

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • On 5 March 1993, Palair Macedonian Airlines Flight 301, a Fokker 100 bound for Zurich, crashed seconds after takeoff from runway 34. Investigation into the accident determined the cause of the accident to be the failure of the flight crew to have the aircraft deiced before departure. Of the 97 people on board, 83 died.
  • On 13 February 2009, Austrian Airlines Flight OS780, Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 scheduled flight from Skopje to Vienna failed to retract landing gear after take-off and performed an emergency landing on Skopje Airport.[13][14][15]
  • On 13 February 2009, MALÉV Flight 440 a scheduled MALÉV flight Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 from Budapest to Skopje made an emergency landing at Skopje Airport. At 16:05 CET the pilot reported right engine failure on its final approach to Skopje LWSK. The pilot safely landed the airplane and there were no injuries reported among the 64 passengers in the aircraft.[16][17][18]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Skopje Airport at Wikimedia Commons