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 "Alexander the Great" Airport
Аеродром ,,Александар Велики" Скопје
Aerodrom ,,Aleksandar Veliki" Skopje
Skopje Alexander the Great Airport.jpg
Airport type Public/Military
Owner TAV Airports
Serves Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
Location Petrovec
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
LWSK is located in Republic of Macedonia
Location in Republic of Macedonia
Direction Length Surface
m ft
16/34 3,042 9,992 Asphalt
Statistics (2015)
Passengers 1,452,465 [1]
Passenger change 14–15 Increase20.2%
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 „Александар Велики“ Скопје, Aerodrom "Aleksandar Veliki" Skopje), is the larger and busier of the two international airports in the Republic of Macedonia, with the other being the St. Paul the Apostle Airport in Ohrid. It is located 17 km (11 mi) southeast[2] of the national capital Skopje in the Municipality of Petrovec.


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 Thessaloniki in Greece, and further extended to Greek capital Athens in 1933.[5]

In 1935 Aeroput linked Skopje with Bitola and Niš, and also operated a longer international route linking Vienna and Thessaloniki through 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.[citation needed]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Adria Airways Ljubljana
Air Berlin
operated by Belair
Air Serbia Belgrade
operated by Alitalia CityLiner
Austrian Airlines Vienna
Borajet Seasonal charter: Antalya
Corendon Airlines Seasonal charter: Antalya
Croatia Airlines Zagreb
Czech Airlines Seasonal: Prague
Seasonal charter: Heraklion
Edelweiss Air Zürich
flydubai Dubai–International
Germania Flug Charter: Zürich
Helvetic Airways Seasonal charter: Zürich
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Seasonal charter: Antalya
SunExpress Seasonal charter: Antalya
Swiss International Air Lines Geneva (ends 29 October)[10]
Turkish Airlines Istanbul–Atatürk
Wizz Air Barcelona, Basel/Mulhouse, Beauvais, Bergamo, Berlin-Schönefeld, Bratislava, Charleroi, Cologne/Bonn, Copenhagen, Dortmund, Eindhoven, Friedrichshafen, Gothenburg, Hahn, Hamburg, Hannover (begins 1 November 2016),[11] London–Luton, Malmö, Memmingen, Nuremberg, Sandefjord, Stockholm–Skavsta, Treviso


Traffic development[edit]

Alexander the Great statue at Skopje Airport

The number of passengers has increased since 1990, from 312,492 passengers in that year, to 1,452,465 passengers in 2015. 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.[12] This was influenced in part by a number of airlines replacing services to Skopje with services to nearby. In 2014 Skopje airport handled 1,208,359 passengers, surpassing one million for the 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 759,918 Increase6,1% - - - -
2012 828,831 Increase9,1% - - - -
2013 984,407 Increase18,8% - - - -
2014 1,208,359 Increase22,7% - - - -
2015 1,452,465 Increase20,2% - - - -
2016 (01.01-30.09) 1,258,967 Increase15,3% 2,345 Increase16,6% - -

Most frequent routes[edit]

'Top 6 most frequent routes at SkopjeAlexander the Great"Airport
City Airport(s) Airlines
Flag of Turkey.svg Istanbul Atatürk Airport and Sabiha Gökçen Airport Pegasus Airlines, Turkish Airlines
Flag of Switzerland.svg Zürich Zürich Airport Belair, Germania Flug, Edelweiss Air, Helvetic Airways
Flag of Austria.svg Vienna Vienna Airport Austrian Airlines
Flag of France.svg Basel Switzerland, Mulhouse France, Freiburg Germany Basel/Mulhouse Airport Wizz Air
Flag of Sweden.svg Malmö Malmö Airport Wizz Air
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg London London Luton Wizz Air

Top Carriers[edit]

Rank Carrier Market share
1 Flag of Hungary.svg Wizz Air 53,5%
2 Flag of Turkey.svg Turkish Airlines 8,7%
3 Flag of Austria.svg Austrian Airlines 6,4%
4 Flag of Switzerland.svg Germania Flug 5,9%
5 Flag of Turkey.svg Pegasus Airlines 4,5%

Ground transportation[edit]

Taxis to Skopje are available. There is also a bus service linking the airport and the city with stops at Capitol Mall, International Bus/Railway Station and Hotel Holiday Inn/City Centre.

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • On 24 July 1992, an Antonov 12BK of Volga-Dnepr Airlines, crashed on a mountain Lisec village, on approach at Skopje Airport, after the crew strayed off course while trying to circumnavigate a thunderstorm because the DME at Skopje Airport was inoperative. All 8 occupants died and the plane was written off.[13]
  • 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.[14]
  • On 12 January 2008, a Mil Mi-17 of the Macedonian Air Force, from Mostar en route to Skopje Airport, crashed on a hill near Katlanovsko Blato in dense fog and burned out. All 11 occupants died and the helicopter was written off.[15]
  • 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.[16][17][18]
  • 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.[18][19][20]
  • On 14 November 2011, a private flight Socata TBM700N (TBM850), from Maastricht Achen Airport to Skopje, hit several treetops and approach light while landing and missed the extended asphalt of the runway and touched down on grass. All five occupants escaped unharmed. The plane received substantial damage and was sent to Daher-Socata at Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées Airport for repairs.[21]
  • On 11 February 2012, Czech Airlines Flight 848, Boeing 737-55S a scheduled flight from Prague to Skopje made an emergency landing at Skopje, because of reported smoke that came out of the aircraft. Airport firefighters and ambulance were alarmed. The plane had a minor damage and all passengers escaped uninjured.[22]
  • On 6 September 2016, a private Piper PA-34-200T Seneca II crashed near Vetersko, Veles while landing in Skopje, killing all 6 on board. The aircraft was written off.[23]


  1. ^ Ex-YU Aviation. TAV Airports. 2012. p. 86. Retrieved 2014-01-11. 
  2. ^ a b c "EAD Basic - Error Page". Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  3. ^ Airport information for LWSK at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
  4. ^ "TAV Skopje Airport, Macedonia". Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c Drustvo za Vazdusni Saobracaj A D – Aeroput (1927-1948) at
  6. ^ "Skopje's airport to be named "Alexander the Great"". Kathimerini. 2006-12-29. Retrieved 2006-12-26. 
  7. ^ Makfax
  8. ^ Kavala International Airport "Megas Alexandros" or in English: "Alexander the Great". Official site.
  9. ^ "Денис Звиздиќ номиниран за претседател на новиот Совет на министри на БиХ". Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "AirportsBase :: Skopje Airport". Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "My Info Agent". Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  17. ^ "2 Dash 8 emergency landings in Skopje, Macedonia - PPRuNe Forums". Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  18. ^ a b "AUA-Maschine musste nach Start in Skopje umkehren". Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  19. ^ "Dva prinudna sletanja u Skoplju". Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  20. ^ "Page Redirection". Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^

External links[edit]

Media related to Skopje Airport at Wikimedia Commons