With a traditional aviation welcoming ceremony for the 1st arriving flight from Kyiv at Skopje International Airport at 12h, TAV Macedonia marked the opening of the new regular route Kyiv-Skopje by the Ukrainian airline Windrose.
The aircraft from the type Embraer 145 departed from the Ukrainian capital this morning at 9:50 o’clock carrying 72 50 passengers and arrived at the Macedonian capital at 12 o’clock (noon time), connecting the two capitals in just 2 hours and 10 minutes.
“As TAV, we are very happy and proud that we’ve welcomed the 1st Windrose flight from Kyiv at Skopje International Airport, celebrating the launch of the new regular route Kyiv- Skopje, which is not just the first positive step towards Macedonian air traffic’ recovery amid Covid-19 pandemic, but also a historical milestone for the Macedonian aviation, since Macedonia and Ukraine are connected by air for the first time in history. The entrance of Windrose Airlines on the Macedonian market is also extremely important in these difficult times for aviation, since it shows how crisis shifts airlines’ plans for their route networks’ expansions. Although in a crisis, Macedonian market won today, and we are thankful to Windrose for their decision. We hope that travelers from Macedonia and from the neighboring countries will find Kyiv attractive as a new destination and they will seize the opportunity to visit this beautiful city along Dnieper River, rich with culture and history, while the Ukrainians will discover the natural beauties of Macedonia. Besides the positive effect on tourism, this new route Kyiv-Skopje will enhance the business connections between the two countries, that will have an overall positive effect on the whole Macedonian economy”, stated TAV Macedonia General Manager, Metin Batak.
“Windrose Airlines hope that opening of a new route between Kyiv and Skopje will help both countries to strengthen their relationship in tourism and business sectors. We also consider that despite all difficulties we met due to world pandemic, the tourists will be interested in this brand new destination. So we wish all of us success in this challenge. We sincerely grateful for all support from North Macedonia side, from representatives of air transport authorities, airport of Skopje, Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of North Macedonia”, stated Windrose Airlines General Director Volodymyr Kamenchuk.
“As Embassy of Ukraine, summing up this difficult year, despite the situation with the pandemic, it is our pleasure to mark the significant enhancement of the bilateral relations. Ukraine and North Macedonia have common strategic priorities – NATO and EU membership. We look forward to the positive upwards trend of the economic cooperation. This year, despite the difficult situation with COVID-19, in 9 months we already have a higher trade exchange compared to the entire past year. We have intensified the cooperation between the representatives of the tourism sector. Numerous tourism companies have recently visited Macedonia. The matter of organizing a visit of Macedonian companies to Ukraine is being considered. The crown of this successful year for bilateral relations is the introduction of the first in the history of our relations, direct flight on the route Kiev-Skopje-Kiev, which will increase the business relations between our countries, and the tourism in both countries, the citizens of Macedonia will have the opportunity to get acquainted with the rich culture of Ukraine and Ukrainians will be able to get better acquainted with the friendly North Macedonia. This significantly contributes to the deepening of friendly bilateral relations. We thank the Ukrainian airline Windrose for this opportunity, which in a difficult situation with the pandemic risks and moves us all forward”, stated the Ambassador of Ukraine Natalia Zadorozhnyuk.
Windrose will fly from Kyiv to Skopje twice a week, on Sundays and Thursdays, with the same departure and arrival times (Departure Kyiv 9:50h-Arrival Skopje 12h; Departure Skopje 12:50h-Arrival Kyiv 15:10h).
According to the announcement from Windrose, the flights from Kyiv to Skopje are scheduled during the whole winter season, as well as for 2021 summer flights season that starts at the end of March. Reservation and sales of flights tickets is available on Windrose web page: https://windrose.aero/
Besides the fact that this is the first air route between Macedonia and Ukraine, Kyiv is also the first destination that directly connects Skopje to Eastern Europe, since the route network until now was concentrated mostly on Western and Northern Europe, as well as South of Europe, Turkey and Middle East.
TAV Macedonia finished the first 10 months of 2020 (January-October) with a 70% decrease in passenger traffic compared to the same period of 2019, while the number of flights was decreased by 59%. Since it started in March 2020, the Covid-19 global pandemic made a severe blow over the Macedonian aviation, which is the most negatively affected economic sector. The two Macedonian airports – Skopje International Airport and Ohrid St. Paul the Apostle Airport were closed for 3,5 months (March-July 2020) by the Government, as a measure for prevention and spread of Covid-19 in the country. After its reopening, on 1st July 2020, the biggest challenge for the Macedonian air traffic recovery, are the travel restrictions for the Macedonian citizens imposed by the EU countries, where over 77% of the Macedonian air traffic is concentrated.