Aegean Airlines said it wants to continue its expansion in the region following the launch of its fifth freedom flights between Skopje and Sarajevo on Monday. Speaking at the ceremony marking the inaugural flight between the two cities, the Greek airline’s commercial director, Roland Jaggi, said: “We want to increase connectivity and expand our presence in the Balkan region. With our high-quality services, we want to encourage interstate mobility, promote tourism and strengthen commercial relations. We will continue to expand our network and offer new connectivity opportunities in the region.”
Skopje is firmly on the Aegean radar. As well as introducing the tri-weekly service to Sarajevo, the Greek carrier has doubled its frequencies to the Macedonian capital from three to six per week, leaving three of its weekly rotations on the route with a ten-hour turnaround between there and back. service, allowing it to introduce additional flights in between. Potential additions, if Aegean seeks to introduce more destinations from Skopje, include Podgorica and Sofia, with the Macedonian government having recently negotiated with its counterparts in Montenegro and Bulgaria over potential services. Aegean Airlines applied for the Macedonian government’s subsidy program for the introduction of new routes from Skopje earlier this year, but withdrew after the tender was declared void.
Aegean this year expanded its operations throughout the former Yugoslavia. It introduced seasonal flights between Athens and Ljubljana, which will operate until October 13, as well as regular weekly summer charter flights between the Greek capital and Banja Luka. Additionally, the airline improved capacity on its Athens – Podgorica flights, moving from the ATR72-600 turboprop to the Airbus A320 during the peak summer months. Additionally, Aegean has extended its seasonal Athens – Zagreb flights until early January, with services expected to continue throughout November and December, and then again in early March next year. For 2024, the carrier plans to increase its operations between Athens and Belgrade from five per week to daily with its A320 fleet, starting June 2.