A tribute to MAT Macedonian Airlines. You can find the cold details of the history of MAT on Wikipedia. But I don’t think that tells the whole story. I intend to find out more.
International Destination Cities
The destination cities of Macedonian Airlines are listed below. 14 different countries. All flights departed from Skopje, the one large city in Macedonia. Click these links to see flight paths, and some nice pictures of these international airports.
Home base airport in Macedonia
Skopje’s Alexander the Great Airport, is the base of operations for the Republic of Macedonia’s international air connections.
There is a main terminal building for commercial airline passengers (shown on the left), and an different apron and hangar area for other aviation support companies to operate from.
Let’s talk about the population of Macedonia, and it’s major city Skopje. The entire country has 2.1 million people. The major city of Skopje has approximately 578,000 people. The wealth in the city and the country is not very great amongst the ordinary citizens, so air travel would have to be very inexpensive to be affordable.
The Skopje Alexander the Great airport is east of the city, quite far. The valley has many other small towns too, so probably 1 million people are near enough to the airport.
Could a Macedonian National Air Carrier be profitable?
Could a city like Skopje sustain a National Airline? Would they be able to fly profitably to all those international cities? I think “Let’s find out“, “Let’s give it a try“, “Let’s be Optimistic“, “Let’s show the world that Macedonia is big enough“, happened.
But as Wikipedia tells us, financial difficulties happened. Expenses exceeded Revenues, and that all traces back to the ordinary people who may or may not want to pay to travel by air. I would presume, not enough people were paying to fly to all those places. Let’s also remember “competition“. Some of these other foreign airlines have deep pockets, and could have had a lower price than MAT, for long enough to put MAT out of business.
On Wikipedia, ten different aircraft are listed as being once owned in the MAT Macedonian Airlines fleet. In the end, they had only one Boeing 737.
Other airlines and hub cities with service into Macedonia
Now that MAT is gone, people still need to fly. Other airlines DO provide service into Macedonia. Let’s list them here, shall we.
- Austrian Airlines – Vienna to Skopje
- Alitalia (Air One Cityliner) – Rome to skopje
- Croatia Airlines – Zagreb to Skopje
- Adria Airways – Ljubljana to Skopje
- Air Serbia – Belgrade to Skopje
- Turkish Airlines – Istanbul to Skopje
- FlyDubai – Dubai to Skopje
- Swiss International Airlines (Edelweiss Air) – Zurich to Skopje
As you can see, 8 different airlines with their 8 different hub cities, provide connections in and out of Skopje.
Map showing current flights available from Skopje from multiple carriers
From this map, it is clear that quite a few destinations are available as direct flights from Skopje, from a variety of non-national air carriers.
Reasons why people travel by air
- Business travel.
- To visit family, for special occasions or due to illness
- For family vacations
- For specialized healthcare