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Sofia-Skopje Flight Operator Denies Reports of Service Closure

A website for aviation news,, reported Monday that Bulgaria’s Gullivair has closed reservations for its service from Sofia to Skopje from May 21, 2022 but the CEO of the air operator said that the service is only temporarily unavailable and booking will reopen soon. 
Gullivair’s Executive Director Yanko Ivanov told the 24 Chassa newspaper that flights from Sofia to Skopje will not be suspended and denied reports of disputes over money with the State. He described the news about the closed bookings as political PR.
According to Ivanov, the time slots of the flights are currently being changed, as there were complains that passengers had to wait for two hours at Skopje airport for the public transport to start operating. The problem was that repairs of Skopje airport’s strip are underway, which are expected to be completed by May 22-23, when the Bulgarian flight operator is to get its time slots. The aircraft servicing the flights to Skopje is being replaced as well. “The information that we’re suspending the flights did not come from us,” Ivanov said.
The route was launched on March 26 with 22 passengers on board. The service was available twice a week, on Saturday and Monday. The service was meant to signify a normalization of relations between Bulgaria and North Macedonia. ATR72-600 turboprop aircraft were operated on that route, EX-YU Aviation News recalled on its website.
Since then, however, interest has dwindled and there have been flights with very few passengers, according to the Bulgarian Mediapool e-zine.
North Macedonia’s Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani went on record as saying that the bookings have been suspended because the airline and the Bulgarian Government are holding negotiations on whether Bulgaria will support the project or not. Osmani noted that it would be good if this service continued operating, Mediapool said.
North Macedonia’s chief diplomat said that, given sufficient interest from passengers, the service could be fully commercial. The other option was to use subsidies from the two governments and Bulgaria assumed this commitment.