The first Qatar Airways non-stop flight from Doha to Skopje touched down at Alexander the Great Airport on Monday.
The capital of Macedonia will be served four times a week with an Airbus A320 aircraft, featuring 12 seats in Business Class and 120 seats in Economy, the Doha-based carrier has said in a statement.
Skopje provides a gateway to a country of “dramatic scenery, including beautiful lakes, mountains and charming historic towns”. Visitors to Skopje can discover Ottoman-era neighbourhoods, shop in the old bazaar or visit the lakeside city of Orchid and its picturesque castle.
Passengers who would like to experience the cultural and cosmopolitan mix of the city can book their tickets on the newly-designed Qatar Airways website or mobile application, the statement notes.
The inaugural flight being greeted with a traditional water salute.
Qatar Airways chief commercial officer Ehab Amin, who travelled on board the inaugural flight with Macedonian ambassador to Qatar Vukica Krtolica Popovska, was greeted by Macedonia’s Minister of Transport and Communications Goran Sugareski, general manager of Airport TAV Macedonia Alp Er Tunga Ersoy, and Qatari ambassador to Skopje Hassan bin Abdullah Zaid al-Mahmoud, at Alexander the Great Airport, Skopje.
The VIP delegates from Doha were offered salt and bread, a traditional Macedonian welcome, as they disembarked the aircraft.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar al-Baker said, “This summer is a busy one for Qatar Airways, as we continue our Eastern European expansion. Our new four-times-a-week service to Skopje is a much-anticipated addition to our global route map, which will enable us to connect both business and leisure passengers to and from the Republic of Macedonia. We look forward to welcoming our passengers on board flights to this captivating city.”
Ersoy added, “It is a great pleasure for us to welcome the first Doha-Skopje flight and the entrance of Qatar Airways to the Macedonian market, as one of the most appreciated aviation brands worldwide. Doha will be a very attractive new destination for Macedonian citizens, for both leisure and business, connecting them with 150 additional destinations across the world.”
Macedonia is a centre for metal-processing, chemical, timber, textile, leather and printing industries, and is ranked as one of the top 10 economies in the world for doing business. The launch of the airline’s new route to Skopje will help Macedonian businesspeople connect with their business partners in more than 150 destinations around the world, the statement adds.
In addition, the commencement of air cargo service to Skopje by Qatar Airways Cargo will promote air trade growth in Macedonia by connecting the country with its major importers in northeast Asia via the airline’s Doha hub.
The airline’s first ever-service to Macedonia will also give leisure passengers easier access to Australia, where more than 200,000 Macedonian Australians live.
Qatar Airways has stressed that it is expediting its expansion in Eastern Europe, with services to Prague, Czech Republic and Kiev, Ukraine, set to commence by the end of August.
The Doha-Skopje flight schedule is as follows: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sundays - QR305 departing Doha at 6.50am and arriving in Skopje at 11.15am, and QR306 departing Skopje at 12.15pm and arriving in Doha at 6.15pm.