Macedonia and Greece resume flights after over decade

NEWS 02.11.2018 01:07
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Source: Tanjug / AP, Boris Grdanoski

Greece and Macedonia introduced again direct air traffic between the two countries after the eleven-year break, the Beta news agency reported on Thursday.

The first passenger was a Macedonian deputy minister for European affairs Bujar Osmani, escorted by a Greek deputy minister for Foreign and European Affairs Jorgos Katrugalos.

The Olympic Airways fleet will fly to Skopje from Athens twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Athens and Skopje maintained direct flights from 2003 to 2007 when a conservative Macedonian Government changed the airport name into Aleksandar the Great, upsetting the Greeks.

The Social-Democratic cabinet led by Zoran Zaev changed the name into Skopje Airport amid historic negotiations with his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras that solved the 27-year-long dispute over the former Yugoslav republic name.

The two agreed in June that the new name would be the Republic of North Macedonia, and despite the nationalist opposition on both sides, Macedonian Parliament approved the change.

The move opened Skopje doors to Euro-Atlantic integration since Athens had no more objections.