Greek carrier launching first direct Athens-Skopje connection

Greek carrier launching first direct Athens-Skopje connection

Greek carrier Aegean Airlines is inaugurating its first direct flight between Athens and Skopje on November 1, signaling a thaw in relations following the name deal signed between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in June.

Direct connections between the two capitals had been severed after Athens protested Skopje's decision to rename the capital's airport in 2006 to “Alexander the Great” and adorn it with a statue of the ancient Greek warrior king.

In March, the government of Zoran Zaev rechristened the facility Skopje International Airport and took down the statue in a sign of goodwill during talks with Athens for settling the decades-old name dispute between the two neighbors.

To mark that occasion, then-foreign minister Nikos Kotzias had traveled to Skopje with a delegation of diplomats to negotiate the name agreement.

Thursday's inauguration concerns the first regular commuter flight between the two capitals in 12 years.

Aegean Airlines will be flying to Skopje from Athens twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The journey takes an estimated 1 hour and 15 minutes.

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