North Macedonia, Bulgaria Reestablish Commercial Air Link

SKOPJE, North Macedonia — North Macedonia and Bulgaria reestablished a commercial air link Saturday after 13 years of interruption, as a symbolic trust-building move.

Relations between the two Balkan neighbors have long been strained as the Bulgarians do not recognize a separate Macedonian ethnicity and language, saying the language is actually a Bulgarian dialect. Sofia has vetoed its smaller neighbor’s plan to start membership talks with the European Union.

A plane belonging to Bulgarian airline GullivAir was the first to land at Skopje international airport on Saturday morning. GullivAir will operate twice a week with a 70-seater ATR 72-600 turboprop aircraft.

“The Sofia-Skopje (route) now connects the two capitals in just 30 minutes. We believe this (route) has a huge potential, both for tourist and business trips,” Metin Batak, General Manager of Skopje’s airport “TAV Macedonia” said.

The reestablishment of the air link was agreed in January when Bulgarian Prime minister Kiril Petkov visited North Macedonia in a bid to thaw relations between the two countries by pledging deeper bilateral cooperation.

In 2020, Bulgaria vetoed the start of formal EU accession talks for North Macedonia, arguing that Skopje had failed to honor parts of a 2017 friendship deal, particularly regarding shared history and language.

This was resented in Skopje, which had recently settled a similar, decades-old dispute with neighboring EU member Greece that had apparently cleared the way for North Macedonia to seek membership. Under that deal, the country changed its name from the previous “Macedonia,” which Greece had said implied claims on its own territory and history.



ATHENS - Main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance, in an announcement on Friday, expressed "deep concern and its unequivocal condemnation of the new escalation of tension in the Middle East with Israel's show of force against Iran.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


Indians Vote in the First Phase of the World’s Largest Election as Modi Seeks a Third Term

NEW DELHI (AP) — Millions of Indians began voting Friday in a six-week election that's a referendum on Narendra Modi, the populist prime minister who has championed an assertive brand of Hindu nationalist politics and is seeking a rare third term as the country's leader.

BARCELONA - Stefanos Tsitsipas encountered a significant challenge in his match against Facundo Diaz Acosta during the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell on Friday.

NEW YORK  — A person who was on fire in a park outside the New York courthouse where Donald Trump’s hush money trial is taking place has been rushed away on a stretcher.

NEW YORK — Emergency crews rushed away a person on a stretcher after fire was extinguished outside the Manhattan courthouse where jury selection was taking place Friday in Donald Trump's hush money criminal case.

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Casper Ruud defeated Jordan Thompson in straight sets to earn his season-leading 26th win and secure a spot in the quarterfinals of the Barcelona Open on Thursday.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.