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Bulgaria Air (Bulgarian: България Ер) is the flag carrier airline of Bulgaria,[3] with its headquarters at Sofia Airport in Sofia.[4] The company is owned by Chimimport Inc. and is a leader in terms of local market share. The airline operates short and medium haul aircraft to destinations in Europe, Middle East, and Russia. Focus cities in Bulgaria are Burgas and Varna. In 2018 the company carried 1.267 million passengers on 5,995 flights.[2]

Bulgaria Air
България Ер
Bulgaria Air logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
FB LZB FLYING BULGARIA
FoundedNovember 2002
Commenced operations4 December 2002
HubsSofia Airport
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer programFLY MORE
SubsidiariesBul Air[1]
Fleet size10
Destinations26
Parent companyBalkan Hemus Group EAD
HeadquartersSofia, Bulgaria
Key people
  • Yanko Georgiev (CEO)
  • Hristo Todorov (CEO)
RevenueIncrease 148.4 million (2018)[2]
Net incomeDecrease -€1.8 million (2018)[2]
Websiteair.bg
Bulgaria Air Embraer 190

HistoryEdit

The airline was established in 2002[5] as a successor to the insolvent Balkan Bulgarian Airlines and commenced operations on 4 December that year. By order of the Minister of Transport and Communications it was declared the national flag carrier in November 2002. Bulgaria Air began operations using the name "Balkan Air Tour." The airline was known by that name for just a short period of time. The name "Bulgaria Air" and initial logo were determined by a public competition.[6] Bulgaria Air was privatised in 2006; although it was rumoured that the government wanted to sell the carrier to a major foreign investor, a group of locally owned companies, led by Hemus Air, emerged as the buyer with Italian airline Air One being the only other contender.[7] Hemus Air reportedly paid €6.6m and promised to invest a further €86m over the next five years.[8] Since then all flights and operations of Hemus Air and its subsidiary Viaggio Air are under name and management of the merged company, Bulgaria Air.

In November 2008, Bulgaria Air became a full member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).[9] In mid-2011 Bulgaria Air announced that it had completed a thorough analysis of its routes and had decided to acquire new Embraer 190 aircraft. The delivery of the first new Embraer 190 aircraft occurred in March 2012.[10]

Corporate affairsEdit

Bul AirEdit

Bul Air is the charter brand of Bulgaria Air. The company was founded in 1954, but after merging with the Bulgarian national carrier TABSO became part of BALKAN –Bulgarian Airlines. In 2015 the company was revived by Bulgaria Air.[11]

Frequent FlyerEdit

"Fly More" is the name of the Bulgaria Air Frequent flyer programme. There are three levels of membership, Basic, Silver and Gold Privilege.[12] Central Cooperative Bank is issuing Visa Classic and Visa Gold co-branded Credit Cards with Bulgaria Air.[13][14]

CateringEdit

In 2010 Bulgaria Air and LSG Sky Chefs created a new airline catering company called Silver Wings. The total investment for Bulgaria Air reaches to $1.3 million. Future investment plans envision a new canteen to serve the airport staff at Sofia Airport.[15][16][17]

Bulgaria Air MediaEdit

Bulgaria On Air: The Inflight Magazine - Bulgaria Air's inflight magazine. Its first edition was in 2003.[18] In April 2011 the inflight magazine was extended with an edition which is distributed in some hotels and shopping centers, Bulgaria On Air: The Business Magazine.

DestinationsEdit

Bulgaria Air operates 22 routes from Sofia Airport, including two domestic routes to Bourgas and Varna.

Codeshare agreementsEdit

Bulgaria Air has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:[19]

Interline agreementsEdit

Bulgaria Air has special interline agreements with the following airlines:

Charter flightsEdit

Bulgaria Air performs charter flights for over 60 leading tour operators, air transport brokers, airlines, and other companies of the aviation and tourist industries. During the summer season the airline mainly operates flights from Burgas and Varna airports to destinations in Germany, Israel, Lebanon, Poland and Russia. In addition, the company operates charter flights to and from Sofia airport to popular holiday destinations in Egypt, Greece, Italy, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey.[27]

Current FleetEdit

 
Bulgaria Air Airbus A319-100
 
Bulgaria Air Airbus A320-200

As of August 2019, the active Bulgaria Air fleet consists of the following aircraft:[28][29]

Bulgaria Air Fleet
Aircraft Total Passengers
Bus Econ Total
Airbus A319-100 2 8 132 140
Airbus A320-200 1 8 156 164
2 0 180 180
Boeing 737-300 1 0 148 148
Embraer 190 4 8 100 108
Total 10

LiveryEdit

In November 2002 public contests were held in Bulgaria to determine a name and logo for the new airline. Thousands of people showed their creativity and voiced their opinions. After searching through the submissions, the name and logo were chosen.[9] The design was used for about four years, until 2006, when an improved, more professional design was introduced.[8] After the full fleet integration of Hemus Air and Viaggio Air, a new livery had to be developed once again. In mid-2010, the first Bulgaria Air Airbus A319 was rolled out wearing the finalised colour scheme.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Bul Air Fleet - Airfleets aviation". airfleets.net. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Tanev, Mario (June 14, 2019). "Bulgaria Air narrows 2018 net loss on rise in revenue". SeeNews. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Bulgaria Air strengthens its European network with new E-Jets, but cost reduction is also essential". CAPA Centre for Aviation. 4 June 2012. Archived from the original on 2014-11-29. 
  4. ^ "Contacts." Bulgaria Air. Retrieved on 10 May 2010. "Head office 1, Brussels Blvd Sofia Airport Sofia 1540" Address in Bulgarian: "бул. "Брюксел" № 1 Летище София София 1540"
  5. ^ "Bulgaria Air". visegradplus.org. Jagiellonian Club of Poland. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  6. ^ About Bulgaria Air Archived 2008-06-22 at the Wayback Machine. Air.bg (23 September 2009). Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  7. ^ Candidate for Bulgaria Air selected – Business. The Sofia Echo (30 October 2006). Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  8. ^ a b Bulgaria Air Deal Completed – Bulgaria. The Sofia Echo (5 January 2007). Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  9. ^ a b "Bulgaria Air joined successfully [sic] IATA" (Press release). Bulgaria Air. 25 November 2008. Archived from the original on 7 February 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Bulgaria Air Welcomes First Embraer 190 Jet". novinite.com Sofia News Agency. Novinite Group.com. 2019. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  11. ^ "Company". bulair.bg. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  12. ^ "Авиокомпания България Ер - Membership levels". Air.bg. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  13. ^ ""CCB - BG AIR" credit card | Central Cooperative Bank". Ccbank.bg. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  14. ^ "Авиокомпания България Ер - Co-branded credit card". Air.bg. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  15. ^ "Какъв приятел? - Крейг Джонсън - EMG". Emg.rs. 2013-06-07. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  16. ^ "Hellenic Business Council in Bulgaria - Home page". Hbcbg.com. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  17. ^ "Авиокомпания България Ер - Новини". Air.bg. 2015-02-24. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  18. ^ "Авиокомпания България Ер - Списанието". Air.bg. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  19. ^ Bulgaria Air Partners Archived 2012-08-15 at the Wayback Machine. Air.bg (2009-09-23). Retrieved on 2010-12-21.
  20. ^ Development, Studio X Creative / Web Design /. "404". air.bg. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  21. ^ "Air Italy signs code share agreement with Bulgaria Air". Air Italy's Press Office. 28 February 2019.
  22. ^ ""България ер" сключи споразумение за "код шеър" с Air Serbia". Aeropress-bg.com. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  23. ^ Liu, Jim (23 November 2017). "Alitalia / Bulgaria Air expands codeshare partnership in W17". Routesonline. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  24. ^ "Bulgaria Air expands CSA Czech codeshares from mid-June 2019". Routesonline. 26 June 2019. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  25. ^ "Авиокомпания България Ер - News". Air.bg. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  26. ^ "Авиокомпания България Ер - Новини". Air.bg. 2014-05-28. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  27. ^ Development, Studio X Creative / Web Design /. "404". air.bg. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  28. ^ "Bulgaria Air Fleet Details". Airfleets.net. 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  29. ^ "Fleet". Bulgaria Air. Bulgaria Air. 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2019.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Bulgaria Air at Wikimedia Commons