Bulgaria Air

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 AD and is a leader in terms of local market share. The airline operates short and medium haul aircraft to destinations in Europe, the Middle East, and Russia. Focus cities in Bulgaria are Burgas and Varna. In 2018 the company carried a total of 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; 18 years ago (2002-11)
Commenced operations4 December 2002
HubsSofia Airport
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer programFLY MORE
SubsidiariesBul Air[1]
Fleet size12
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

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 the initial logo were determined in 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 €6.6 million and promised to invest a further €86 million over the next five years.[8] Since then, all flights and operations of Hemus Air and its subsidiary Viaggio Air are under the 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 they had completed a thorough analysis of its routes and had decided to acquire the 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]

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.

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

DestinationsEdit

 
Bulgaria Air Airbus A319-100
 
Bulgaria Air Airbus A320-200
 
Bulgaria Air Embraer 190

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 Bourgas and Varna airports to destinations in Germany, Israel, Lebanon, Poland, and Russia. In addition, the company operates charter flights from Sofia airport to popular holiday destinations in Egypt, Greece, Italy, Spain, Tunisia, and Turkey.[26]

FleetEdit

As of February 2020, the active Bulgaria Air fleet consists of the following aircraft:[27][28]

Bulgaria Air fleet
Aircraft In Service Order Passengers Notes
B E Total
Airbus A319-100 2 8 132 140
Airbus A320-200 1 8 156 164
3 180 180
2 0 150 150[29]
Embraer 190 4 8 100 108
Total 12

In February 2020, the airline’s CEO Yanko Georgiev stated that the carrier was in talks with two aircraft manufacturers to place an order for a single-aisle jet. They plan to order 5-6 of these aircraft to modernise their fleet and to extend their network with more aircraft available.[30]

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 Archived 2016-12-05 at the Wayback Machine: "бул. "Брюксел" № 1 Летище София София 1540"
  5. ^ "Bulgaria Air". visegradplus.org. Jagiellonian Club of Poland. Archived from the original on 11 June 2016.
  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. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  13. ^ ""CCB - BG AIR" credit card | Central Cooperative Bank". Ccbank.bg. Archived from the original on 2015-04-16. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  14. ^ "Авиокомпания България Ер - Co-branded credit card". Air.bg. Archived from the original on 2014-12-31. 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. Archived from the original on 2014-04-13. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  18. ^ "Авиокомпания България Ер - Списанието". Air.bg. Archived from the original on 2015-03-19. 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. Archived from the original on 1 November 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  21. ^ ""България ер" сключи споразумение за "код шеър" с Air Serbia". Aeropress-bg.com. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  22. ^ Liu, Jim (23 November 2017). "Alitalia / Bulgaria Air expands codeshare partnership in W17". Routesonline. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  23. ^ "Bulgaria Air expands CSA Czech codeshares from mid-June 2019". Routesonline. 26 June 2019. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  24. ^ "Авиокомпания България Ер - News". Air.bg. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  25. ^ "Авиокомпания България Ер - Новини". Air.bg. 2014-05-28. Archived from the original on 2014-12-07. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  26. ^ Development, Studio X Creative / Web Design /. "404". air.bg. Archived from the original on 24 October 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  27. ^ "Bulgaria Air Fleet Details". Airfleets.net. 2019. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  28. ^ "Fleet". Bulgaria Air. Bulgaria Air. 2020. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  29. ^ "Bulgaria Air LZ-FBK (Airbus A320 - MSN 7345) (Ex XA-MBA ) | Airfleets aviation". www.airfleets.net.
  30. ^ Buyck, Cathy. "Bulgaria Air Prepares Fleet Modernization and Expansion Plan". Aviation International News.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Bulgaria Air at Wikimedia Commons