Bulgarian authorities have increased security at the Sofia Airport on June 29, following the deadly attacks at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport the previous night, which left at least 36 people dead and 147 injured.
Private broadcaster bTV reported that the gendarmerie was carrying out random checks on “suspicious cars” near the Sofia Airport’s two terminals and that anti-terrorism units have been dispatched to the airport.
A Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul to Sofia, due to arrive at 9am, has been cancelled by the airline, alongside the return flight. Another flight from Istanbul is due later in the evening of June 29, but it was unclear whether it would take off, public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television reported.
Last night’s Sofia-Istanbul flight had been re-directed to Izmir and there was no danger to the passengers on board, the Transport Ministry said in a statement. Sofia Airport also served as the emergency landing site for an Air France flight en route to Istanbul last night. After landing, the flight crew made the decision to return to France, the statement said.
Transport Minister Ivailo Moskovski said that Bulgarian airports – in Sofia, Varna and Bourgas – were prepared to accept up to 23 flights, should circumstances require it.