A Big Success: Lufthansa’s A380 PR Stunt in Sofia

Written by on October 17, 2016 in Bulgaria, Business, Economy - 3 Comments

It was a smart move to send an A380 to Sofia, with a Bulgarian pilot flying the huge thing home. Whoever came up with this idea at Lufthansa’s PR department in Frankfurt should be promoted right now. For a few thousand liters of kerosene, a big part of a capital, in this case Sofia, saw and heard the big bird, or at least saw it on TV or read about it in a daily.

The visit of the largest passenger plane ever obviously felt like a big step forward to some Bulgarians, similar to the moment when Bulgaria joined NATO in 2004, or the European Union in 2007. The feeling of belonging to the rest of the world, to the West in particular, and to be taken seriously, in this case as a one-time-destination for a huge aircraft, is important to this country. 

Bulgaria used the opportunity as well. The “fat bird” was escorted by two MiG fighter jets. The Bulgarian Air Force surely collected some sympathies, by showing appreciation for that visit. Well, the latter is what it seemed like. What they really wanted to show was power, or their military might, which in reality is not that impressive. 

So, those MiGs put on a nice and loud show. On the other hand, sending war planes to perform a stunt above a large city is an aspect which could be discussed, since it might scare people. And there is the safety aspect.

But, whatever we think, everybody won yesterday. Lufthansa surely did gain sympathy among the few Bulgarians who can afford to purchase A380 tickets to America or Asia, as well as among spectators and aviation enthusiasts. The Air Force, with its old MiGs, gained sympathy too. And the city feels a little more important, since that machine touched down yesterday.

By Imanuel Marcus

Our Special Video report on the A380 landing in Sofia.

Picture by theaviationist.com

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3 Comments on "A Big Success: Lufthansa’s A380 PR Stunt in Sofia"

  1. Christian Tchakarov October 18, 2016 at 9:57 AM · Reply

    The Bulgarian Air Force has an anniversary on 16th of October. It was 104 years since Bulgarian Air Forces are founded. That was the main reason for this flight of A-380 to Sofia. Lufthansa made a gesture to all the Bulgarian passengers of the company. It was a great advertisement for Lufthansa too. The anniversary of the Bulgarian Air Forces was the reason 2 fighters to be taken off and to meet the big bird A-380. It was a great show for many spectaculars on the ground and at the airport.
    P.S. Intelligence about the Turkish army strength and dispositions in the Odrin (Adrianople / Edirne) keep was required, and on 16 October 1912, two aviators performed a reconnaissance flight over the city in an Albatros FIII biplane, dropping also two bombs, which was not only the first military mission performed by a Bulgarian aircraft, but also the first combat use of an aircraft in the world. Therefore 16th of October is a big anniversary and official celebration for the Bulgarian Air Force.

    • Admin October 18, 2016 at 10:23 AM · Reply

      Yes, the 104th anniversary. Thank you. We covered the A380 event in several articles and one video report. In this comment, I shared my personal opinion of the whole thing. The articles and the video are more neutral. Also, in the latter, the Air Force show is being described as appropriate.

  2. Real Talents October 18, 2016 at 2:21 PM · Reply

    I would not say that two MIGs scared people. It really was a nice show and pleasure for us to see the largest passenger aircraft.

    Here is a short video from the spectacular event:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoC7JlOw09o

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