Bourgas Airport and Varna Airport: The sky is the limit

Written by on January 16, 2018 in Business - Comments Off on Bourgas Airport and Varna Airport: The sky is the limit

The airports in both Bourgas and Varna, the two largest cities at Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, have registered far more passengers in 2017 than in the year before. The overall growth is 8.42 percent, according to Fraport Twin Star, which operates those airports.

More and more tourists from abroad spend their vacations at Bulgarian beaches. Therefore the fact that there is growth might not be surprising, while the extent of it is: According to Fraport, 4,953,039 is the number of passengers welcomed in Bourgas and Varna in 2017.

Even though the Russian market fell by 11 percent last year, there was no reason to worry about the overall performance of those airports, a statement released by Fraport said, since other markets compensated for that decline.

In the summer of 2017, the number of passengers from United Kingdom, Germany, Israel, Norway, Poland and Czechia increased.

“As an operator active at 30 airports, Fraport sees world tourist trends, and we notice that the Russians are returning to Turkey and Egypt”, the CEO of Fraport Twin Star, Ulrich Heppe said. “After the relations between Russia and Turkey improved, the Russian tour operators decided to go back to Turkey, which led to a reduced number of Russian tourists in Varna and Burgas. Nevertheless, in 2017, Russia remained a key foreign market for our Bulgarian airports, along with the UK and Germany.”

Bourgas Airport from above. Here, pilots never get lost while taxiing.

Heppe said that seasonality remained the biggest challenge for the airports in Bourgas and Varna. “One of our main goals is to increase traffic in the spring, autumn and winter and we are working in this direction.”

Varna Airport had flights to 116 destinations in 40 countries last year. That airport served 1,970,700 passengers in 2017, an increase of 16.64 percent. In this case, most passengers came from Germany, Sofia, Russia, Poland and the United Kingdom.

The numbers from Bourgas look even better. Here, 2,982,339 passengers were counted. The increase is 3.59 percent. At this airport, most passengers arrived from Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland and Czechia, in that order.

Regarding the growth at both airports, the sky seems to be the limit, literally. The growth recorded in 2017 came in spite of a huge growth of 22 percent in 2016.

For 2018, Fraport is optimistic too. And the company does have a good reason: Ryanair recently announced it will open a new base at Bourgas Airport in March. The investment amounts to 100 million U.S. Dollars. Eleven new routes will be introduced, to Bratislava, Düsseldorf Weeze, Frankfurt-Hahn, Krakow, Munich Memmingen, Milan Bergamo, Riga, Rzeszow, Tel Aviv, Warsaw Modlin and Kaunas.

Fraport Twin Star has already renovated the taxiway for aircraft in Bourgas. Now they intend to enlarge and redesign the apron area.

Photos by Fraport.


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