Bulgaria’s government approves pricing policy changes at Varna, Bourgas airports

At a meeting on April 1, Bulgaria’s outgoing government approved regulatory changes introducing a new pricing policy at the airports in the Black Sea cities of Varna and Bourgas, the government information service said.

The concession-holder of the two airports has presented an analysis showing that since 2020 traffic at the airports has been significantly weaker and its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic has been much slower than initially predicted, the statement said.

In addition to this, the war in Ukraine is also having an adverse impact on the operations of both airports, it said.

According to the statement, the concession-holder of the two airports has proposed a pricing strategy to stabilise and stimulate the increase in passenger and aircraft traffic in the long term.

The strategy includes an update of the airport fees at the airports in Varna and Bourgas and the introduction of a programme for incentive discounts.

From April 15 2024, landing, base parking, passenger service and security charges are increasing.

A new type of security fee is being introduced for non-passenger aircraft.

Such an approach will allow the concession-holder to ensure its operational costs for the operation of the two airports, maintain high quality of service, safety and security, as well as timely implement the projects under the approved investment programme of the company.

A programme for incentive discounts, available to all airport users, is also being introduced, the statement said.

Discounts for aviation operators are determined according to objective criteria: number of departed passengers in the months outside the active season; a new year-round or seasonal route not served in the previous year; minimum frequency and duration of operation on the route, it said.

The introduction of incentive discounts is aimed at attracting airlines developing new routes, which will increase the competitiveness of both airports and improve year-round connectivity.

Incentive discounts are an established practice and are applied at almost all airports in the European Union, as well as at the airports in Sofia, Plovdiv and Gorna Oryahovitsa, the government information service said.

The amount of the overflight fee collected by the air navigation service provider in the served airspace of Bulgaria – State Enterprise Air Traffic Management has also been updated, the statement said.

Together with the overflight fee, the interest rate for late payment of air navigation fees for 2024, determined in accordance with the procedure provided for in the EU Regulation, is updated, it said.

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