Air VIA

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Air VIA - Bulgarian Airways
Air VIA logo.png
IATA
VL
ICAO
VIM
Callsign
CRYSTAL
Founded 1990
Operating bases
Fleet size 5
Destinations Charters
Headquarters Sofia, Bulgaria
Key people Michael Donsky (MD)
Website www.air-via.com

Air VIA Bulgarian Airways is a charter airline with its head office in Sofia, Bulgaria,[1] operating charter flights on behalf of the largest European tour operators, most of them from a broad range of European destinations into Varna Airport and Burgas Airport, as well wet lease subservices.[2]

History[edit]

An Air VIA Airbus A320 landing at Düsseldorf Airport, Germany. (2006)

The airline was founded and started operations in 1990 as Varna International Airways. The company is licensed and certified according to the national and European standards for non-regular transport of passengers.

In 1990, Air VIA started operations with five new Tupolev 154M.

After the airline was founded by a group of private Bulgarian investors the company initially performed charter flights for Bulgarian and leading European tour operators (Neckermann, TUI Travel, Jetair and Prodintour) to and from Bulgarian seaside resorts.

In 2005, Air VIA's management decided to completely change the fleet due to the ever growing competition, EU regulations, environmental responsibility, increasing fuel prices and last but not least - higher customer requirements. Since the summer of 2006, Air VIA is once again the first Bulgarian airline to operate brand new aircraft - Airbus A320-232.

In 2013, the company had 217 employees.[3]

Destinations[edit]

Air Via mainly operates charter flights between the Bulgarian seaside airports Bourgas and Varna and countries in Western Europe and the Middle East. The company also operates charter flights on behalf of TUIfly and Condor.

Main article: Air VIA destinations

Fleet[edit]

An Air VIA Tupolev Tu-154M at Düsseldorf Airport, Germany. (2003)

The Air VIA fleet consists of an all Airbus A320-232 fleet in a 180 passengers all-economy class layout. The average age of the Air VIA fleet is 5.5 years.[4] The fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of September 2014):[5]

Air VIA Fleet
Aircraft In Service Passengers Notes
Airbus A320-232
5
180
two operated for WOW Air and one aircraft on repair at LEJ

Retired fleet[edit]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

On 24 May 2013, Air VIA flight 502 from Leipzig to Varna overshot the runway at Varna Airport after touchdown because of backwind. Two people onboard were injured during evacuation.[6][7]

On 4 July 2014, in clear weather and calm winds, the Air VIA's A320 flight 501 from Varna to Leipzig failed to land within length of runway 08R and touched down hard short of the runway threshold. The aircraft bounced and touched down for a second time at the very beginning of the runway (in the area of the ‘piano keys’) in a nose-high attitude resulting in a tailstrike. The landing run was completed normally and the A320 taxied to the main apron without assistance. Nobody was injured. Substantial damage occurred to the aft fuselage and a longer repair is expected.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]