BH Air

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Not to be confused with B&H Airlines.
BH Air
Balkan Holidays Air
BH Air logo.svg
IATA
8H
ICAO
BGH
Callsign
BALKAN HOLIDAYS
Founded 2001
Commenced operations January 2002
Operating bases
Fleet size 6
Destinations Charters
Headquarters Sofia, Bulgaria
Key people Yanko Ivanov (CEO)
Website www.bhairlines.com
A BH Air Airbus A320-200 takes off from Manchester Airport, England (2009).

BH Air Ltd., or Balkan Holidays Airlines, is an airline headquartered in Sofia, Bulgaria.[1] It is a branch of tour operator Balkan Holidays International and as such offers charter flights to the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Germany, Israel and Switzerland, as well as ad hoc charters to other destinations. The airline's main base is Sofia Airport, secondary ones at Bourgas Airport, Varna Airport and Plovdiv Airport.[2]

History[edit]

BH Air was founded in 2001 and began operations in January 2002 with flights from Sofia for needs of the UK tour operator "Balkan Holidays" - London. It is owned by Balkan Holidays International. The airline began to fly with a single Tupolev Tu-154M, and the number of aircraft increased to four a few months later.

In the summer of 2003 its first Airbus A320 was put into operation. Later the airline leased three more Airbus A320s, and the fleet increased to eight aircraft - four Tu-154Ms and four A320s. In 2004 the airline begin to perform charter flights for Balkan Holidays, Kuoni, TUI and a large number of smaller tour operators. For 2004 BH Air transported around 400,000 passengers to and from Bulgaria.

In 2005 BH Air signed a two-year contract for a wet lease with Virgin Group. This led to the creation of a new airline in Nigeria - Virgin Nigeria. BH Air aircraft also operated for Air Arabia and Pacific Airlines.

In 2006 the airline retired its Tu-154s.

In 2007 after the work with Virgin Group and gaining experience, BH Air participated in the creation of a new airline in Sri Lanka - Mihin Lanka. The company also operated private business flights with one Gulfstream G550 and one Gulfstream G200 . The aircraft were operated mainly for First Investment Bank.

On January 17, 2013,[3] the company was granted an exemption from the United States of America Department of Transportation (DoT) for flights to USA specifically to New York (JFK) and Chicago (ORD) as the company requested in its application to DoT in November 2012.[4]

In July, 2014 the airline add the first Airbus A330 (LZ-AWA). The aircraft will be used for direct long-haul flights from Sofia to cities in the United States such as New York and Chicago.[5]

At this moment BH Air has over 300 employees, of which more than 40 are pilots and 100 are cabin crew.

Destinations[edit]

Main article: BH Air destinations

BH Air operates charter flights for Balkan Holidays International. In Winter season to Sofia Airport and Summer season to Burgas Airport and Varna Airport.

Fleet[edit]

A BH Air Airbus A320 takes off from Bristol Airport, England (2008).

BH Air operates 3 Airbus A320, 2 Airbus A319 and 1 still inactive Airbus A330. One of the A319 is being operated by the Bulgarian government.[6] As of July 2014, the BH Air fleet consists of the following aircraft with an average age of 10.7 years.[7] The average age of the fleet does not take the Bulgarian government A319 into account.

BH Air fleet
Aircraft In Service Stored Orders Notes
Airbus A319-112
2
0
one operated for Myanmar Airways International and one operated for 28th Air Detachment
Airbus A320-214
1
0
Airbus A320-232
2
0
Airbus A330-223
0
1
New registration: LZ-AWA
Total 4 1
-
Last updated July 2014

Retired fleet[edit]

BH Air Tupolev Tu-154M LZ-HMN landing at Copenhagen Airport, Denmark. (2002)

VIP fleet[edit]

BH Air VIP fleet operated mainly private business flights to destinations in Europe and Middle East.

BH Air VIP fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Notes
Gulfstream G550
1
0
LZ-FIA [8]
Gulfstream G200
1
0
LZ-FIB [9]
Total 2 Last updated July 2014

BH Heli[edit]

In December 2010 is delivered the first Kamov Ka-32 for BH Heli. In the moment the helicopter operated for Heliswiss.[10]

References[edit]

External links[edit]