Bulgaria Air

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Bulgaria Air
България Ер
Bulgaria Air logo.png
IATA
FB
ICAO
LZB
Callsign
FLYING BULGARIA
Founded November 2002
Commenced operations 4 December 2002
Hubs Sofia Airport
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program FLY MORE
Airport lounge Vitosha Lounge Sofia
Business Lounge Sofia
VIP Lounge Sofia
Subsidiaries Hemus Air
Fleet size 12
Destinations 26
Parent company Balkan Hemus Group EAD
Headquarters Sofia Airport
Sofia, Bulgaria
Key people
  • Yanko Georgiev (CEO)
  • Hristo Todorov (CEO)
Website www.air.bg
Bulgaria Air Airbus A319 at Sofia Airport

Bulgaria Air (Bulgarian: България Ер), is the national carrier of Bulgaria,[1] with its headquarters at Sofia Airport in Sofia.[2] The company is owned by Chimimport Inc. and is a leader in terms of local market share. In 2008, according to the company's Annual Report, Bulgaria Air carried 1,185,430 passengers. Bulgaria Air’s fleet consists of 10 aircraft for short and medium range flights.

History

Company

The airline was established in 2002 as a successor to the insolvent Balkan Bulgarian Airlines. By order of the Minister of Transport and Communications it was declared the national flag carrier in November 2002, starting operations on the 4th of December, 2002. The name and initial logo were determined by a public competition.[3] Bulgaria Air was privatised in 2006; although it was rumoured that the government wanted to sell the carrier to a major foreign investor, a union of locally-owned companies, led by Hemus Air, emerged as the buyer with Italian Air One being the only other contender.[4] Hemus Air reportedly paid €6.6m and promised to invest a further €86m over the next five years.[5] Since then all flights and operations of Hemus Air and its subsidiary Viaggio Air are under name and management of the merged company, Bulgaria Air.

On 20 November 2008, Bulgaria Air became a full member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).[6]

Bulgaria Air Airbus A320 taxiing at London Heathrow Airport.

Bulgaria Air initially began operations by the name of "Balkan Air Tour." The airline was known by that name for a short period of time.
In mid-2011 Bulgaria Air announced that after a thorough analysis of their destinations they had chosen to purchase 7 new Embraer E-190 aircraft. The aircraft will most likely come with a 108 seat configuration (8 Business, 100 Economy). The delivery of the first planes was in early 2012, whilst the remaining aircraft will be delivered later in 2013.

Livery

In November 2002 public contests were held in Bulgaria to determine a name and logo for the new airline. Thousands of people showed their creativity and voiced their opinions. After searching through countless submissions, the name and logo were chosen.[6] The design was used for about 4 years, until 2006, when an improved, more professional design, was introduced.[5] After the full fleet merge of Hemus Air and Viaggio Air, a new livery had to be developed once again. In mid-2010, the first Bulgaria Air Airbus A319 was rolled out wearing the finalised colour scheme.

Destinations

Bulgaria Air operates 22 routes from Sofia Airport, including two domestic routes to Bourgas and Varna. During the summer season Bulgaria Air operates flights to and from Burgas and Varna airport.

Codeshare agreements

Bulgaria Air has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:[7]

Interline agreements

Bulgaria Air has special interline agreements with the following airlines:


Charter flights

Currently the company serves over 60 leading tour operators, air transport brokers, airlines and other companies of the aviation and tourist industries, performing charter flights to over 80 destinations in Europe, Africa and Asia.

Fleet

Bulgaria Air British Aerospace 146-300 landing at Zurich Airport.
Bulgaria Air Embraer 190 LZ-SOF at Frankfurt Airport.

As of September 2014 Bulgaria Air operates 3 Airbus A319, 3 Airbus A320 and 4 Embraer ERJ-190. The average age of the active Bulgaria Air fleet is 5.3 years.[12]

Bulgaria Air Fleet[13][14]
Aircraft
Total Orders Passengers
Notes
C Y Total
Airbus A319-111 1 0 8 126 134
Airbus A319-112 2 0 8 132 140
Airbus A320-214 3 0 180 180
Avro RJ70 1 0
VIP
BAe 146-200 1 0 8 76 84
Embraer E-190 4 0 8 100 108
Total 12 0

Retired fleet

Private business flights

The company offers service for business and VIP clients with an Avro RJ70 Business Jet. The passenger compartment of the aircraft is equipped with 26 armchairs, couches, dining tables and multiple LCD displays, as well as on-board Wi-Fi.[15]

Bulgaria Air VIP Avro RJ70 Business Jet

Services

Frequent Flyer

"Fly More" is the name of the Bulgaria Air Frequent flyer programme. There are three levels of membership:

  • Basic - initial level from which the collection of points starts. The member receives a temporary card with identification code.
  • Silver Standard Card - After the member conducts 5 flight he/she receives a permanent membership card. Silver Card holders may exchange their bonus points for free tickets and additional services.
  • Gold Privilege Card - The level is reached after earning 30,000 points within 18 months of enrollment into the programme. Gold cardholders earn a greater number of points on each flight and enjoy a wider range of benefits.[16]

Catering

In 2010 Bulgaria Air and LSG Sky Chefs created a new airline catering company called Silver Wings. The total investment for Bulgaria Air reaches to $1.3 million. Future investment plans envision a new canteen to serve the airport staff at Sofia Airport.[17][18][19]

Bulgaria Air Media

Bulgaria On Air is a business media brand, created on 9 September 2011. It is owned by Bulgaria Air and M-SAT cabel. The media includes two magazines, website, radio and TV channel.

  • Bulgaria On Air: The Inflight Magazine - Bulgaria Air's inflight magazine. Its first edition was in 2003. The magazine is widely read business and lifestyle edition.[20]
  • Bulgaria On Air: The Business Magazine - In April 2011 the inflight magazine was extended with an edition which is distributed in some hotels and shopping centers.

References

  1. ^ "Bulgaria Air strengthens its European network with new E-Jets, but cost reduction is also essential". CAPA Centre for Aviation. 4 June 2012. As the national carrier of Bulgaria, Bulgaria Air is based at Sofia Airport and operates scheduled services, ad hoc charter services and business jet transportation.  Archived 29 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Contacts." Bulgaria Air. Retrieved on 10 May 2010. "Head office 1, Brussels Blvd Sofia Airport Sofia 1540" Address in Bulgarian: "бул. "Брюксел" № 1 Летище София София 1540"
  3. ^ About Bulgaria Air. Air.bg (2009-09-23). Retrieved on 2010-12-21.
  4. ^ Candidate for Bulgaria Air selected – Business. The Sofia Echo (2006-10-30). Retrieved on 2010-12-21.
  5. ^ a b Bulgaria Air Deal Completed – Bulgaria. The Sofia Echo (2007-01-05). Retrieved on 2010-12-21.
  6. ^ a b Bulgaria Air – News About Flights to/from Bulgaria. Air.bg. Retrieved on 2010-12-21.
  7. ^ Bulgaria Air Partners. Air.bg (2009-09-23). Retrieved on 2010-12-21.
  8. ^ http://chronicle.bg/air-berlin-i-bulgaria-air-podpisaha-sporazumenie-za-kod-sher/
  9. ^ http://aeropress-bg.com/novini/36-news/2644-bulgaria-air-skluchi-sporazumenie-za-code-share-s-air-serbia.html
  10. ^ Bulgaria Air signed a partnership agreement with Emirates
  11. ^ https://www.air.bg/bg/news/na-mondial-s---bulgaria-air--
  12. ^ Bulgaria Fleet Age
  13. ^ "Bulgaria Air – Fleet". Bulgaria Air. 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  14. ^ "Bulgaria Air - Details and Fleet History". Planespotters.net. 23 October 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2011. 
  15. ^ Bulgaria Air Business Flights Conditions. Air.bg (2009-09-23). Retrieved on 2010-12-21.
  16. ^ http://www.air.bg/en/membership/
  17. ^ http://www.emg.rs/en/news/region/130032.html
  18. ^ http://www.hbcbg.com/?cid=41&NewsId=2224
  19. ^ http://www.air.bg/bg/news/newsdetail/from/current/id/52/page/12
  20. ^ http://www.air.bg/bg/flight-magazine

External links

Media related to Bulgaria Air at Wikimedia Commons