Bulgaria Air

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Bulgaria Air
България Ер
Bulgaria Air logo.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
FB LZB 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 13
Destinations 26
Parent company Balkan Hemus Group EAD
Headquarters Sofia Airport
Sofia, Bulgaria
Key people
  • Yanko Georgiev (CEO)
  • Hristo Todorov (CEO)
Revenue Increase 192.4 million (2014)[1]
Net income Increase €0.4 million (2014)[2]
Website www.air.bg
Bulgaria Air Airbus A319 on approach to land

Bulgaria Air (Bulgarian: България Ер), is the national carrier of Bulgaria,[3] with its headquarters at Sofia Airport in Sofia.[4] 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 13 aircraft for short and medium range flights.

History[edit]

The airline was established in 2002[5] as a successor to the insolvent Balkan Bulgarian Airlines and commenced operations on 4 December that year. By order of the Minister of Transport and Communications it was declared the national flag carrier in November 2002. Bulgaria Air began operations using the name "Balkan Air Tour." The airline was known by that name for just a short period of time. The name "Bulgaria Air" and initial logo were determined by a public competition.[6] Bulgaria Air was privatised in 2006; although it was rumoured that the government wanted to sell the carrier to a major foreign investor, a group of locally owned companies, led by Hemus Air, emerged as the buyer with Italian airline Air One being the only other contender.[7] Hemus Air reportedly paid €6.6m and promised to invest a further €86m over the next five years.[8] 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).[9]

Bulgaria Air Airbus A320 taxiing at London Heathrow Airport.

In mid-2011 Bulgaria Air announced that after a thorough analysis of its destinations it had chosen to purchase seven new Embraer E-190 aircraft. The delivery of the first aircraft was in early 2012, whilst the remaining aircraft were delivered later in 2013.

Destinations[edit]

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. New services to Beirut, Palma de Mallorca and Prague were launched in 2012.[3]

Codeshare agreements[edit]

Bulgaria Air has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:[10]

Interline agreements[edit]

Bulgaria Air has special interline agreements with the following airlines:

Charter flights[edit]

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[edit]

A Bulgaria Air Embraer 190 at Frankfurt Airport in 2014. The carrier received the first aircraft of the type in March 2012 (2012-03).[15] An agreement for the lease of three of these aircraft had been signed in May 2011 (2011-05).[16]
A British Aerospace 146-300 in Bulgaria Air livery on short final to Zurich Airport in 2011.

As of July 2015 Bulgaria Air operates the following aircraft:[17][18]

Bulgaria Air Fleet
Aircraft
Total Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
Airbus A319 2 0 8 126 134
8 132 140
Airbus A320 3 0 180 180 2 wet leased to Onur Air[19]
Boeing 737-300 2 0 0 148 148
BAe 146-200 1 0 8 76 84
Avro RJ70[20] 1 26 26 VIP
Embraer E-190 4 0 8 100 108
Total 13 0

Retired fleet[edit]

Livery[edit]

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.[9] The design was used for about 4 years, until 2006, when an improved, more professional design, was introduced.[8] 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.

Private business flights[edit]

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.[24]

Bulgaria Air VIP Avro RJ70 Business Jet

Services[edit]

Frequent Flyer[edit]

"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.[25]

Co-branded Cards with Central Cooperative Bank

Central Cooperative Bank is issuing Visa Classic and Visa Gold co-branded Credit Cards with Bulgaria Air.[26] These cards are giving numerous discounts and privileges to their holders.[27]

Catering[edit]

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.[28][29][30]

Bulgaria Air Media[edit]

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.[31]
  • 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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.capital.bg/shimg/oo_2564015.jpg
  2. ^ http://www.capital.bg/shimg/oo_2564015.jpg
  3. ^ a b "Bulgaria Air strengthens its European network with new E-Jets, but cost reduction is also essential". CAPA Centre for Aviation. 4 June 2012.  Archived 29 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "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"
  5. ^ "Bulgaria Air". Visegrad Plus. Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  6. ^ About Bulgaria Air. Air.bg (23 September 2009). Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  7. ^ Candidate for Bulgaria Air selected – Business. The Sofia Echo (30 October 2006). Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  8. ^ a b Bulgaria Air Deal Completed – Bulgaria. The Sofia Echo (5 January 2007). Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  9. ^ a b "Bulgaria Air joined successfully IATA". Bulgaria Air. 25 November 2008. Archived from the original on 7 February 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  10. ^ Bulgaria Air Partners. Air.bg (2009-09-23). Retrieved on 2010-12-21.
  11. ^ "Air Berlin и Bulgaria air ĐżĐžĐ´ĐżĐ¸Ń Đ°Ń…Đ° Ń ĐżĐžŃ€Đ°ĐˇŃƒĐźĐľĐ˝Đ¸Đľ Са кОд ŃˆĐľŃ€". Chronicle.bg. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  12. ^ ""България ер" сключи споразумение за "код шеър" с Air Serbia". Aeropress-bg.com. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  13. ^ "Авиокомпания България Ер - News". Air.bg. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  14. ^ "Авиокомпания България Ер - Новини". Air.bg. 2014-05-28. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  15. ^ "Bulgaria Air receives first Embraer 190". Flightglobal. 22 March 2012.  Archived 16 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Reals, Kerry (31 May 2011). "Bulgaria Air to lease three E-190s". London: Flightglobal.  Archived 16 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "Bulgaria Air – Fleet". Bulgaria Air. 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  18. ^ a b c "Bulgaria Air Fleet Details and History". planespotters.net. 9 July 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2015. [unreliable source?]
  19. ^ "Turkey's Onur Air leasing a pair of Bulgarian A320s". ch-aviation. Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  20. ^ "Bulgaria Air - Conditions". air.bg. Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  21. ^ Administrator. "Bulgaria Air to lease two A319 - Tu154.net". tu154.net. Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  22. ^ Bulgaria Air, Перките все още са на мода ATR 42/72, retrieved 18 May 2015
  23. ^ Bonnassies, Olivier (16 June 2011). "Bulgaria Air to sell seven BAe 146s through Cordner Aviation". London: Flightglobal.  Archived 16 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ Bulgaria Air Business Flights Conditions. Air.bg (2009-09-23). Retrieved on 2010-12-21.
  25. ^ "Авиокомпания България Ер - Membership levels". Air.bg. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  26. ^ ""CCB - BG AIR" credit card | Central Cooperative Bank". Ccbank.bg. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  27. ^ "Авиокомпания България Ер - Co-branded credit card". Air.bg. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  28. ^ "Какъв приятел? - Крейг Джонсън - EMG". Emg.rs. 2013-06-07. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  29. ^ "Hellenic Business Council in Bulgaria - Home page". Hbcbg.com. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  30. ^ "Авиокомпания България Ер - Новини". Air.bg. 2015-02-24. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  31. ^ "Авиокомпания България Ер - Списанието". Air.bg. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Bulgaria Air at Wikimedia Commons