|Ceased operations||2010 (merged with Bulgaria Air)|
Hemus Air (Bulgarian title: Хемус Ер) was an airline based in Sofia, Bulgaria. It operated scheduled domestic and international services from Sofia and Varna, as well as charter, cargo and air ambulance services. Its main base was Sofia Airport, with a hub at Varna Airport. After the acquisition of Bulgaria Air, all of Hemus Air's destinations are now under the plate of Bulgaria Air.
Hemus Air, named after the ancient name for the Balkan mountains, is owned by Varna-based industrial/financial enterprise TIM. The airline was established and started operations in 1986, when it branched off from Balkan Bulgarian Airlines. It initially operated as a separate department providing ambulance services, flight calibration and aerial photography. In 1996 it became a separate legal entity from Balkan and was named Hemus Air. The company was privatized by Bulgarian corporate investors in 2002 and has since faced stiff competition from foreign carriers, as well as the newly established successor of Balkan, Bulgaria Air. Hemus Air's management pledged to unite the major Bulgarian airlines and was selected as the preferred bidder for the sale of Bulgaria Air by the Bulgarian government. Hemus acquired a 99.9% stake in the flag carrier, reportedly for Euro 6.6m and a promise to invest a further €86m over the next five years. Hemus and Bulgaria Air have already started codesharing on the Sofia-Berlin Tegel route, coordinating their schedules and operations early in 2007. Hemus Air received some aircraft from Bulgaria Air.
In November 2006, Balkan Hemus Group sealed a deal to purchase Bulgaria Air with a 99.99% share of the airline for €6.6 million. The new airline will operate under the Bulgaria Air brand. As of February 2009, all Hemus Air aircraft are operating for the parent company, Bulgaria Air.
All Hemus Air destinations are now operated under the commercial brand of Bulgaria Air.
|Airbus A319-100||2||144||Short-Medium haul
Europe and Middle East
|Operating for Bulgaria Air|
|ATR 42-300||1||46||Short haul
|stored at Sofia Airport|
|Avro RJ70||1||26||Short haul VIP||Operating private and VIP charters|
|Operating for Bulgaria Air, 2 are stored at Sofia Airport|
|Operating for Bulgaria Air|
Most of these aircraft are operating for Bulgaria Air until the two airlines merge, then they will all be transferred to Bulgaria Air's fleet.
Accidents and incidents
- Hemus Air Flight 7081 was hijacked en route from Beirut International Airport to Varna on 3 September 1996. The hijacker, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, allowed the 150 passengers to leave the aircraft at Varna and he and the eight crew members continued to Oslo Airport, Gardermoen where he gave up. He initially claimed that he only wanted to seek asylum, but he later claimed he was under orders to crash the aircraft into Oslo.
- Flight International 3 April 2007
- Airliner World January 2007
- Balkan Hemus Group wins tender to buy national flag carrier, Bulgaria Air
- Directorate General "Civil Aviation Administration"
- "Hijacking description". Aviation Safety Network. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
- Milli, Øystein (16 September 2001). "Kaprer hevder han skulle styrte i døden". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). p. 9.
Media related to Hemus Air at Wikimedia Commons