Sofia Airport

Coordinates: 42°41′42″N 023°24′30″E / 42.69500°N 23.40833°E / 42.69500; 23.40833
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Sofia Airport

Летище София
Sofia airport logo.svg
Airport typePublic
OperatorSOF Connect AD[1]
LocationSofia, Bulgaria
Opened16 September 1937 (1937-09-16)
Hub for
Time zoneEET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST)EEST (UTC+3)
Elevation AMSL531 m / 1,742 ft
Coordinates42°41′42″N 023°24′30″E / 42.69500°N 23.40833°E / 42.69500; 23.40833
SOF is located in Bulgaria
Location in Bulgaria
Direction Length Surface
m ft
09/27 3,600 11,811 Asphalt
Statistics (2022)
Passenger change 21-22Increase78.4%
Aircraft movements53,722
Movements change 21-22Increase31.7%
Cargo (t)20,528
Cargo change 21-22Decrease2.8%
Source: Bulgarian AIP at EUROCONTROL[2]

Sofia Airport (IATA: SOF, ICAO: LBSF) (Bulgarian: Летище София, romanizedLetishte Sofiya) is the main international airport of Bulgaria, located 10 km (6.2 mi) east of the centre of the capital Sofia.[3] In 2019 the airport surpassed 7 million passengers for the first time.[4] The airport serves as the home base for BH Air, Bulgaria Air, European Air Charter and GullivAir, and as a base for both Ryanair and Wizz Air. The airport also houses the Bulgarian Air Force's Vrazhdebna Air Base.[5]


Early years[edit]

On 16 September 1937, Tsar Boris III signed a decree which declared land within the Village of Vrazhdebna be allocated for the construction of an airport. Construction then began on the site, which was 11 km (6.8 mi) from the city centre. Two years later in 1939, Sofia Airport opened its first passenger waiting room, and after another two years was followed by a fully constructed airfield with a fully paved runway.[6][7]

From June through September 1938, Yugoslav airline Aeroput connected Sofia with Belgrade thrice weekly using Lockheed Model 10 Electra planes.[8]

During the Second World War, the facilities were used by the military. Mail, perishable freight and passenger operations began in 1947 from buildings on the north side of the airport. The passenger terminal (now Terminal 1) on the south side was completed during the Second World War in the manner of a then-modern European railway terminus to designs by the architect Ivan Marangozov. It opened after several years of delay in 1947. The structure comprised a government wing to the west, an international handling area in the middle, and a domestic handling area to the east. At that time, it was planned that the airport would eventually have two intersecting runways at a 30-degree angle to each other.[citation needed]

The terminal had substantially reached its capacity of some 600,000 passengers a year by the later 1960s and was subjected to a number of refurbishments and extensions beginning in the spring of 1968. In 1975, a new international arrivals handling extension was opened to the west of the building, the domestic area to the east was enlarged, the government handling area was removed to a dedicated terminal some distance to the west, a VIP handling area opened in the old terminal, apron area was extended to the east and new taxiways opened. A bonded warehouse opened to the east of the terminal square in 1969 and several new hangars followed to the east of the first maintenance base in the 1970s. A new checked baggage handling system opened to the north of the building in the early 1980s, cosmetic and traffic reorganising refurbishments were carried out in 1990, with a substantial landside extension following in 2000.[9]

By the late 1970s, the terminal was handling in the region of three million passengers a year, a million of them on domestic routes. Passenger numbers fell off sharply after the 1979 CMEA ("Comecon") oil price shock and recovered to just over a million a year by the late 1980s. In the early and mid-1990s, domestic traffic practically ceased, while foreign traffic reduced significantly. The latter began growing apace in the late 1990s and early 2000s to reach its current levels. The terminal was last refurbished partially in 1990. In 2000, it underwent a wholesale update in which the international arrivals area was moved to the east wing where domestic handling had been, the former international arrivals area to the west was closed, and the layout of the central international departures area was changed in line with world developments. Despite the work to the old terminal, the airport was becoming overwhelmed with passenger traffic.[9]

Options for different airport developments began to be examined in the mid-1960s. One option was to relocate the facility to a new site, with some locations up to 70 km (43 mi) from Sofia.[citation needed] Another option involved extending the airport's area radically to the north-east and gradually removing the focus of the airport there. A third option was to develop substantially the same site. By the later 1980s, the authorities had settled on the last option.[citation needed]

Development since the 1990s[edit]

Old Sofia Airport logo used until 2022

In the 1990s, airlines added transatlantic routes from Sofia. For example, Jes Air launched a flight to Ottawa using Airbus A310s in June 1991,[10][11] and the following December, Balkan Bulgarian Airlines commenced direct services to New York City aboard Boeing 767s.[12][13]

Project design, involving a new terminal to the east of the old facility, a new runway to the north of (and parallel to) the existing runway, and taxiways, was completed by the mid-1990s. A finance package involving very significant European and Kuwaiti investment was initially agreed in 1998 and was in place by 2000. Work began in 2001. The new runway and some taxiways were completed in mid-2006. Terminal 2 was formally inaugurated on 27 December 2006.[9]

Design and construction of a new control tower was discussed in 2006 but this project appeared to be in abeyance by 2008. Over the years, Sofia Airport has been criticised for its lack of world class air freight facilities and for some access problems. Passengers to and from the Bulgarian interior have to access or egress the airport through crowded rail and coach facilities in central Sofia. A rail link has been discussed on several occasions since the 1960s. The next best thing, perhaps, was the extension of Sofia Metro Line 1 some 5 km from Blvd Tsarigradsko shose. This was opened on 2 April 2015 under the name Sofia Airport Metro Station.[14] The airport metro station is adjacent to Terminal 2. Connection with terminal 1 is by free shuttle bus.

The airport is occasionally criticised as a source of environmental noise and pollution and strict noise abatement procedures have been enforced for departing traffic since the mid-1970s, while arriving traffic is generally routed to approach the field from the east, clear of Sofia.[9]

A significant and recurring operational criticism of Sofia Airport has concerned its historical lack of all-weather operations capability. Though the new runway was designed for ICAO Category 3 operations, in 2007 it emerged that radio interference from security fencing, and most significantly from a large newly built lorry park, prevented certification (and hence use) of the associated radio navigational aids. During the winter months, the airport, located on a high alluvial plain surrounded by mountains, suffers from very significant and frequent fog precipitation. In such circumstances, flights are redirected to diversion airports in Bulgaria or neighbouring countries, lengthening journeys by many hours.[9]

On 3 June 2016, the Bulgarian government launched a tender for the operation of Sofia Airport.[15] Expected to bring in 1.2 billion lev (600 million euro) to the state over 35 years, the tender has reportedly attracted interest from the operators of airports in Munich, Frankfurt, Zurich, Lyon, Dublin and London-Heathrow and as well as other operators.[16]

As of 22 July 2020, the concessionaire of Sofia Airport is the Sof Connect consortium, consisting of the French investment fund Meridiam (99% stake) and Austria's Strabag (1% stake). The concession period runs for 35 years. The airport's operator for the first 12 years of the concession period will be Munich Airport International.[17] On 20 April 2021, SOF Connect AD officially became the concessionaire of the airport.[18]

Airport reconstruction[edit]

A model of the new airport terminal in the departures hall

As a result of growing air traffic and passenger numbers, the airport facilities struggled to cope despite several expansions in the years prior. Planning began in the 1990s for a new terminal to be constructed at the airport. The new runway was offset from the old by 210 m (690 ft) with the eastern end crossing the Iskar River bed on a specially constructed bridge. New taxiways were also constructed, allowing for 22 aircraft movements per hour. The old runway was then to be used as a taxiway only.[19] The new runway and taxiways were opened in mid-2006, and Terminal 2 formally opened in late 2006.[9]

Total cost of the project was planned at 200 million euros. Finance was secured in 1997–98 from the European Investment Bank (60 million euro), Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (12.3 million Kuwaiti dinars, approximately 41.5 million euro), and the European Union PHARE Programme (7.6 million euro). In August 2000, an ISPA grant of 50 million euro was allocated and in December the financing memorandum was signed.[9]

The construction works were in two lots: the new terminal with its surrounding infrastructure and the new runway. The first lot was allocated to the German branch of Austrian company Strabag,[20] while the second was won by a consortium of Kuwaiti company Mohamed Abdulmohsin al-Kharafi & Sons and UAE-based Admak General Contracting Company.[21]

The initial completion deadline for the new terminal was 15 December 2004 to a total budget of 112.2 million euro. Immediately after work started, Strabag contested the geological surveys by Dutch consultants NACO B.V. and demanded additional funding for unexpected additional works. The delay was ten months, and construction resumed after the Bulgarian government agreed to augment the project's value by 4.8 million euro and extend the deadline to 31 August 2005.[22]

In 2004 Strabag demanded an additional 6 million euro due to rising steel prices.[23] The Ministry of Transportation rejected the claim, backed by a report from NACO. In May 2005, the contractor threatened to take the case to international arbitration.[24] In August 2005, it became clear that Strabag would not be able to meet the changed deadline, slippage being put at six to eight weeks.[25] In November 2005, Strabag asked for eight months' further extension.[26]


Control tower[edit]

The 2012 Air Traffic Control Tower.

A new 50 m (160 ft)[19] control tower was inaugurated officially on 5 December 2012 by the PM Boyko Borisov and the minister of transport Ivaylo Moskovski.[27]

The tower was built by Glavbolgarstroy AD. The contract for building the tower was signed on 19 August 2011 in the presence of Ivaylo Moskovski, minister of transport, information technology and communications, the BULATSA director general Diyan Dinev, Glavbolgarstroy AD chief executive director Pavel Kalistratov and Glavbolgarstroy AD executive director and management board member Nina Stoyanova signed the design execution and construction contract between BULATSA and Glavbolgarstroy AD for the new control tower at Sofia Airport (Sofia tower).[28] Glavbolgartroy AD were selected as contractor, as they were awarded the highest technical rating during the public procurement procedure having proposed the shortest construction timeframe. This project was financed entirely by BULATSA.

Runway system[edit]

On 31 August 2006, Sofia Airport put its new runway system into operation, replacing the old and out-of-date facilities. The new runway is offset 210 m (690 ft) to the north of the old runway, with the eastern end of its 3,600 m (11,811 ft) long strip crossing over the Iskar river bed on a specially constructed bridge. New rapid and connecting taxiways were built to open way for 20 aircraft movements per hour at a high level of safety. The navigational aids installed on the new runway enable landing operations under low visibility conditions at category IIIB of the ICAO standards.[7]

Two de-icing platforms were constructed to allow centralised de-icing procedures in winter. They are one element in the overall strategy of Sofia Airport for environmental protection and reduction of the harmful effects resulting from the airport operations. At the moment there is another de-icing platform under construction.[when?]

Lufthansa Technik Sofia[edit]

Lufthansa Technik maintenance base at Sofia Airport.

Lufthansa Technik Sofia was founded in late 2007 as a joint venture between Lufthansa Technik (75.1%) and the Bulgarian Aviation Group (24.9%).[29] With the foundation of Lufthansa Technik Sofia, the Lufthansa Technik Group has created a fifth platform for the overhaul and maintenance of narrowbody aircraft in Europe. The Bulgarian facility serves customers in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The facility has undergone a major reconstruction and an upgrade and now can handle the heaviest stage of aircraft maintenance checks, D-Check, that is now being carried out in Bulgaria. The company have started with more than 350 staff trained in Bulgaria and at Lufthansa Technik facilities in Shannon Base Maintenance operations in the fourth quarter of 2008 with one Airbus A321 from Lufthansa as the first customer.[30] At the moment the facility in Sofia has more than 1100 employees and plans by the 2018 to hire another 200 employees to reach a total of 1300 employees. The company have completed the building of a new facility in October 2017 which will be used for the maintenance of wide-bodied aircraft and is able to handle Airbus A380.[31] With the completion of the new hangar now Lufthansa Technik Sofia has 8 production lines which is turning the Bulgarian unit into the biggest unit of Lufthansa Technik.

Rose Air Technik[edit]

On 4 July 2018, Rose Air in cooperation with Wizz Air opened a new maintenance base at Sofia Airport.[32] It is located at the northern part of the airport. The hangar lies on 5000 square meters and has three production lines with overall capacity of 300 planes per year and it can handle C-Check. The base started with more than 100 staff. This will be the first maintenance base for Wizz Air in the Balkans and the fourth in Europe.[33]

Vrazhdebna Air Base[edit]

The Vrazhdebna Air Base (also Vrajdebna Air Base) is located at the airport. Operated by the Bulgarian Air Force, it is home to the 16th Transport Squadron.[34]


Inside Terminal 1
Interior of Terminal 2

Terminal 1[edit]

This terminal was built in the 1930s and opened on 16 September 1937. It has been extended many times, and had a renovation in 2000. Terminal 1 serves low-cost and charter carriers with Wizz Air, easyJet and European Air Charter being the primary tennants. This smaller of the two terminals, consisting of only one main level, features a central check-in hall with 19 counters, two security screening and customs areas and a central waiting area split into two equal sections containing overall seven departure gates for bus boarding.[35]

Terminal 2[edit]

Terminal 2 was officially opened on 27 December 2006 with the symbolic arrival of Bulgaria Air flight FB 408 from Brussels. It was one of the biggest projects in Bulgaria to receive funds from the EU ISPA programme. The price included the new terminal, new aircraft parking aprons, upgrading the existing aircraft parking aprons and the construction of connecting taxiways. The terminal has seven air-bridges (gates A1, B5–9 and C1), 38 check-in desks and covers an area of 50,000 m2 (540,000 sq ft) and has a car park for 820 vehicles. It is located to the east of Terminal 1 and is significantly bigger than the old one which continues to serve low-cost and charter airlines. From 16 January 2017 on Terminal 2 currently serves only one low-cost airline - Ryanair.[36]

For the first time in Bulgaria, a terminal has airbridge-equipped gates instead of relying on airside buses. At the eastern end of the Terminal, an end station for Line 1 of the Sofia Metro has been built under the name Sofia Airport Metro Station. It was brought into service on 2 April 2015. The journey between airport and central Sofia takes about 20 minutes with service provided 05.30-24.00 hrs.[14]

The infrastructure surrounding the building was expected to be completed in 2007. It includes a new dual carriageway road connecting the terminal to the existing airport road, and landscaping including an artificial lake and a fountain. Terminal 2 is designed with special attention to disabled passengers. Their access to the different terminal levels and the multi-storey car park is facilitated via lifts and escalators.[37]

Terminal 3[edit]

Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 will be redesigned so that passengers feel "immersed in Bulgarian culture". This is the development plan of the SOF Connect consortium, which won the concession at Sofia Airport. The new Terminal 3 will be built by 2030. This will be the main focus for this period and will be implemented along with the usage of Terminal 1 for VIP and business aviation services only.[38]

Other facilities[edit]

The VIP terminal is located in the western wing of Terminal 1 and has an entrance of its own, providing an access to four separate rooms – one main room and two separated rooms with about 20 seats each.[39]

The Government terminal is located in the western side of Sofia Airport. The terminal is operated by the 28th Air Detachment which operates government aircraft and operations involving the President, Prime Minister and other high-ranking government officials.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

In 1937 Sofia was used on a route from Berlin to Athens.[40] and by 1938 regular direct flights linked Sofia to Belgrade[8] Just before the end of the one-party socialist state at the end of the 1980s BALKAN (Bulgarian Airlines) were operating both domestic, and mainly European international routes, to numerous destinations, carrying 2.8m passengers.[41] The airport is used for scheduled, charter and seasonal operations on many European routes and on several further afield.[42]


The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights to and from Sofia:[43]

Aegean Airlines Athens
Air Cairo Hurghada (begins 31 October 2023)[44]
Air Serbia Belgrade
Austrian Airlines Vienna
BH Air[45] Seasonal: Bristol, East Midlands, London–Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Seasonal: Antalya, Bari (begins 28 May 2023), Cairo, Djerba, Enfidha, Hurghada, Larnaca, Nevşehir, Sharm El Sheikh
British Airways London–Heathrow
Bulgaria Air[46] Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt, London–Heathrow, Madrid, Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Prague, Rome–Fiumicino, Tel Aviv, Varna, Zürich
Seasonal: Barcelona,[47] Burgas, Heraklion, Larnaca
Seasonal charter: Hurghada,[48] Mahé,[49] Mauritius,[50] Sal,[51] Sharm El Sheikh[48]
Corendon Airlines Seasonal charter: Antalya[52]
easyJet London–Gatwick, Manchester
Seasonal: Bristol
El Al Tel Aviv
European Air Charter Seasonal charter: Antalya,[53] Aqaba,[54] Bahrain,[55] Bodrum,[56] Cairo,[57] Dalaman,[58] Djerba,[59] Fès,[60] Hurghada,[61] Lamezia Terme,[62][63] Marrakesh,[64] Marsa Alam,[65]Mombasa,[66] Nevşehir,[67] Olbia,[63][68] Sharm El Sheikh,[69] Tirana,[70] Tivat,[71] Zanzibar[72]
flydubai Dubai–International
GullivAir Seasonal: Phuket[73]
Seasonal charter: La Romana[73]
Israir Airlines Seasonal: Tel Aviv[74]
ITA Airways Rome–Fiumicino[61] Seasonal charter: Belfast–International, Bristol, East Midlands, London–Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw–Chopin
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich
Norwegian Air Shuttle Oslo (begins 24 June 2023)[75]
Pegasus Airlines Antalya
Qatar Airways Doha
Ryanair[76] Barcelona, Bari, Beauvais, Bergamo, Berlin, Birmingham, Bologna, Bratislava, Bucharest–Otopeni, Budapest, Catania, Charleroi, Cologne/Bonn, Dublin, Edinburgh, Eindhoven, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, Liverpool, London–Stansted, Madrid, Málaga, Malta, Memmingen, Naples, Nuremberg, Paphos, Rome–Ciampino, Tel Aviv, Treviso, Vienna, Wrocław, Zagreb
Seasonal: Aqaba, Bristol, Chania, Corfu, Palma de Mallorca, Rhodes (begins 3 June 2023),[77] Varna, Zadar
Sky Express Athens
SkyUp Seasonal: Kyiv–Boryspil (suspended)[78]
Swiss International Air Lines Zürich
TAROM Bucharest–Otopeni
TUI Airways[79] Seasonal: Birmingham, London–Gatwick, Manchester
Seasonal charter: Dublin (begins 23 December 2023)[80]
Turkish Airlines Istanbul
Windrose Airlines Kyiv–Boryspil (suspended)[81]
Wizz Air[82] Abu Dhabi, Alicante, Barcelona, Bari, Basel/Mulhouse, Beauvais, Bergamo, Bologna, Catania, Charleroi, Copenhagen, Dortmund, Eindhoven, Geneva, Hahn, Hamburg, Larnaca, Lisbon, London–Luton, Madrid, Málaga, Memmingen, Naples, Nice, Riyadh, Rome–Ciampino, Stockholm–Skavsta, Tel Aviv, Valencia, Yerevan
Seasonal: Dubai–International


DHL Aviation Leipzig/Halle[83]
Swiftair Cologne/Bonn[84]



Annual passenger traffic at SOF airport. See Wikidata query.
Traffic at Sofia Airport
Year Passengers Change Cargo (tonnes) Change Aircraft movements Change
1998 1,250,700 10,180 24,726
1999 1,236,610 Decrease1.1% 12,378 Increase21.6% 25,178 Increase1.8%
2000 1,127,866 Decrease8.8% 11,036 Decrease10.8% 24,785 Decrease1.6%
2001 1,107,682 Decrease1.8% 10,381 Decrease5.9% 21,860 Decrease11.8%
2002 1,214,198 Increase9.6% 12,482 Increase20.2% 24,211 Increase10.8%
2003 1,356,469 Increase11.7% 13,461 Increase7.8% 25,517 Increase5.4%
2004 1,614,304 Increase19.0% 14,472 Increase7.5% 28,700 Increase12.5%
2005 1,874,000 Increase16.1% 14,725 Increase1.7% 32,188 Increase12.2%
2006 2,209,350 Increase17.9% 15,241 Increase3.5% 38,119 Increase18.4%
2007 2,745,880 Increase24.3% 17,392 Increase14.1% 43,005 Increase12.8%
2008 3,230,696 Increase17.7% 18,294 Increase5.2% 48,626 Increase13.1%
2009 3,134,657 Decrease3.0% 15,093 Decrease17.5% 45,698 Decrease6.0%
2010 3,296,936 Increase5.2% 15,322 Increase1.5% 47,061 Increase3.0%
2011 3,474,933 Increase5.4% 15,887 Increase3.7% 47,153 Increase0.2%
2012 3,467,455 Decrease0.2% 16,249 Increase2.3% 40,806 Decrease9.0%
2013 3,504,326 Increase1.1% 17,039 Increase4.9% 40,526 Decrease0.7%
2014 3,815,158 Increase8.9% 17,741 Increase4.1% 42,120 Increase4.0%
2015 4,088,943 Increase7.2% 18,727 Increase5.6% 44,416 Increase5.5%
2016 4,979,760 Increase21.8% 20,886 Increase11.5% 51,829 Increase16.7%
2017 6,490,096 Increase30.3% 20,818 Decrease0.3% 57,673 Increase11.3%
2018 6,962,040 Increase7.3% 22,251 Increase6.6% 60,771 Increase5.4%
2019 7,107,096 Increase2.1% 23,987 Increase7.8% 61,371 Increase1%
2020 2,937,846 Decrease58.7% 23,042 Decrease3.9% 35,954 Decrease41.4%
2021 3,364,151 Increase14.5% 21,141 Decrease8.3% 40,771 Increase13.4%
2022 6,003,653[85] Increase78.4% 20,528[85] Decrease2.8% 53,722[85] Increase31.7%
2023 (01.01-30.04) 2,193,748 Increase43.6% 6,420 Decrease5.0% 18,038 Increase19.3%[86]

Busiest destinations[edit]

Top 10 of Busiest destinations at Sofia Airport by departures passengers to final destination (2022)[87][88]
Rank Destination Airport(s) Airlines Passengers
1. United Kingdom London Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport, London–Luton Airport, Stansted Airport British Airways, Bulgaria Air, easyJet, Ryanair, Wizz Air 403,081
2. Germany Frankfurt Frankfurt Airport, Frankfurt-Hahn Airport Bulgaria Air, Lufthansa, Wizz Air 142,070
3. Austria Vienna Vienna Airport Austrian Airlines, Bulgaria Air, Ryanair 139,185
4. Germany Munich Memmingen Airport, Munich Airport Lufthansa, Wizz Air, Ryanair 121,166
5. Turkey Istanbul Istanbul Airport Turkish Airlines 106,036
6. Bulgaria Varna Varna Airport Bulgaria Air, Ryanair 105,954
7. Italy Milan Orio al Serio Airport Ryanair, Wizz Air 105,632
8. Israel Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport Arkia, Bulgaria Air, El Al, Ryanair, Wizz Air 101,474
9. France Paris Beauvais-Tillé Airport, Charles de Gaulle Airport Air France, Bulgaria Air, Ryanair, Wizz Air 92,346
10. Italy Rome Ciampino–G. B. Pastine Airport, Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport Bulgaria Air, ITA Airways, Ryanair, Wizz Air 79,144

Top carriers[edit]

Rank Carrier Market share (2021)[89]
1 Hungary Wizz Air 29.3%
2 Republic of Ireland Ryanair 24.8%
3 Bulgaria Bulgaria Air 15.9%
4 Germany Lufthansa 8.6%
5 Turkey Turkish Airlines 3.9%
6 Austria Austrian Airlines 3.2%
7 Greece Aegean Airlines 1.8%
8 United Kingdom easyJet 1.8%
9 Poland LOT Polish Airlines 1.4%
10 United Arab Emirates flydubai 1.3%

Ground transportation[edit]


Sofia Airport Metro Station on the M4 line is situated next to Terminal 2 and provides connections to the city centre.[90]

A free shuttle bus service between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 runs from 05:00 until 23:00, connecting arriving and departing passengers from Terminal 1 to metro services.[91]

Sofia Metro also provides a fast connection between the airport and Business Park Sofia, through interchange at Mladost 1 Metro Station to the M1 line.[92]


Three bus routes serve the airport. E84 and E184 connect both terminals to Sofia University, with E84 departing from Terminal 2 and calling at Terminal 1 on the way, and E184 doing the loop in reverse, departing Terminal 1 and calling at Terminal 2 on its way to the centre. Bus 384 only serves Terminal 2, connecting it to Tsarigradsko shose Metro Station.[93]


Brussels Boulevard is the main thoroughfare to Sofia Airport. There is a new, faster road connection built from Terminal 2 to Brussels Boulevard.[94]

Via Brussels Boulevard and Tsarigradsko shose, Sofia Airport is connected to both the city centre and eastbound destinations via Trakia motorway (A1) Mw A1 BG.svg

From the northern parts of Sofia, Sofia Airport is conveniently accessible via the East Tangent route. Its junction with Botevgradsko Shose provides access to northbound destinations via Hemus motorway (A2) Mw A2 BG.svg[95]

Connecting to the southern parts of Sofia and Southwestern Bulgaria is the route via Brussels Boulevard and Boulevard Aleksandar Malinov to Sofia ring road Nat road 18 BG.svg which has an interchange with southbound Struma motorway (A3) Mw A3 BG.svg


A railway station at Iskarsko shose was inaugurated in April 2015, providing faster interchange from the airport to southbound services on the Bulgarian national railway system. Situated about 2.5 km (2 mi) from Terminal 2, the train station is accessible via a short trip to Iskarsko shose Metro Station which is two stops away from Sofia Airport Metro Station on the M4 line.[96]


As of May 2023, Yellow! taxi company has been officially selected as the official and licensed operator for a period of 5 years, with a possibility of further extension with 3 more, following a tender with other larger taxi companies. Starting 1st January 2025, a minimum of 5% of the monthly taxi journeys operated from the airport should be conducted using electric vehicles and a year later the percentage should be increased to 10%.[97]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • On 22 November 1975, a Balkan Bulgarian airlines An-24 crashed short of the runway after take-off in icy conditions. Of the 48 people on board, three were killed.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kamenov, Kalin (19 April 2021). "Концесионерът влиза във владение на Летище "София", плати 660 млн. лева". (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  2. ^ "EUROCONTROL - The European AIS Database: Introduction to EAD Basic - Home". Retrieved 2022-11-20.
  3. ^ Thompson, Rossi (29 September 2017). "Maison Sofia Hotel Review, Bulgaria". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 February 2022. Sofia Airport is about six miles (10 kilometres) away [...].
  4. ^ Goranova, Kalina (30 January 2022). "Пътниците на летище София са с 3.8 млн. по-малко в сравнение с 2019 г." Capital (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  5. ^ Yanakiev, Diliyan (12 April 2019). "Ден на отворените врати в авиобаза Враждебна". (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  6. ^ "HISTORY". 9 November 2014. Archived from the original on 7 January 2019. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Before and today - Sofia Airport". Archived from the original on 2021-12-23. Retrieved 2017-05-09.
  8. ^ a b admin (17 June 2010). "Drustvo za Vazdusni Saobracaj A D – Aeroput (1927-1948) – European Airlines". Retrieved 2022-11-20.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g "First-class upgrade to Bulgaria's international gateway". Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  10. ^ Lofaro, Tony (22 June 1991). "Travel notes". The Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 17 September 2022.
  11. ^ Lofaro, Tony (18 May 1991). "Flying direct to Bulgaria". The Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  12. ^ "1992/93: Balkan Bulgaria Network". Routesonline. 5 July 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2022.
  13. ^ Vasileva, Maria (16 March 2006). ""Хемус Ер" заема пазарните ниши, оставени от "Балкан"". (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 17 September 2022.
  14. ^ a b DVV Media UK. "Sofia airport metro link opens". Railway Gazette. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  15. ^ "Bulgaria opens 35-year concession tender for Sofia Airport". 3 June 2016.
  16. ^ "Bulgaria launches tender to operate Sofia airport". Reuters. 17 May 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  17. ^ "Bulgaria signs concession contract for Sofia Airport". 22 July 2020.
  18. ^ "SOF Connect официално стана концесионер на летище София". 20 April 2021.
  20. ^ "- - the Sofia Echo". Archived from the original on 2016-06-24. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
  21. ^ "Арабски консорциум ще строи новата писта на летище София". 9 July 2002.
  22. ^ "The Sofia Echo". Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  23. ^ "Стандарт - Новини, които си струва да споделим". Archived from the original on 22 October 2007. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  24. ^ "Economedia". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  25. ^ Ministry of transportation Minister Mutafchiev met Strabag representatives Archived 4 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine (in Bulgarian)
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External links[edit]

Media related to Sofia Airport at Wikimedia Commons