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Varna Airport

Coordinates: 43°13′55″N 27°49′31″E / 43.23194°N 27.82528°E / 43.23194; 27.82528
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Varna Airport

Летище Варна
Airport typePublic
OperatorFraport Twin Star Airport Management AD
LocationVarna, Bulgaria
Opened9 May 1948 (1948-05-09)
Hub for
Time zoneEET (+2)
 • Summer (DST)EEST (+3)
Elevation AMSL70 m / 230 ft
Coordinates43°13′55″N 27°49′31″E / 43.23194°N 27.82528°E / 43.23194; 27.82528
VAR is located in Bulgaria
Location of airport in Bulgaria
Direction Length Surface
m ft
09/27 2,517 8,258 Asphalt
Statistics (2023)
Passenger change 22-23Increase46.9%
Aircraft movements13,850
Movements change 22-23Increase23.6%
Cargo (t)62
Cargo change 22-23Decrease39.8%
Source: Bulgarian AIP at EUROCONTROL

Varna Airport (Bulgarian: Летище Варна, romanizedLetishte Varna) (IATA: VAR, ICAO: LBWN) is the airport of Varna, the historical maritime capital of Bulgaria. Varna Airport is the third largest airport in Bulgaria. It is located 10 kilometers from the center of Varna near the town of Aksakovo. The airport serves Varna, Golden Sands and northeastern Bulgaria. The busiest season for the airport is from the end of May to the beginning of October.


The history of the airport dates back to 1916 when two sheds for the first hydro-port in Bulgaria were built in the Peinerdzhik area (present-day Chaika residential area). [citation needed] Irregular mail-plane service from Sofia to Varna was held between 1919 and 1920 and it was not until 1947 that a permanent airline between the two cities was established. What had grown into Tihina Airport was situated west of the present-day Asparuhov bridge and was indeed quite primitive for the demands of a modern city. [citation needed] Thus in 1946 a decision was made and a new airport was constructed several kilometres west of the city, near the village (now town) of Aksakovo, with local people enthusiastically working on the site together with the constructors. Construction and improvement continued throughout the years, with a new terminal built in 1972 and a new runway in 1974. [citation needed]

In 2013, a new passenger terminal opened and the one constructed in the 20th century was closed down.

There are domestic and international flights from Varna to about 70 destinations in 25 countries, with Bulgarian and foreign airlines. The airport is close to the Port of Varna and the railway system. The airport has one asphalt-covered runway 09/27 with ILS CAT I system on 09 edge and a parking apron for 24 aircraft. In June 2006 the Bulgarian Government awarded Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide a 35-year-long concession on both Varna and Burgas airports in return for investments exceeding €500 million, including a new passenger terminal by 2008.

From 15 October 2011 until 28 February 2012, Varna airport was closed for a reconstruction of the runway. All flights were operated to/from Burgas Airport.[1]

In 2016 the airport handled 1,689,595 passengers - a 20.8% increase compared to 2015.


The airport has three terminals: Terminal 1, built in 1972 (closed), Terminal 3 (opened in June 2007), which was used during the summer season, and the new Terminal 2, opened in August 2013.

Terminal 1[edit]

Terminal 1 (closed) was extended several times over the years. The departures area had 21 check-in counters and six security checkpoints. In the terminal there were various outlets: cafes, fast food restaurants, currency exchange, and duty-free shops. There were ten boarding gates. The arrivals area had two luggage belts, as well as currency exchange and a tax-free shop. Terminal 1 still has a VIP room and business lounge. In 2010 the VIP room was renovated. As of 2014, all flights, including no-frills, are handled at Terminal 2. Hence, the old terminal is closed except the VIP area.

Terminal 2[edit]

Terminal 2 started operations on 18 August 2013. In December 2011 the construction work on the new Terminal 2 began. T2 has a capacity of 1,800,000 passengers per year and 25 check-in desks. It covers an area of 18,000 square metres. T2's buildings are designed so that their capacity can be increased as an extension to the existing architectural part.[clarification needed] The first passenger service on T2 was a domestic flight to Sofia operated by the national carrier Bulgaria Air and first international passengers served were on a Belavia flight from Minsk. T2 was designed by London-based architecture firm Pascall+Watson. [citation needed]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights at Varna Airport:[2]

Air Serbia Seasonal: Belgrade[3]
Arkia Seasonal charter: Tel Aviv
Austrian Airlines Vienna
Avion Express Seasonal charter: Vilnius
BH Air Seasonal charter: Antalya,[4][5] Nevşehir[6]
Bluebird Airways Tel Aviv (begins 2 July 2024)[7]
Bulgaria Air Sofia
Seasonal: Frankfurt (begins 6 July 2024), Prague[8]
Seasonal charter: Antalya,[9] Bodrum,[10] Enfidha[11]
Discover Airlines Seasonal: Frankfurt, Munich[12]
Edelweiss Air Seasonal: Zürich
Enter Air Seasonal charter: Gdańsk, Katowice, Warsaw-Chopin, Wrocław
European Air Charter Seasonal charter: Antalya,[13] Bodrum,[14] Djerba,[15] Enfidha, Heraklion,[16] Leipzig/Halle
Eurowings Seasonal: Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Stuttgart
Fly Lili Seasonal charter: Hannover[17]
Freebird Airlines Europe Seasonal charter: Leipzig/Halle
GetJet Airlines Seasonal charter: Vilnius
Israir Airlines Seasonal: Tel Aviv[18]
Jet Time Seasonal charter: Aalborg, Billund
LOT Polish Airlines Seasonal charter: Katowice, Warsaw-Chopin, Wrocław
Luxair Seasonal: Luxembourg
Norwegian Air Shuttle Seasonal: Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo
Ryanair Seasonal: Katowice,[19] Kraków,[20] Vienna,[21] Vilnius[22]
Smartwings Seasonal: Brno, Ostrava, Prague
Seasonal charter: Karlovy Vary[23]
Sunclass Airlines Seasonal charter: Bergen, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo, Stavanger, Stockholm-Arlanda, Trondheim
Sundair Seasonal: Berlin, Bremen[24], Dresden
Transavia Seasonal: Paris–Orly[25]
TUI fly Belgium Seasonal: Brussels
TUI fly Deutschland Seasonal: Hannover[26]
Turkish Airlines Istanbul
Volotea Seasonal: Lille, Nantes
Wizz Air Berlin, Charleroi, Cologne/Bonn, Dortmund,[27] Eindhoven, Hamburg, London–Luton, Memmingen
Seasonal: Hahn (resumes 2 August 2024), London–Gatwick,[28] Prague (resumes 1 August 2024), Tel Aviv (resumes 2 August 2024), Vienna (resumes 2 August 2024)[29]


The runway
Terminal 2 gate area
Airport building by night


Annual passenger traffic at VAR airport. See Wikidata query.
Traffic at Varna Airport
Year Passengers Change Cargo (tonnes) Change Aircraft movements Change
1998 273,678 Steady 114 Steady 8,920 Steady
1999 511,819 Increase87.0% 0 Decrease100.0% 9,030 Increase1.2%
2000 691,689 Increase35.1% 0 Steady 9,425 Increase4.4%
2001 932,549 Increase34.8% 160 Increase16000.0% 9,549 Increase1.3%
2002 1,090,709 Increase16.9% 85 Decrease46.9% 9,006 Decrease5.7%
2003 1,186,349 Increase8.8% 0 Decrease100.0% 10,107 Increase12.2%
2004 1,337,145 Increase12.7% 136 Increase13600.0% 11,277 Increase11.6%
2005 1,546,925 Increase15.7% 19 Decrease86.0% 13,616 Increase20.7%
2006 1,522,658 Decrease1.6% 289 Increase1421.0% 14,721 Increase8.1%
2007 1,478,093 Decrease2.9% 150 Decrease48.1% 14,971 Increase1.7%
2008 1,432,703 Decrease3.1% 1,004 Increase569.3% 15,129 Increase1.1%
2009 1,206,535 Decrease15.8% 89 Decrease91.1% 12,699 Decrease16.1%
2010 1,198,956 Decrease0.6% 83 Decrease6.7% 12,601 Decrease1.0%
2011 1,165,304 Decrease2.8% 41 Decrease50.6% 11,263 Decrease10.4%
2012 1,212,215 Increase4.0% 33 Decrease19.5% 10,739 Decrease4.7%
2013 1,303,865 Increase7.6% 35 Increase6.1% 11,516 Increase7.2%
2014 1,387,494 Increase5.2% 74 Increase111.4% 12,063 Increase4.7%[30]
2015 1,398,694 Increase0.8% 118 Increase57.2% 11,959 Decrease0.9%
2016 1,689,595 Increase20.8% 3,293 Increase2690.7% 14,818 Increase23.9%
2017 1,970,700 Increase16.6% 293 Decrease91.0% 15,950 Increase7.6%[31]
2018 2,281,134 Increase15.8% 136 Decrease40.6% 17,776 Increase11.4%
2019 2,084,319 Decrease8.7% 123 Decrease9.3% 15,468 Decrease13.0%
2020 622,215 Decrease70.1% 44 Decrease64.1% 6,881 Decrease55.5%
2021 1,010,494 Increase62.4% 34 Decrease23.9% 9,239 Increase34.3%
2022 1,484,186 Increase46.9% 104 Increase205.8% 11,420 Increase23.6%[31]
2023 1,838,828 Increase23.9% 62 Decrease39.8% 13,850 Increase21.3%[31]
2024 (31.05) 377,925 Decrease29.6% 63 Increase329.8% 3,362 Decrease19.8%[31]
Top 5 Markets (2023)[32]
Rank Destination
1 Germany Germany
2 Poland Poland
3 Bulgaria Bulgaria
4 United Kingdom United Kingdom
5 Turkey Turkey[33]

Ground transport[edit]

Bus line 409 connects the airport with Varna city center and resorts nearby (route: Varna Airport – Mall Varna – Varna Bus Station / Grand Mall – City Center – Saints Constantine and Helena - Golden Sands).[34]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • On 7 May 1983, Balkan Bulgarian Airlines Flight 013 was hijacked by four men armed with knives. While they demanded to be taken to Vienna, the pilots tricked the hijackers by landing in Varna. Security forces stormed the plane, arresting three hijackers and killing one hijacker who was threatening the flight attendant.
  • On 5 June 1992, Balkan Bulgarian Airlines Tupolev 154B overran runway 27 in bad weather conditions. There were no casualties, but the plane was written off.[35]
  • On 24 May 2013, Air VIA flight 502 from Leipzig/Halle to Varna overran runway 09 at Varna Airport after touchdown. Two passengers were injured during evacuation.[36][37]
  • On July 8, 2014, Lars Mittank, a German vacationing in Golden Sands, mysteriously disappeared near Varna Airport. Mittank had been alone in Bulgaria the previous two days and reported to be behaving strangely, and was last seen on security cameras fleeing from the airport into the surrounding forest.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Varna Airport Closes for Runway Overhaul in October". Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Flight Search". www.varna-airport.com. 10 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Air Serbia to launch New Service to Krakow, Ohrid and Varna for Summer 2023". 16 December 2022.
  4. ^ "Ранни записвания 2023 ✈️ - Почивки в Турция от Turkuaz".
  5. ^ "Почивки в Анталия 2023, почивки в анталия със самолет | Онекс Тур".
  6. ^ "Екскурзия до Кападокия 2022 с директен чартърен полет".
  7. ^ "Blue Bird Airways NS24 Network Expansion". AeroRoutes. 25 January 2024. Retrieved 25 January 2024.
  8. ^ "Bulgaria Air NS24 Network Additions - 17DEC".
  9. ^ "Почивки в Кемер, Турция". 5 September 2023.
  10. ^ "Почивки в Бодрум, Турция". 27 May 2023.
  11. ^ "Bulgaria Air NS23 Varna Scheduled Charters Network Additions".
  13. ^ "Flights | Varna Airport".
  14. ^ "С Екватор на почивка в Бодрум с чартъри от София, Варна и Пловдив".
  15. ^ "Островно приключение - 7 дни All Inclusive на остров Джерба 2024 с полет от Варна - Abax.bg".
  16. ^ "Почивка на остров Крит 2023 - с полет от Варна до Ираклион - Abax.bg".
  17. ^ Fly Lili will operate charter flights from Germany, Poland and Czechia to Burgas Airport
  18. ^ "Israir NS24 Leased Smartwings Boeing 737 Operations". AeroRoutes. 21 March 2024. Retrieved 22 March 2024.
  19. ^ "5 kolejnych nowych tras Ryanaira z Polski! Dużo wakacyjnych kierunków".
  20. ^ "Pasazer.com: Ryanair poleci z Krakowa nad Morze Czarne". Pasazer.com.
  21. ^ "Ryanair NW23 Network Changes – 17SEP23".
  22. ^ "Ryanair NS23 Network Additions – 05DEC22".
  23. ^ "Letiště Karlovy Vary bude mít další charterové spojení, tentokrát s bulharskou Varnou". 7 January 2023.
  24. ^ https://aviation.direct/en/new-to-Varna-Bremen-Airport-expands-summer-flight-schedule-with-Sundair
  25. ^ "TRANSAVIA FRANCE NS24 NETWORK ADDITIONS – 19DEC23". AeroRoutes. Retrieved 19 December 2023.
  26. ^ "TUIFLY ADDS NEW HANNOVER – BULGARIA ROUTES IN NS24". AeroRoutes. Retrieved 19 December 2023.
  27. ^ "Wizz Air 1Q24 Routes Suspension Summary – 31DEC23".
  28. ^ https://www.travelandtourworld.com/news/article/wizz-air-launches-new-direct-flight-from-london-gatwick-to-varna-bulgaria/
  30. ^ "Статистическа информация за международните летища в Република България" (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 8 December 2023.
  31. ^ a b c d "Traffic Figures".
  32. ^ "Летищата във Варна и Бургас отчитат повече пътници през септември". travelnews.bg. 2023. Retrieved 30 October 2023.
  33. ^ "▷ Почивки в Алания, Анталия". www.mistralbg.com/ (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  34. ^ "Начало". Archived from the original on 1 September 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  35. ^ Harro Ranter (5 June 1992). "ASN Aircraft accident Tupolev 154B LZ-BTD Varna Airport (VAR)". Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  36. ^ "Морски - Самолет излезе от пистата на летище Варна, две жени са със счупени крайници (допълнена и видео) - видео - Dnevnik.bg". www.dnevnik.bg. 24 May 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  37. ^ "The Aviation Herald". Retrieved 7 June 2015.

External links[edit]

Media related to Varna Airport at Wikimedia Commons