Varna Airport

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Varna Airport
Летище Варна
VarnaAirport logo.png
VAR Terminal2.jpg
Airport type Public
Operator Fraport Twin Star Airport Management
Serves Varna, Bulgaria
Location Varna, Bulgaria
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 70 m / 230 ft
Coordinates 43°13′55″N 27°49′31″E / 43.23194°N 27.82528°E / 43.23194; 27.82528Coordinates: 43°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 (2017)
Passengers 1,970,700 Increase16.6%
Aircraft movements 15,950 Increase7.6%
Source: Bulgarian AIP at EUROCONTROL

Varna Airport (Bulgarian: Летище Варна, Letishte Varna) (IATA: VARICAO: LBWN) is the airport of Varna, the historical maritime capital of Bulgaria. Varna Airport is the third largest airport in Bulgaria and an important destination during the summer leisure seasons. The airport is located 10 kilometers from the center of Varna near the town of Aksakovo. The airport serves Varna, Golden Sands and northeastern Bulgaria. There are domestic and international flights to about 116 destinations in 40 countries by more than 53 Bulgarian and foreign airlines. 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 form 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.

Apron view

Currently Varna Airport is subject to heavy traffic with the growing tourism industry in Bulgaria and is in need of major investments to modernize, expand and handle projected passenger traffic. 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 runway
Terminal 2 gate area

The airport has three terminals: Terminal 1, built in 1972 (closed), and 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/ has been 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 at Varna Airport was renovated. As of 2014, all flights, including no-frills, are managed by Terminal 2. Hence, the old terminal is closed except the VIP area.

Terminal 2[edit]

Terminal 2 started operations as of 18 August 2013. In December 2011 the construction work on 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 m2. T2 buildings are designed so that their capacity could be further increased as an extension to the existing architectural part. 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]

Airlines Destinations
operated by Rossiya Airlines
Seasonal: Saint Petersburg
Seasonal charter: Moscow-Vnukovo
Anda Air Seasonal charter: Kiev-Zhuliany
ASL Airlines France Seasonal charter: Nantes
Austrian Airlines Vienna
Azur Air Seasonal charter: Moscow-Domodedovo
Belavia Seasonal charter: Minsk-National
BH Air Seasonal: London-Gatwick, Manchester, Zürich
Seasonal charter: Billund, Copenhagen
BRA Seasonal charter: Aalborg, Billund, Odense
Brussels Airlines Seasonal: Brussels (begins 5 May 2018)
Bul Air Seasonal charter: Kuwait, Tehran-Imam Khomeini, Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion
Bulgaria Air Sofia
Seasonal: Burgas
Seasonal charter: Antalya, Beirut, Bodrum, Bratislava, Heraklion, Katowice, Košice, Kuwait, Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Rijeka, Saint Petersburg, Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion, Yerevan
Bulgarian Air Charter Seasonal charter: Beirut, Berlin-Schonefeld, Berlin-Tegel, Cologne/Bonn, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Erfurt/Weimar, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Katowice, Leipzig/Halle, Munich, Munster/Osnabruck, Nuremberg, Paderborn/Lippstadt, Stuttgart, Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion, Vienna, Warsaw-Chopin, Wroclaw
Condor Seasonal: Düsseldorf[3]
operated by Bul Air
Seasonal: Frankfurt[4]
Corendon Airlines Seasonal charter: Antalya
DART Ukrainian Airlines Seasonal charter: Kiev-Zhuliany
easyJet Seasonal: Berlin-Schönefeld, London-Gatwick
Enter Air Seasonal charter: Gdańsk, Katowice, Kraków, Poznań, Warsaw-Chopin, Wroclaw
Edelweiss Air Seasonal: Zürich
Eurowings Seasonal: Düsseldorf
operated by Germanwings
Seasonal: Cologne/Bonn
Seasonal charter: Sttutgart
Finnair Seasonal: Helsinki
Germania Seasonal: Bremen, Friedrichshafen, Hamburg, Münster/Osnabrück, Nuremberg (begins 4 July 2018), Rostock
Seasonal charter: Düsseldorf
Israir Airlines Seasonal charter: Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion
Luxair Seasonal: Luxembourg
Mahan Airlines Seasonal charter: Tehran-Imam Khomeini
Mistral Air Seasonal charter: Catania
NordStar Seasonal charter: Moscow-Domodedovo, Saint Petersburg
Nordwind Airlines Seasonal charter: Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Saint Petersburg
Norwegian Air Shuttle Seasonal: Oslo-Gardermoen
Norwegian Air Shuttle
operated by Norwegian Air International
Seasonal: Copenhagen, Helsinki
Pegas Fly Seasonal charter: Moscow-Sheremetyevo
Primera Air Seasonal charter: Billund, Copenhagen
Qeshm Airlines Seasonal charter: Tehran-Imam Khomeini
Ryanair Charleroi
S7 Airlines Moscow-Domodedovo
Seasonal charter: Krasnodar
Small Planet Airlines Seasonal charter: Kaunas, Reykjavík–Keflavík, Vilnius
Small Planet Germany Seasonal charter: Munich, Paderborn/Lippstadt
Small Planet Airlines Poland Seasonal: Katowice, Warsaw-Chopin
Seasonal charter: Katowice, Warsaw-Chopin, Wroclaw
SmartLynx Airlines Seasonal charter: Riga
Smartlynx Airlines Estonia Seasonal charter: Tallinn
operated by Travel Service
Seasonal: Brno, Ostrava, Prague
Sundair Seasonal: Berlin-Tegel, Kassel (begins 18 May 2018)[5]
SunExpress Deutschland Seasonal: Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig/Halle, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart
Thomas Cook Airlines Seasonal: Birmingham (begins 22 May 2018), Manchester (begins 29 May 2018)[6]
Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia Seasonal charter: Bergen, Bodø, Copenhagen, Gothenburg-Landvetter, Helsinki, Oslo-Gardermoen, Stavanger, Stockholm-Arlanda, Trondheim
Transavia France Seasonal charter: Paris-Orly
Travel Service Seasonal charter: Lille, Prague
Travel Service Poland Seasonal charter: Katowice, Warsaw-Chopin
Travel Service Slovakia Seasonal charter: Bratislava
TUI Airways Seasonal: London-Gatwick (begins 11 May 2018), Manchester (begins 11 May 2018)[7]
TUI fly Belgium Seasonal: Brussels, Ostend/Bruges, Paris–Charles de Gaulle (begins 3 May 2018)[8]
TUI fly Netherlands Seasonal: Amsterdam
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk
Ural Airlines Seasonal charter: Moscow-Domodedovo
Wizz Air Bergamo, Dortmund, Eindhoven, Larnaca, London-Luton, Memmingen, Sofia, Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion, Vienna (begins 28 April 2018),[9]
Yamal Airlines Seasonal charter: Moscow-Domodedovo



Varna Airport Passenger Traffic Statistics
Year Domestic Change International Change Total Change
1998 35,208 238,470 273,678
1999 57,955 Increase 64.6% 453,864 Increase 90.3% 511,819 Increase 87%
2000 67,508 Increase 16.5% 624,181 Increase 37.5% 691,689 Increase 35.1%
2001 48,121 Decrease 28.7% 884,428 Increase 41.7% 932,549 Increase 34.8%
2002 45,457 Decrease 5.5% 1,045,252 Increase 12.1% 1,090,709 Increase 16.9%
2003 41,583 Decrease 8.5% 1,144,766 Increase 9.5% 1,186,349 Increase 8.8%
2004 47,575 Increase 14.4% 1,271,552 Increase 11.1% 1,319,127 Increase 11.2%
2005 49,705 Increase 4.5% 1,496,175 Increase 17.7% 1,546,925 Increase 17.3%
2006 54,243 Increase 9.1% 1,468,415 Decrease 1.8% 1,522,658 Decrease 1.6%
2007 79,058 Increase 45.7% 1,399,035 Decrease 4.7% 1,478,093 Decrease 2.9%
2008 119,459 Increase 51.1% 1,313,244 Decrease 6.1% 1,432,703 Decrease 3.1%
2009 155,734 Increase 30.4% 1,050,801 Decrease 20% 1,206,535 Decrease 15.8%
2010 154,974 Decrease 0.5% 1,043,982 Decrease 0.6% 1,198,956 Decrease 0.6%
2011 117,431 Decrease 24.2% 1,046,453 Increase 0.2% 1,163,884 Decrease 2.9%
2012 126,952 Increase 8.1% 1,084,244 Increase 3.6% 1,211,196 Increase 4.1%
2013 130,668 Increase 2.9% 1,173,011 Increase 8.1% 1,303,679 Increase 7.6%
2014 126,991 Decrease 2.8% 1,246,095 Increase 6.2% 1,387,494 Increase 5.2%
2015 125,860 Decrease 0.9% 1,272,834 Increase 2.2% 1,398,694 Increase 0.8%
2016 134,548 Increase 6.9%[10] 1,536,594 Increase 20.7% 1,689,595[11] Increase 20.8%
2017 Increase Increase 1,970,700[12] Increase 16.6%

Busiest airlines[edit]

Top 12 of busiest airlines (S2017)[13]
Rank Airline Passengers carried
1. Hungary Wizz Air
2. Bulgaria Bulgaria Air
3. Turkey/Germany SunExpress Deutschland
4. Turkey Turkish Airlines
5. Russia S7 Airlines
6. Denmark/Sweden/Norway Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia
7. Austria Austrian Airlines
8. Czech Republic SmartWings
9. Belgium TUI fly Belgium
10. Latvia/Estonia SmartLynx Airlines
11. Germany Germania
12. Russia Aeroflot/Rossiya Airlines

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).[14]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • 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.[15][16]
  • On 5 June 1992 Balkan Bulgarian Airlines Tupolev 154B overran runway 27 in bad weather conditions. There ware no casualties, but the plane was written off.[17]
  • The airport is notoriously known for the disappearance of German tourist Lars Mittank, who mysteriously fled from the airport on July 8 2014.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Varna Airport Closes for Runway Overhaul in October". Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Начало". Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  15. ^ "Морски - Самолет излезе от пистата на летище Варна, две жени са със счупени крайници (допълнена и видео) - видео -". Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  16. ^ "The Aviation Herald". Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  17. ^ Harro Ranter (5 June 1992). "ASN Aircraft accident Tupolev 154B LZ-BTD Varna Airport (VAR)". Retrieved 7 June 2015. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Varna Airport at Wikimedia Commons