Financial and business news from Bulgaria

Aviation asked us 50 million of the airport concession money

30 to 50 million levs out of the 66,000 million down payment for the concession of Sofia Airport to go to support the Bulgarian aviation, which is in a critical situation. That's what airlines insist on, said the president of the Association of Bulgarian Airlines, Svetoslav Stanulov.
“These BGN 660 million as an initial contribution to the concession at the airport are money that will be made by aviation and it is a very fair part - 30-50 million to be directed to the airlines. This help will give them a breath of air. Bulgarian aviation rides with its charters at least half of the tourists and, if it is not there, it will be detrimental to tourism itself. 20 years there is the association, during that time aviation went through many difficulties and crises, but this really is the worst test after the collapse of the Balkan airline, said him.

IATA (International Civil Aviation Association) data shows an 89% decline in February, this is actually a land aviation. The most disturbing thing is that according to information that came from our tour operators, in the last 2-3 weeks there is a serious outflow of enrolments for the summer season and redirection of traditional Bulgarian guests from Germany and Great Britain to Greece and Turkey.

Our southern neighbours made massive advertising, mainly with the participation of the state, of the applied anticovid measures — information about vaccination of the population, the staff in accommodation places, airports, airlines.

“In our country measures are applied but remain unknown outside, so we have not shown ourselves in the best way”, Stanulov believes and gives examples. Varna and Bourgas airports have special certificates issued by the International Airport Association for safe conditions for passenger service, work hard for safety in airplanes, tourism, the highest standards apply, but this remains unclear for customers from target markets in the EU.

The lack of such information, combined with data on high morbidity, high mortality and insufficient vaccination in Bulgaria, put our country into very negative statistics. “Combined one with the other, it happens that we give wrong information to the markets,” according to the association's president. So 2/3 of the market was heading to other destinations.

Airlines urge urgently to organise a targeted information campaign by the state so that this large outflow can be saved, if still possible. The signals are that the season for Bulgaria will start in the second half of June or the beginning of July, for an early season no one spoke.