Bulgaria's Black Sea Airports Report Strong 2011 ResultsTourism | January 23, 2012, Monday // 18:18| views
The airports in the Black Sea cities of Burgas and Varna have registered significant increases in the number of serviced passengers and flights. Photo by BGNES
The airports in the Black Sea cities of Burgas and Varna, which are currently operated by Fraport Twin Star Airport Management, serviced a total of 3 435 152 passengers and 30 478 flights in 2011.
The 2011 figures represent a 10% year-on-year increase in the number of serviced passengers and a 7.3% annual increase in the number of serviced flights.
Air cargo, which is also handled by Fraport, increased by 5.25% on the year in 2011, according to statistics published by dnesplus.bg.
2011 was the first year for the two coastal airports when Russians were the most active, registering a growth of 12-35%.
In previous years, passengers from Germany held the biggest share.
In 2011, Fraport Twin Star Management AD completed several large-scale investment projects at the two airports worth over BGN 75 M, including the construction of new buildings, the rehabilitation of the take-off and landing runway at the Varna airport, the improvement of underground infrastructure, the clean-up of the terrain and the launch of the construction of new passenger terminals, etc.
The construction works have created over 1000 jobs at the two airports.
In 2011, the Burgas Airport serviced a total of 2 253 320 passengers, setting an absolute record in the history of the airport.
The number of serviced passengers rose by 18.96% on the year, while the number of flights increased by 21% to 19 215.
Russians held the biggest share of serviced passengers at the Burgas Airport.
The airport in the southern Bulgarian Black Sea city processed a total of 393 351 passengers from Russia by the end of 2011, up by 35% from 2010.
German passengers, the second biggest group at the Burgas Airport for 2011, went up by 4% to 371 735.
Visitors from the UK and the Czech Republic ranked third and fourth, respectively.
Domestic passenger traffic also registered substantial growth due to the increased flight frequency between Burgas and Sofia.
In the summer season, the Burgas Airport was the most dynamic airport in Bulgaria, with over 500 000 passengers processed per month.
In the past year, new destinations were opened from the Burgas Airport to cities in Germany, Russia, Hungary, France, Austria, Ukraine, and the Scandinavian countries, including charter and scheduled flights.
The Varna Airport reported 1 181 832 serviced passengers in 2011, down by 3.7% from the previous year, and 11 263 serviced flights.
The decrease in the overall number of passengers processed per year was caused by the closure of the airport for the runway rehabilitation which started on October 15, 2011.
Russians made up the largest group of serviced passengers, registering an year-on-year increase of 12% to 286 035.
Germans were the second biggest group of visitors at the Varna Airport.
In 2011, the airport in the northern Bulgarian Black Sea city processed a total of 269 481 passengers from Germany, or 3% more than in 2010.
The third biggest group is that of passengers traveling from and to Poland, whose number rose by 13% from the previous year to a total of 66 584.
Domestic passenger traffic remains strong despite the decline, with a total of 119 410 serviced passengers.
The 2011 summer flight schedule of the Varna Airport boasted new scheduled and charter flights to various cities in Russia, Germany and Poland.
2011 was an important year because it marked the beginning of the construction of new passenger terminals at the two airports and the launch of the project for the rehabilitation of the runway at the Varna Airport.
Fraport Twin Star Management will invest over BGN 170 M in the projects.
The concessionaire of the two Black Sea airports signed the contract for the construction of the two passenger terminals with Turkish consortium TIE-ICDAS on November 15, 2011.
The airports in Black Sea cities Varna and Burgas have been granted on concession to Fraport Twin Star Airport Management company, a German-Bulgarian consortium between the Varna-based TIM group's holding "Chimimport" (40%) and the German "Fraport", since 2006.
In 2010, Fraport Twin Star Airport Management paid the Bulgarian state a total of BGN 13 M for the concessions of Varna Airport and Burgas Airport.
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