This happens at a time of intense competition between low-cost airlines
Low-cost airline Wizz Air announced it is launching flights to Varna and to Catania on the island of Sicily on March 26th, 2017 from Sofia. The flight to the seaside capital will be every day, and this to Sicily twice a week – on Wednesdays and Sundays. The price of the domestic flight to Varna in one direction will start from 19.99 levs (10 euro), while the Italian island of 39.99 levs (20 euro).
The line to the Sicilian port city situated at the foot of the volcano Etna is new to the Bulgarian market and promote attractive destination to which there is no direct link at the moment. The flight Sofia – Varna is not new to the company. Between mid-2008 and in November 2010 it performed such as was direct competition to the national air carrier “Bulgaria Air“.It currently only operates regular flights from Sofia to the seaside airports in Varna and Burgas. The reasons for the suspension of flights to Varna years ago and did not become known. But now commercial director Wizz Air’s George Mihalopoulos said that “a new era in domestic flights begin”
Competition in the sky
The new Hungarian airline flights are announced at a time of fierce competition at Sofia Airport after this year came in the game and other large low-cost company Ryanair. Unlike Wizz Air, which is expanding its business in Bulgaria slowly and gradually years, the Irish airline went aggressively, announcing 21 flight from Sofia Airport to both the classic and to completely new destinations.
Opened a new base with 3 aircraft and declared their intentions passengers of the carrier from the airport to reach 1.6 million annually. Previously, the company landed just in Plovdiv, where flies to London and Frankfurt and flights are indirectly subsidized to some extent by fund established by municipalities in the region.
Wizz Air answers the entry of Ryanair, announcing that it will position the seventh aircraft in its Sofia base this December. In May announced new destinations by Christmas as Basel, Nuremberg and Doncaster as new routes for 2016 are those from Sofia to Kutaisi, Georgia, Budapest and Copenhagen. The airline operates 33 routes to 17 countries from airports in Sofia, Varna and Burgas, as the Hungarian company is strong in markets in Central and Eastern Europe.
The policy of the third major low-cost – EasyJet, is radically different. It operates only a few major destinations and generally has little interest in strengthening its business in this part of Europe before it reaches sufficient density of its presence in major Western markets.
And past them, “Bulgaria Air”
Intense competition has not spared the national air carrier, the Irish carrier Ryanair was the first to allow openly expressed their dissatisfaction because they “Bulgaria Air” has delayed payment of fees to the airport, which the latest information is about 47 million levs (23 million euro).
The new player of the airport even announced that it has filed a complaint on the matter to the European Commission for this case, according to commercial director Ryanair’s David O’Brien is not about direct financial assistance but the State Protection that allows “Bulgaria Air “not to pay their old debts while new builds. The internal Wizz Air flights to Varna, where “Bulgaria Air” is a monopolist will put Bulgarian company again in a competitive environment, which will benefit passengers. Another positive news is the development of the Varna airport Transfer to various destinations across the country by licensed companies.