site.bta"Transferring Traffic from Burgas to Varna Airport Has Never Been Attempted," Concessionaire Claims

"Transferring Traffic from Burgas to Varna Airport Has Never Been Attempted," Concessionaire Claims
"Transferring Traffic from Burgas to Varna Airport Has Never Been Attempted," Concessionaire Claims
Burgas Airport passenger terminal (BTA Photo)

"There has never been any attempt to transfer traffic from Burgas to Varna, and the speculation about limiting Burgas Airport only to cargo traffic are absolutely unfounded and harmful for the development of Bulgarian tourism," Fraport Twin Star Airport Management AD said in an official statement on Thursday.

The German-Bulgarian 60-40 joint venture reacted to a demand by a number of NGOs in the tourism sector and seaside municipalities for a termination of a 35-year concession under which the company operates Burgas Airport.

"In 2023 Burgas Airport served more passengers than Varna Airport. The figures for the last seventeen years are similar, and the forecast for 2024 is that Burgas will again serve the majority of passengers travelling to the Bulgarian Black Sea coast," the statement pointed out.

"The company will renovate the infrastructure of Burgas Airport as a modern airport attractive to airlines and passengers, meeting all safety and security requirements, as this is the company's No. 1 priority. The development of Burgas Airport in accordance with international rules is a mandatory condition and has been carried out in close cooperation with the Ministry of Transport and Communications since the beginning of the concession in 2006, based on our concession agreement," the JV argued. 

Since the beginning of the concession in 2006, more than EUR 110 million have been invested in projects at Burgas Airport, and Fraport has committed to invest more than EUR 50 million in the development and renovation of the airport in the 2022-2026 period.

"The complete rehabilitation of the runway is a major project planned in line with safety considerations. No final decision has been taken on this project, and coordination with government authorities has not gone through. In this regard, Fraport Twin Star Airport Management AD once again assures all stakeholders that any suspension of flights at Burgas Airport due to repair works will be planned extremely carefully and confirms its commitment that the temporary closure of the airport to flights will be for the shortest possible period and will not be during the active summer season," reads the statement that has been circulated to the media. 

"Fraport Twin Star Airport Management AD stresses that it is up to airlines to decide whether to open or close new routes or increase or decrease traffic in volume or in year-round routes. Airlines make their decision to use Burgas Airport based solely on commercial considerations.

The concessionaire supports the stakeholders in their efforts to develop tourism on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast and remains open to any future cooperation to this end. This includes the development of winter traffic at Burgas Airport, which historically has never been intensive, with the longest routes being the existing London Luton - Burgas (16 consecutive years) and Moscow - Burgas (11 years), which is currently suspended due to the sanctions against Russia, the statement pointed out.

At a February 27 meeting of the National Association of Municipalities in Bulgaria, mayors from Southeastern Bulgaria insisted on a revision of the concession agreement for Burgas Airport and the inclusion of clauses obliging the concessionaire to keep the airport open to flights during all seasons. On the same day, the Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association (BHRA) urged the State to take back control of Burgas Airport and, despite the concession agreement, to insist on its year-round operation instead of diverting flights to Varna. The Union of Owners in Sunny Beach also took exception to the policy pursued by the Burgas Airport concessionaire. The first demand to terminate the concession agreement came more than a year ago from Pomorie Mayor Ivan Alexiev. So far, the demand has been supported by numerous NGOs active in the tourism industry.

/VE/

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By 23:12 on 24.04.2024 Today`s news

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