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Plovdiv airport needs to attract low-cost carriers

By Anonymous - Posted on 17 March 2008

Plovdiv airport needed more flights from low-cost carriers in order to develop and progress, government officials and experts said at a round table discussion on March 12 2008.

Bulgaria's fairly small air travel market, the relatively low purchasing power of its population and Plovdiv's close proximity to Sofia airport, used by all major air companies were singled out as the main obstacles in the way of its development.

The discussion was organised by the management of Plovdiv airport to debate the prospects of launching regular flights from and to the airport, Transport Ministry officials said, as quoted by Focus news agency.

The airport is now used primarily for cargo flights and as a backup destination for flights to Sofia, especially in winter months when fog makes the airport in the Bulgarian capital virtually unusable.

Representatives of Plovdiv airport commented the hardest thing to do would be to attract the first low-cost carrier. Later, when the destination developed, others would come by themselves, they said.

“Bulgaria has six international airports and it is important that we work to modernise all of them,” Transport and Communications Ministers Petar Moutafchiev, who also attended the meeting, said, as reported by Focus.

According to Moutafchiev, the modernisation of Sofia airport had begun with the opening of the new terminal, and of Varna and Bourgas airports – with them being given on concession. The Rousse and Gorna Oryahovitsa airports would also be given on concession.

Plovdiv airport would be modernised with Government funding, but public-private partnership through a joint company to bring in more funds could also be sought, Moutafchiev said. This would happen with the amendments in the law on concessions, which would regulate the so-called joint companies, he added.

© 2008, Sofia Echo Media Ltd.

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