Bulgaria Reaches Nearly 75% Of Pre-Pandemic Level Of Interna...| MENAFN.COM

Sunday, 26 March 2023 02:27 GMT

Bulgaria Reaches Nearly 75% Of Pre-Pandemic Level Of International Flights In 2022

(MENAFN- Saudi Press Agency) Sofia, March 16, 2023, SPA -- In 2022, Bulgaria reached 74.8% of the level of international flights for 2019, said Bulgarian Airlines Association (BAA) head Svetoslav Stanulov on Thursday at a press conference where an analysis of the aviation market was presented, as the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA).
He explained that passengers on international flights in 2022 reached a total of 8,583,925, while in 2019 they were 11,474,051. International flights traditionally take place through the 4 airports in the country, in Sofia, Varna, Burgas and Plovdiv.
According to data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), worldwide the number of passengers carried in 2022 reached 70% of 2019 levels, and in 2023 this number is expected to reach 85.5%, commented Sanulov.
In 2022, after the restrictions were lifted, a rapid recovery of air passenger transport began, although the losses accumulated in the previous crisis years could not yet be overcome, Stanulov added. The past year has been characterized by instability in the operation of most airports in the world, with problems in ground handling. Delays, canceled flights, long queues, strikes, fewer flights, higher prices. Summer travel chaos has transitioned into winter travel chaos largely due to post-pandemic staff shortages, aircraft preservation and carrier uncertainty. Fortunately, Bulgarian airports were not so badly affected, Stanulov said.
At the macroeconomic level in 2022, the biggest unforeseen event was Russia's war with Ukraine, which threw the global economy into recession, with unexpectedly high inflation rates, increased interest rates and fuel prices, lost markets, disrupted commodity supply chains and materials, closed airspace, etc., the BAA head explained.
In 2022, aircraft orders were at their highest levels since 2014, but aircraft delivered to airlines were significantly below pre-Covid-19 levels due to problems in material and component supply chains, Stanulov added.
By the end of 2022, there were 19 air carriers operating with a valid operating license in Bulgaria such as European Air Charter, Bulgaria Air, BH Air, Cargo Air, Bul Air, Fly2Sky, Electra Airways, Compass Cargo Airlines, Heli Air Services, Aviostart and others, which perform regular and charter passenger flights, cargo and specialized air transportation.
There were 74 aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 6,600 kg operated by Bulgarian airlines (compared to 49 in 2018).
At the moment, most of the planes of the Bulgarian airlines operate in other markets. The noticeable and permanent entry of Bulgarian airlines into the European market is being maintained and developed.
The trend of pilot shortages and recruitment of foreign pilots continues due to expansion of operations and lack of initial flight training capacity. From about 5% in 2018, currently about 10% of pilots in Bulgarian airlines are foreigners. In the summer period of 2023, the share of employed foreign pilots in Bulgarian airlines will probably reach 15%, Stanulov pointed out.
20:00 LOCAL TIME 17:00 GMT


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