In the first nine months of 2016, combined traffic at Fraport
Twin Star’s Varna (VAR) and Burgas (BOJ) airports on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast grew by a noticeable 22.5 percent to 4.4 million passengers compared to the same period last year.
BOJ and VAR also recorded dynamic growth during the peak summer months of June to August 2016, when the Twin Star gateways welcomed more than 3.3 million passengers – a 21.0 percent rise year-on-year.
Ulrich Heppe, the CEO of Fraport Twin Star Management AD – the company managing BOJ and VAR – discussed the importance of these airports for Bulgaria’s growing tourism industry: “We have made a real breakthrough this summer and intend to continue building on this stellar performance at the Twin Star airports. In cooperation with our partners in the travel chain, we are working hard to develop Varna and Burgas as popular gateways to Bulgaria’s leading tourism region.”
Indeed, Bulgaria’s Black Sea region has been gaining wider international attention and acclaim in the travel industry and from tourists themselves. The major tourism source markets driving the growth in 2016 include Russia, Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom. Furthermore, Fraport Twin Star’s airports experienced a 7 percent increase in the number of airlines and a 16 percent gain in destinations in 2016.
The dynamic summer season can also be attributed to Fraport Twin Star’s expanded marketing initiatives. As Heppe explains, “Fraport Twin Star has launched the ‘Twin Star to Five’ aviation marketing strategy to intensify cooperation among five major players in the travel chain – the airlines, tour operators, hoteliers on the Black Sea coast; international tourism trade fairs, as well as the regional municipalities, especially the cities of Varna and Burgas. We are not only promoting BOJ and VAR as destinations, but the amazing Black Sea region and even Bulgaria overall.” One of the joint projects with hotels and municipalities is the special Route Development Fund for bringing new aviation routes to Burgas and Varna.
Heppe talks passionately about the potential of Bulgaria’s Black Sea Coast:
“There is so much to discover and enjoy: from seaside ambiance and cuisine, Bulgarian wines, wellness and golf resorts, to UNESCO World Heritage Sites and other historical treasures, international events and festivals – and, of course, the stunning beauty of the Black Sea coastline.”
With the peak summer season over, Fraport Twin Star will be implementing further infrastructure projects. From October 31 to December 30, Burgas Airport will be closed to air traffic so that taxiways and aprons can be renovated. Since the concession began in 2006, Fraport Twin Star has invested a total of €176 million at both airports. Major investments include attractive new passenger terminals that were inaugurated at both gateways in 2013.
These modern and customer-friendly facilities have been well received by passengers as well as airlines and other business partners. On November 10, 2016, Fraport Twin Star will officially mark the 10th anniversary of its partnership at Burgas and Varna airports.