Bulgaria has 4 main airports, Sofia (In its capital), Varna (On the coast in the East), Bourgas (To the South East of Bulgaria) and Plovdiv (South East of Sofia).
Bulgaria has a population of just over 7 million spread over 42822 Square Miles(110910 Square Kilometres) so if youre planning on travelling within Bulgaria, take note of where the airport you will be landing in is in comparison to your final destination within Bulgaria. If you plan a holiday in Sunny Beach, but source cheap flights to Sofia then expect a long trip to the beach.
Flying into Bulgaria's airports are many airlines, some fly direct from the UK, many airlines landing in Bulgaria contain passengers who have trasferred at other airports within Europe.
Sofia has the most passenger flights landing in Bulgaria each year, so chances are if you are flying into Bulgaria for anything other than a holiday, you may well be landing in Sofia. Plovdiv airport is mainly used for Skiers but recently stared a scheduled UK service with Ryanair. Whilst Bourgas and Varna were only seasonal you can now land year round with Wizzair or take a cheap and quick connecting flight from Sofia. During the summer Varna and Bourgas are flat out whilst in the winter Plovdiv does rather well given its location for winter sports. Sofia's airport is used all year round for both business, pleasure and for Bulgarian bargain property hunters (Thats why you're on this page right now?)
Below is a list of airports within Bulgaria, and the main airlines which use them* (*Note i may have missed some, correct me on this one!):
Lufthansa, easyJet, BH Air, Viaggio Air, Austrian Airlines, TAROM, Cyprus Airways, Bulgaria Air, Olympic Airlines, Delta, Alitalia, LOT Polish Airlines, Air France, Aegean Airlines, Aer Lingus, SWISS, SkyEurope Airlines, Spanair, Czech Airlines, United, Rossiya Airlines, British Airways (BA), EL AL Israel Airlines, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, MyAir, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Aeroflot, germanwings, Air Malta, MALEV, LASER Airlines, Finnair, Wizz Air, Aerosvit Airlines
Norwegin, Thomas Cook, Air France, Balkan Holidays, Lun Polly, Aer Lingus, Bulgaria Air, Lufthansa, Swiss, Malev, Austrian Airlines, Wizz Air, S7
Ryanair, British Midland, Aer Lingus, Norwegian, flythomascook.com, Austrian Airlines, Air Berlin, Monarch, Condor
Austrian Airlines, British Airways (BA), Air Berlin, Bulgaria Air, LASER Airlines, Norwegian, MALEV, Wizz Air
Flying direct from the UK!
Many of the airlines above fly direct from the UK. Below, Im going to discuss the airlines that I know, because I use them regularly, i'll tell you the good things and the bad!
- Wizzair are a low cost airline which fly direct from London Luton to Sofia, Bourgas and Varna (Incidently whilst researching for this guide I noticed that you an fly internally from Sofia to Varna by Wizzair in competition with Bulgaria Air Wizzair operate modern aircraft, which are kept clean, and well stocked with knowledgeble staff. You'll find on Wizzair flights, that its a free-for-all with the seats, the staff are generally good if you have children, but get to the front of the queue early if you have children over 3 to make sure you can all sit together! Food is expensive, and in my opinion poor quality, not to mind, leave room in your hand luggage before you leave home then grab some food before you get to the airport and take it on the plane with you.
- British Airways remain a professional outfit, they have dedicated customer service desks at the airport (I didnt mention this with the one above..) and you know what you are getting when you book, incidentally you will also notice how lighter your wallet is, because most of the time you will pay double what you would have paid for the Wizzair flight above!
- Bulgaria Air, nice staff and slightly older planes. Travelling with Bulgaria Air will make you feel at home if you are from Bulgaria, most passengers are Bulgarian, the food served is often Bulgarian, even if it is just a sandwich and some cold meat and cheese, I love it, a great airline to fly with. With flights flying from the UK into Sofia with internal connections to Bourgas and Varna, last minute hunters out there should find a seat.
- Flythomascook are a holiday airline, but book last minute and you could find yourself a bargain bucket seat alongside those travelling to the likes of Sunny Beach and other summer destinations, dont expect to find many winter flights to Bulgaria with Flythomascook. I find the staff to be professional, and most of the time even thought you havent paid for a meal you will be issued it anyway. Times of travel vary wildly and may not be suitable for kids due to nocturnal flying times of last minute bucket seat bookings!
- Air France/KLM are a pro outfit with surprisingly reasonable prices, fly with KLM and you are pretty much guaranteed premium central airports and great multilingual staff who are accommodating and commmunicative, food is always interesting!!
- Lufthansa, my favourite! Lufthansa fly really comfortable aircraft and brilliant staff, nice food and punctual.
- Easyjet, modern budget airline and friendly staff, overpriced food and beverages. I recommend only because they're cheap!
- Ryanair, the new player on the Bulgarian market. Ryanair offer a good service from London Stanstead to Plovdiv airport so easy to connect to other UK airports but... the flight time back from Plovdiv is a pain as you arrive late into Stanstead meaning very few onwards flights. So great if you live in the London area, if not the fly out with Ryanair for likely the lowest price but combine with another airline for your return.
REMEBER - you can fly in and out of different airports with different airlines, just book two one way tickets.
DRIVING IN BULGARIA - REMEMBER TO READ MY GUIDE TO DRIVING IN BULGARIA BEFORE HIRING A CAR, THERE ARE A FEW HOME TRUTHS, AND SOME TIPS.
COPYRIGHT AND LEGAL INFORMATION: All information above is classed as intelectual property, and was written by Bulgariadirect. Any attempts to copy the information above will result in legal action. This guide is rough, very rough, so use it with caution, contact airlines and companies directly to confirm any information before travelling.