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Airlines

Name: BALKAN BULGARIAN AIRLINES
7JetSet7 Code: BUL
Status: Currently Not Operational
Region: EUROPE
City: SOFIA
Country: BULGARIA
Employees 1570
Web: bat.bg
Email: office@bat.bg
Telephone: +359 (2) 652997
Fax: +359 (2) 791206
Sita: SOFDDLZ
Background
(definitions)

STARTED OPERATIONS IN 1947. DOMESTIC, REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL, SCHEDULED AND CHARTER, PASSENGER AND CARGO, JET AIRPLANE SERVICES.

ADDRESS:
1 BRUSSELS BLVD, SOFIA AIRPORT
SOFIA 1450, BULGARIA

Bulgaria (Republic of Bulgaria) was established in 1878 and covers an area of 110,994 sq km, with a population of 9.2 million. The capital city is Sofia and the official language is Bulgarian.

SEPTEMBER 1995: 39 767 EXTENDED TWIN-ENGINE OPERATIONS (ETOPS) FLIGHTS/MONTH OVER ATLANTIC & 573 FLIGHTS OVER INDIAN OCEAN & ASIA.

OCTOBER 1995: HAS TU-154M BASED IN ZAGREB, OPERATING CHARTER FLIGHTS ON BEHALF OF UNITED NATIONS (UN).

797 (FC) & 1,296 (MT) EMPLOYEES.

NOVEMBER 1995: MEDIA REPORTS BALKAN BULGARIAN (BUL) APPLIED FOR $25M LOAN, BUT FINANCE MINISTRY UNLIKELY TO APPROVE, TO COVER LEASE COSTS FOR 5 737 767'S, & 3 A320'S, LEASED 1990 TO 1992.

2/WEEK, 767 (ETOPS), TO TORONTO, DISCONTINUED UNTIL SPRING OF 1996.

JOINT 767-200ER OPERATIONS WITH AIR MALTA (MLT), TO MALTA, TO NEW YORK (JFK). PLANS TO BUY 2 AN-12'S & 1 AN-70 CARGO WITHIN NEXT 2 YEARS. AGREEMENT TO BARTER 3 IMPROVED TU-154M'S, FOR BULGARIAN CIGARETTES, & CANNED FOOD.

MARCH 1996: A320 WET-LEASED TO (PEG), FOR 7 MONTHS.

APRIL 1996: 1ST Q = +16.8% PAX, +13.4% FTK (INTERNATIONAL).

AUGUST 1996: SIGNED LEASE EXTENSION WITH AIR FRANCE (AFA) FOR 30 MONTHS, OF 2 767-200ER'S (VF101; VF102). PLANS TO BUY 16 TU-204'S OVER NEXT 4 YEARS, PAID BY BARTER OF FOODSTUFFS. AIRPLANE PRICE WAS QUOTED AS $40M EACH. BALKAN GOVT SAYS NO FUNDS FOR FUTURE SUPPORT OF BALKAN BULGARIAN (BUL).

AIRBUS LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES OFFICE AT ATHENS IS CLOSING.

SEPTEMBER 1996: LOCAL MEDIA SUGGESTS BANKRUPTCY MAY BE A SOLUTION FOR BALKAN BULGARIAN (BUL)'S ECONOMIC PROBLEMS.

USA EMBASSY COMMERCE DIVISION MET WITH (BUL) = AT LEAST 1 YEAR BEFORE, IN MARKET FOR NEW AIRPLANES.

1ST 6 MONTHS = -#1.8B LEVA (UP 650M FROM /95).

STILL NO GOVERNMENT FUNDING. PLANS TO ACQUIRE (BARTER DEAL) 16 TU-204 'S (PS-90A) FROM RUSSIAN AVIATION CONSORTIUM.

OCTOBER 1996: GOVERNMENT INJECTS $6M.

737-500 (PT220) "C" CHECK, 6,167 CYCLES, 11,409 HOURS. RETURNS 2 A320'S. OTHER 1 IN 12/96.

NOVEMBER 1996: 767-200, (AFA) LEASED, DETAINED AT PARIS CHARLES DE GAULLE (CDG), FOR NON-PAYMENT OF MAINTENANCE.

AIR MALTA (MLT) RENEWED AGREEMENT WITH BALKAN BULGARIAN (BUL), TO FLY 767-200 TO NEW YORK, FROM MALTA.

JANUARY 1997: CANNOT AFFORD TO LEASE OR BUY AIRPLANES FOR AT LEAST ONE MORE YEAR. POSSIBLE LAYOFFS IN NEAR FUTURE. ALL A320'S NOW RETURNED TO ORIX.

APRIL 1997: VIA BELGRADE, TO CHICAGO (ORD) (767-200ER, 18C, 202/9Y).

3,889 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 797 FLIGHT CREW (FC) & 1,296 MAINTENANCE TECHNICIANS (MT)).

JULY 1997: 120 MINUTES (ETOPS) 767: 10 FLIGHTS/MONTH OVER INDIAN OCEAN, ASIA, INDONESIA, & AFRICA, 25 FLIGHTS/MONTH OVER ATLANTIC, AND 1 FLIGHT OVER SOUTH PACIFIC.

SEPTEMBER 1997: BRITISH AIRWAYS (BAB) SPEEDWING, & "TOB," GERMANY, LOOKING FOR INVESTORS TO BUY 25-100% FOR PRIVATIZATION.

APPLIED FOR CHARTERS TO ASIA/PACIFIC, INCLUDING KOROR, PALAU, GUAM, SAIPAN, <175 CHARTERS BECAUSE OF UNPREDICTABLE NATURE OF FISHING INDUSTRY. ADDING JAYAPURA & MANADO, INDONESIA FOR CARGO.

OCTOBER 1997: 767 120 MINUTES (ETOPS): 26 FLIGHTS/MONTH OVER NORTH ATLANTIC, 636 FLIGHTS OVER INDIAN OCEAN, ASIA, INDONESIA, AFRICA AND 1 FLIGHT OVER SOUTH PACIFIC.

JANUARY 1998: 2 767'S FLYING 1,269 NORTH ATLANTIC, 639 INDIAN OCEAN, ASIA, INDONESIA, AFRICA, & 1 SOUTH PACIFIC 120 MINUTES (ETOPS) FLIGHTS.

MARCH 1998: KOSTADIN BOTEV, PRESIDENT (RUSSIAN NEWS).

APRIL 1998: 3,889 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 797 FC & 1,296 MT).

120 MINUTES 767 (ETOPS): 2 FLIGHTS/MONTH INDIAN OCEAN, ASIA, INDONESIA, AFRICA, 10 FLIGHTS/MONTH NORTH ATLANTIC & 1 FLIGHT SOUTH PACIFIC.

JULY 1998: KUWAIT FUND FOR ARAB ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, IS LENDING REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA $40.1M FOR DEVELOPMENT OF SOFIA AIRPORT, TO SERVE 2.5M PASSENGERS/YEAR, AND EXTENSION OF RUNWAY, TO BE COMPLETED END OF 2002, FOR $155M.

2 767'S 120 MINUTES (ETOPS) FLIGHTS/MONTH (TOTAL) = 6 (671) AFRICA, ASIA, INDIAN OCEAN, 23 (1,348) ATLANTIC, (1) PACIFIC.

SEPTEMBER 1998: 2 767-200ER'S TO BE RETURNED TO AIR FRANCE (AFA), IN 1/99, AND SOLD TO EL AL (ELA).

OCTOBER 1998: REORGANIZED COMPANY TO "BALKAN AIR." TO GO AHEAD WITH PRIVATIZATION.

2 767'S (ETOPS) 120 MINUTES FLIGHTS/MONTH (TOTAL FLIGHTS) = NORTH ATLANTIC 23 (1,393); INDIAN OCEAN, ASIA, INDONESIA AFRICA 6 (701); SOUTH PACIFIC (1).

JANUARY 1999: RETURNS 1 767-27EER TO LESSOR. 2ND IN 3/99.

MARCH 1999: AS PART OF PRIVATIZATION, GOVERNMENT WILL SELL 75%, BY 6/99.

PLANS FOR 2 A310-300'S, SWISSAIR (SWS) LEASED, TO REPLACE 767'S. ALSO, INTEREST IN 3 A320-200'S, TO REPLACE TU-154M'S, ON SERVICES TO MIDDLE EAST, NORTH AFRICA, & EUROPE.

APRIL 1999: 3,889 EMPLOYEES. (http://www.balkan.com).

(balkanair@balkanair.bg). SITA: SOFDDLZ.

3 TU-154B'S LEASED FOR SUMMER (LZ-LTC; LZ-LTD; LZ-LTE).

MAY 1999: 2 A310-300'S, (SWS) 10 YEAR LEASED.

JUNE 1999: GOVERNMENT TO SELL OFF 75% STAKE, AS EFFORT TO PROMOTE PRIVATIZATION.

JULY 1999: ARKIA (ARK) AND ZEEVI GROUP, ISRAEL, PURCHASES 75% FOR $150K, & AGREED TO INVEST $100M, OVER NEXT 5 YEARS, TO COVER (BUL)'S $111M DEBT.

DECEMBER 1999: 2 737-300'S, 3 YEAR LEASED @ $200K/MONTH, TO REPLACE TU-154'S, FOR SERVICES TO WEST EUROPEAN CAPITALS. TU-154M (92A-978, LZ-LTF) REPLACES (90A-848), RETURNED TO LESSOR.

JANUARY 2000: 2 737-300'S, EX-AIR EUROPA (ARE), GECAS (GEH) 30 MONTH LEASED (-3Q8: 1540-23923, /88 "CITY OF ROUSE" LZ-BOE; -3YO: 1389-23749, "CITY OF BURGAS" LZ-BOD).

FEBRUARY 2000: PLANS FOR SERVICE TO NEW YORK, WITH CODE SHARE, WITH UZBEKISTAN AIRWAYS (UZB), WITH STOPOVER AT SOFIA.

MARCH 2000: 2 ORDERS ATR42-300'S (121; 130). 1 AN-12BP (LZ-BAH 9346807 "RIVER OF ISKAR") DELIVERY.

APRIL 2000: 3,889 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 427 FC, & 406 CA).

BALKAN AIRLINES HOLDINGS, A DUTCH COMPANY, ACQUIRES 75% OF BALKAN (BUL). COMMITTED TO INVEST $100M OVER NEXT 5 YEARS.

1 737-3M8 (2005-25017), EX-SILKAIR (SLK), GECAS (GEH) 5 YEAR LEASED.

MAY 2000: BULGARIAN PRIVATIZATION AGENCY, FINES (BUL) CORP MANAGEMENT $3.75M, FOR FAILURE OF OWNER, ISRAELI-BASED ZEEVI GROUP, TO MEET ITS OBLIGATIONS OF INVESTMENT IN BALKAN (BUL).

JULY 2000: 1999 = 1.49B RPK (-26.6%); 57.9% LF; 12.39M FTK (-59.2%); 695K PAX (-16%) 3,115 EMPLOYEES (-20%).

1 TU-154M (89A-799, LZ-LTX) DELIVERY.

AUGUST 2000: ZVI FRANK, CEO, EX-ISRAELI AIRPORT AUTHORITY.

TRANSFERS 400 MAINTENANCE WORKERS (MT), TO BALKAN TECHNIQUE, A JOINT VENTURE WITH ISRAELI INDUSTRIES (IAI). ALSO, ANOTHER -600 MAINTENANCE EMPLOYEES (MT) TO BE LAID OFF.

1 ATR42-300 (130, LZ-ATB), ATR LEASED, EX-EUROWINGS (RFG) (PW120).

SEPTEMBER 2000: WILL RETURN 3 737-500'S TO ANSETT (AWW), IN 2001. 1 TU-154M (90A-843, LZ-LTR), MAVIAL LEASED.

OCTOBER 2000: 1 TU-154M (91A-871, 4K-85698), EX-AZERBAIJAN (AHY). 4 TU-154M'S (89A-810, LZ-LTK; 90A-860, LZ-LTP; EX-BRATSK; 86A-744, LZ-LTX; 91A-971, LZ-LTO), DELIVERIES.

DECEMBER 2000: 2 737-53A'S (1945-24881; 1962-24921), RETURNED TO (AWW), LEASED TO RIO-SUL (ROS). TU-154M (90A-860, LZ-LTP), RETURNED TO BRATSK AVIA.

FEBRUARY 2001: DISPUTE BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND MAJORITY OWNER, ZEEVI HOLDINGS, ISRAEL, RESULTS IN SUSPENSION OF OPERATIONS.

BEDEK GROUP (IAI) AGREEMENT, WITH BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT, GIVING (IAI) A MAJOR INTEREST IN BALKAN TECHNIQUES, A NEW ENTITY, WHICH CAN USE BALKAN (BUL)'S MAINTENANCE & ENGINEERING FACILITIES. PLANS TO BECOME A NEW LOW COST, (JAR) MAINTENANCE REPAIR & OVERHAUL (MRO) PROVIDER.

4 TU-154'S SOLD TO HEMUS AIR.

MARCH 2001: PLACED IN RECEIVERSHIP. GOVERNMENT TAKES AWAY AVIATION LICENSE. MAY ONLY REAPPLY FOR A NEW LICENSE, AFTER SIX MONTHS.

WET-LEASES AIRPLANES FROM AIR ATLANTA ICELANDIC (AID), TO CONTINUE SCHEDULED SERVICE OPERATIONS.

1 737-3M8 (2005-25017) RETURNED TO GECAS (GEF). 1 737-3Q8 (23923) RETURNED TO (GEF). 1 737-53A (25425) RETURNED TO AWAS (AWW) 3/01, LEASED TO NORDESTE (NOD).

APRIL 2001: RESUMES OPERATIONS WHEN REORGANIZATION, UNDER GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE, RESULTED AFTER MAJORITY SHAREHOLDER, ZEEVY GROUP, SOLD THEIR INTEREST TO AN UNIDENTIFIED EUROPEAN ENTITY. CURRENTLY OPERATING RUSSIAN AIRPLANES TO EUROPEAN DESTINATIONS, BUT PLANS TO BUY/LEASE BOEING AIRPLANES, PROBABLY 737'S.

3,122 EMPLOYEES.

1 TU-154M (90A-843, LZ-LTR) RETURNED TO AIRLINES 400. 1 TU-154M (86A-744, LZ-LTX) TO BULGARIAN AIR CHARTER.

MAY 2001: RESUMES SERVICE TO LONDON.

SEPTEMBER 2001: 1 TU-154, EX-ATLANT (AXX), SAMARA (SMR) LEASED (91A-895, LZ-LTV).

NOVEMBER 2001: 1 TU-154M, SLOVAK AIRLINES (SLO) LEASED, (1015, OM-AAB). 1 TU-154M, AVIODETACHMENT LEASED (781, LZ-BTZ).

JANUARY 2002: AILING BALKAN (BUL) IS NEGOTIATING WITH BRITISH AIRWAYS (BAB) TO SWAP PRECIOUS SLOTS AT LONDON HEATHROW (LHR) FOR SLOTS AT LONDON GATWICK (LGW), PLUS A CASH PAYMENT, TO HELP IT SURVIVE ITS LEGAL DISPUTE BETWEEN ISRAELI BUSINESSMAN GAD ZEEVI, AND THE BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT, OVER DEBTS.

1 TU-154M (89A-800, LZ-BTY) SOLD TO VARZ 400.

FEBRUARY 2002: AFTER COMPLETING DEAL WITH BRITISH AIRWAYS (BAB), FOR LONDON HEATHROW (LHR) SLOTS, LEASES 2 737-330'S FROM LUFTHANSA (DLH) (23529, D-ABXI; 23530 D-ABXK).

APRIL 2002: UNDER PROPOSED RESTRUCTURING PLAN TO IN EFFECT
RE-NATIONALIZE BALKAN (BUL) MAY LAY OFF 510 OF PRESENT 1,570 STAFF.

TOTAL DEBT IS $80M.

(TELEPHONE: +359 (2) 652997). (FAX: +359 (2) 791206).

July 2002: Tu-154B-2 (82A-569, LZ-BTV), leased to Albanian.

November 2002: Creditors rejected reorganization plan and insisted that the airline ("Balkan Bulgarian Airlines") be liquidated. The same day, the Balkan government filed documents to create a 100% state-owned replacement, called "Balkan Air Tour," which plans to start operations in 12/02. A court declared Balkan Bulgarian Airlines (BUL) insolvent. It will use 2 737-330's, Lufthansa (DLH) 28 mth leased, and 1 Tu-154. Balkan Air Tour, was a former tourist agency, owned by Sofia Airport. Government hopes to sell a 49% stake. Until its liquidation, Balkan Bulgarian Airlines, will operate jointly with Balkan Air Tour.

March 2003: Bulgaria's privatization agency said it plans to auction at least 51% of state-owned (BUL), established last year as successor to bankrupt Balkan Airlines. Another 25% will be put up for sale on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange in Sofia.

May 2004: See (LZB) - Bulgaria Air, (BUC) - Bulgarian Air Charter, and (BGH) - Balkan Holidays Air.

Fleet:
(definitions)

Click below for photos:
BUL

April 2003:

0 737-3M8 (CFM56-3) (2005-25017, /91 LZ-BOF), RTND (GEF) 2001-03, LST (GFL). 123Y.

0 737-3YO (CFM56-3) (1389-23749, /87 "CITY OF BURGAS" LZ-BOD; 1540-
23923, /88 "CITY OF ROUSE" LZ-BOE), TO REPLACE TU-154'S, EX-(ARE), (GEF) 30 MTH LSD 2000-01, 23923 RTND 2001-03. 123Y.

0 737-53A (CFM56-3) (1945-24881, /90 LZ-BOA; 1962-24921, /90 LZ-BOB; 1977-25425, /91 LZ-BOC), (AWW) LSD. 24881; 24921 RTND 2000-11, LST (ROS); 25425 RTND (AWW) 2001-03, LST (NOD).

0 767-200, (AFA) LSD, 2 RTND.

2 A310-300, (SWS) 10 YR LSD 1999-05.

1 ATR42-300 (PW127E) (121, LZ-ATA; 130), EX-(RFG) 2000-10. 130 RTND 2001-02.

3 AN-12BP (9346807, LZ-BAH "RIVER OF ISKAR"), 1 LST (HVL). BALKAN BULGARIA OPS.

1 AN-24 (3 OUT OF SVC DUE LIFE LIMITS) (67302808, LZ-ANC TO AVIOSTART 2002-12. BALKAN BULGARIA OPS.

6 IL-18, 2 AIROLICK LSD (2 UNSVC DUE TO LIFE LIMITS). BALKAN BULGARIA OPS.

1 TU-134A-3.

1 TU-154 (91A-895, LZ-LTV), EX-(AXX), (SMR) LSD 2001-09.

16 TU-154B (3 OUT OF SVC AWAITING PARTS, 2 GROUNDED). (82A-569, LZ-BTV LST ALBANIAN 2002-07).

6 TU-154M (2 ON SHORT TERM SUMMER LEASE, LZ-LTC; D) (92A-978, /92 LZ-LTF; 92A-927, /92 LZ-LTG; 89A-744, /89 LZ-LTX, 2000-07; 90A-843, /90 LZ-LTR, 2000-09) (89A-744, /89 LZ-LTR TO AIRLINES 400 2001-04) (90A-843, /90 LZ-LTX, TO BULGARIAN AIR CHARTER (BAC) 2001-04).

1 TU-154M (91A-871, /91 4K-85698), EX-(AHY) 2000-10.

3 TU-154M (89A-810, /89 LZ-LTK; 90A-860, /90 LZ-LTP; EX-BRATSK; 86A-744, /86 LZ-LTX; 91A-860, /91 LZ-LTO), 2000-10; 90A-860, LZ-LTP, RTND 2000-12.

1 TU-154M (1015, OM-AAB), EX-(SLO) 2001-11.

1 TU-154M, EX-AVIODETACHMENT (781, LZ-BTZ, 2001-11).

2 YAK-40. BALKAN BULGARIA OPS.

Management:
(definitions)

PHILIP ALEXIEV, PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO).

HRISTO TODOROV, DEPUTY GENERAL DIRECTOR (2002-12).

KRASSIMIR MINKOV, VP FLIGHT OPERATIONS & CHIEF PILOT (2002-12).

BRANIMIR ZAHARIEV, VP MAINTENANCE & ENGINEERING (2002-12) (BZahariev@bat.bg).

VENTCI NEYCHEV, VP QUALITY & SAFETY (2002-12) (VNeychev@bat.bg).

DIMCHO TOPALOV, COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR.

TODOR IVANDJIKOV, ENGINEERING MANAGER (2002-12) (TIvandjikov@bat.bg).

HRISTO IVANCHEV, 737 FLEET MAINTENANCE MANAGER (2002-12).

MRS ANI ZAFIROVA, MANAGER PURCHASING & LOGISTICS (Logistic@bat.bg).

 
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