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Airlines

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Name: BULGARIA AIR
7JetSet7 Code: LZB
Status: Operational
Region: EUROPE
City: SOFIA
Country: BULGARIA
Employees 350
Web: air.bg
Email: office@air.bg
Telephone: +359 24020306
Fax: +359 29373254
Sita: SOFDDFB
Background
(definitions)

Click below for data links:
LZB-2005-11-A

Formed in 2003. Formerly "Balkan Air Tour." Domestic, regional, & international, scheduled & charter, passenger & cargo, jet airplane services.

Address:
1 Brussels Boulevard
Sofia Airport
BG-1540 Sofia, 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.

June 2003: Bulgaria Air (LZB) is a division of Balkan Air Tour Ltd, formerly Balkan Air Tour Airlines.

1 737-300, leased for its European charter services. 757-530 (25311, LZ-BOI), Lufthansa (DLH) leased.

September 2003: Bulgaria is rated Category 2 by (FAA) Safety status.

December 2003: Sofia - Vienna (737-300, 3/week), supplements code share with Austrian Airlines (AUL)/Lauda Air (LAL). Plans to add service to Kuwait and Moscow in 2004.

February 2004: Code share with Aeroflot (ARO), Sofia - Moscow.

March 2004: Bulgaria Air (LZB) owner, the Bulgarian government, will sell its shareholding as soon as parliamentary approval is received. While the majority interest will remain in local hands, Air One (ADH) and Volare (VLR) are interested in bidding.

Sofia - Prague (4/week). In 2004-06, Sofia - Milan (Malpensa) (2/week).

Plans to lease +4 737'S in 2004 for total 8.

May 2004: 2 737-3M8's (24023, LZ-BOK; 242024, LZ-BOL), (GEF) leased. 737-31S (29059, LZ-BOM), Deutsche Structured Finance leased.

September 2004: Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) expressed interest in the planned sale of Bulgaria Air (LZB).

October 2004: Code share with SN Brussels Airlines (DAT), Sofia - Brussels.

(http://www.air.bg). (office@air.bg).

April 2005: 737-548 (25165, LZ-BOR), ex-Air France (AFA), AWAS (AWW) leased.

May 2005: In 2005-08, code share with Austrian Airlines (AUL), Vienna to Varna (daily).

1 737-522 (26687, LZ-BOQ), ex-United Airlines (UAL), AWAS (AWW) leased.

July 2005: 737-341 (26852, LZ-BOO), ex-Varig (VAR), (CIT) Group (TCI) leased and 737-522 (26704, LZ-BOP), ex-United Airlines (UAL), Q Aviation leased.

September 2005: SN Brussels (DAT) launched 3x-weekly services to Sofia in cooperation with Bulgaria Air (LZB). Flights are operated with (DAT) Avro RJs in a 2-class configuration.

January 2006: Bulgaria Air (LZB) announced plans to increase its number of destinations from 19 to 22 from the coming summer season. The airline also plans to add 3 737s to its fleet taking its number of airplanes to 12.

February 2006: Bulgaria's government again approved a plan to privatize flag carrier Bulgaria Air (LZB) ahead of opening its skies to European Union (EU) airlines later this year. According to "Reuters," the government will offer up to 99.99% of (LZB). The privatization has had a number of false starts. Reuters reported that (SAS), Austrian Airlines (AUL) and Air One (ADH) expressed interest. However, (AUL) (CEO) Vagn Soerensen previously said that his interest in Bulgaria Air (LZB) is sinking because talks have gone on for too long and the valuation is too high. The company was formed in 2002 after the collapse of Balkan Bulgarian Airlines (BUL) and operates a fleet of 7 737-300s and 1 737-500 to 18 European destinations.

Separately, (LZB) will start 2x-weekly Bourgas - London Gatwick service from May 31 aboard a 737. (LZB) will operate 2x-weekly on Wednesday with a 737-300 and Friday with a 737-500. (LZB) is also adding service from Sofia to Dublin from April.

Bulgaria Air (LZB) will inaugurate non-stop service from Varna to Milan Malpensa on July 5th. (LZB) will operate 1x-weekly, on Wednesday, using a 737.

March 2006: Alitalia (ALI) (AZ/Rome Fiumicino) will end its code share agreements with Bulgaria Air (LZB) (FB/Sofia) and Croatia Airlines (CRH) (OU/Zagreb) by the end of March.

May 2006: Bulgaria Air (LZB) will add 4 ex-United Airlines (UAL) 737-322s, bringing its total fleet to 12 737-300/737-500 airplanes.

July 2006: In 2005, Bulgaria Air (LZB) had revenues of 210 million levs/$140 million, up +40% over 2004, but net profit fell by -two-thirds to 500,000 levs.

Bulgaria's privatization agency called a tender in June for the sale of the flag carrier, Bulgaria Air (LZB). The agency will hold a 2-stage public tender for 99.99% of the capital, with the government retaining a "golden share" to safeguard its national interests. The tender will be open to strategic and financial investors from Bulgaria and the European Union (EU).

Bulgaria Air (LZB) started 3x-weekly Bourgas - Dublin service and weekly Varna - Madrid, Bourgas - Madrid and Sofia - Alicante flights.

August 2006: Austrian Airlines (AUL) announced that it no longer is interested in participating in the privatization of Bulgaria Air (LZB).

September 2006: Bulgaria Air (LZB) will start a 2x-weekly Sofia - Dublin service from October aboard 737s.

737-330 (23834, LZ-), Galaxy Aviation leased, ex-(N242DL).

October 2006: Air One (ADH) confirmed it offered to pay BGN5.3 million/$3.4 million to purchase 99.99% of Bulgaria Air (LZB). Italy's 2nd-largest airline (ADH) also committed to invest €11.6 million/$14.5 million in the Bulgarian (LZB) carrier over a 5-year period in addition to a €500 million fleet renewal, if it wins the tender launched in June and approved in February. Air One (ADH) said it would buy 15 A320s that would both replace Bulgaria Air (LZB)'s aging 737s and expand its fleet.

7 candidates submitted documents when the tender was launched, but only 3 were selected to continue to the 2nd stage. The deadline for final offers was October 5. Air One (ADH) and the Balkan Hemus Group (HMS) which owns Bulgaria's largest private carrier, Hemus Air (HMS), submitted bids. (HMS) bid BGN13 million and committed to invest BGN82 million from 2007 through 2011, local media reported.

Bulgaria Air (LZB) succeeded flag carrier Balkan Bulgarian Airlines (BUL), which went bankrupt in 2002. According to its website, it owns 7 737s. Its pre-tax profit dropped last year by -71% to +BGN500,000 owing to rising fuel prices. Earlier this year, Executive Director, Zlatin Surustov said (LZB) needed a capital hike of >€8 million and investments of at least €1.5 million in know-how and systems software, to remain competitive in the long term.

Bulgaria is scheduled to join the (EU) along with Romania on January 1. Bulgaria's parliament ratified the agreement for establishment of a European Common Aviation Area.

November 2006: Bulgaria Air (LZB) will be sold to Balkan Hemus (HMS) Group, the Bulgarian government announced. Hemus (HMS), which outbid Air One (ADH) for the flag carrier, will buy a 99.99% stake. It plans to invest €62 million/$79.1 million over the next 2 years and €82.1 million in the next 5, launching service to 36 new destinations.

December 2006: The European Commission (EC) decided to partially exclude Bulgaria, which is set to become a full (EU) member in January, from the internal aviation market. Bulgarian airlines will not be considered as "community carriers" and will continue to operate as "third-country operators" to and from member states in accordance with existing bilateral agreements. The decision follows (EASA) inspections in the past 2 years that revealed problems with the Bulgarian (CAA)'s ability to exercise adequate oversight of airplane personnel and maintenance organizations. "These deficiencies are considered by the Commission, as serious enough to adopt the safeguard clause," the (EC) said.

May 2007: Starting June 26th, Bourgas - Billund, using 737-300s.

October 2007: Lufthansa (DLH) Technik (LTK) and Bulgarian Aviation Group (LZB) will open a hangar facility at Sofia for 737 and A320 heavy maintenance, including "D" checks. The 6,000-sq-m facility, Lufthansa Technik Sofia, is expected to be operational in October 2008. It will be capable of handling 2 narrow bodies at once. Forthcoming renovation and training investments are put at €20 million/$28 million, to be shared by (LZB) and (LTK). The facility will employ up to 380. (LZB) is the parent of 3 airlines: Bulgaria Air (LZB), Hemus Air (HMS), and Viaggio Air.

Snecma Services signed a 5-year contract with Bulgaria Air (LZB) to provide Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) on the (CFM56-3)s powering its 737 Classics.

June 2008: The USA (FAA) announced that Bulgaria has been raised to a Category 1 safety rating from the Category 2 imposed in September 2003. It said Bulgaria was in compliance with (ICAO) standards in a January re-assessment.

Bulgaria Air (LZB) receives 2 A319s (LZ-FBA - - SEE ATTACHED PHOTO - - "LZB-A319-SEP08"), ex-SkyBus (SKB), will be operated by (LZB) and sister venture Hemus Air (HMS) on flights to France, Germany, Spain, Scandinavia, and the UK.

November 2008: 737-300 leased to its affiliated company, Tatarstan Airlines (TAK). 2 A320-214s (3540, LZ-FBC; 2596, LZ-FBD), Vueling (VUZ) leased to Hemus Air (HMS), and wet-leased to Bulgaria Air (LZB).

February 2009: (GE) Commercial Aviation Services (GEF) delivered 1 new A320-214 (3780), ex-(D-AVVI) to Bulgaria Air (LZB).

April 2009: Iberia (IBE) launched daily, Madrid - Sofia service. Bulgaria Air (LZB) is code sharing.

July 2009: Lufthansa Systems reached 3-year deals with Bulgaria Air (LZB) to provide its Lido Airport/Obstacle data.

January 2010: Bulgaria Air (LZB) has retired its 2 remaining 737-500s.

March 2010: Lufthansa Systems signed a 5-year contract with Bulgaria Air (LZB) to provide its Lido RouteManual navigation charts. The contract includes an option to migrate to Lido eRouteManual.

April 2010: Bulgaria Air (LZB) will start 2x-weekly, Sofia - Skopje service in June, increasing to 3x-weekly in July.

September 2010: Bulgaria Air (LZB) is the national carrier for Bulgaria and operates scheduled domestic flights from Sofia to Bourgas and Varna, in addition to international services to 28 destinations in Europe and the Middle East. Also operates charter services to >80 destinations in Europe, Africa, and Asia in conjunction with >60 tour operators and travel companies. Also offers wet-leasing (ACMI) services to other carriers.

Employees = 350.

(IATA) Code: FB - 623. (ICAO) Code: LZB - (Callsign - FLYING BULGARIA).

(office@bat.bg). SITA Code: SOFDDFB.

Parent organization/shareholders: Balkan Aviation Group (BAG) (99.99%); & Bulgarian government (0.01%).

Alliances: Aeroflot Russian Airlines (ARO); Austrian Airlines (AUL); (CSA) Czech Airlines; (LOT) Polish Airlines; Malev Airlines (HGA); & Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA).

Main Base: Sofia International airport (SOF).

Hubs: Bourgas airport (BOJ), and Varna International airport (VAR).

Domestic, scheduled destinations: Sofia; & Varna.

International, Scheduled Destinations: Amsterdam; Barcelona; Berlin; Brussels; Budapest; Copenhagen; Frankfurt; Lisbon; London; Madrid; Malaga; Manchester; Milan; Moscow; Palma de Mallorca; Paris; Prague; Rome; Tel Aviv Yafo; Vienna; Warsaw; & Zurich.

December 2010: B Ae 146-300 (E3159, LZ-HBF), EX-(EC-CLI), Hemus Air leased.

February 2012: Russian and Bulgarian civil aviation authorities have agreed to double frequencies on Burgas (BOJ) – Moscow and Varna (VAR) – Moscow routes.

According to the Russian Ministry of Transport, the designated carriers of each country will be able to operate 14 scheduled flights per week between these destinations. The countries will add one more carrier to each destination, which is currently served by Russia’s (S7) Airlines (SBR) and Bulgaria Air (LZB).

Russian authorities did not disclose which airline would be the 2nd carrier from the Russian side. (SBR) also refused to comment, but representatives said they were using all possible frequencies operating daily flights on the routes.

Russian authorities have allowed (LZB) to launch Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) - (VAR) - (BOJ) service from June 1 to September 1. This summer, other carriers will not have to submit their flights to these destinations for approval, according to the Russian Ministry of Transport. This requirement, which became effective in 2010, has become an obstacle for (LZB), which wanted to launch charter flights from (BOJ) and (VAR) to Novosibirsk (OVB). (SBR) was a designated carrier on these routes and did not permit (LZB) to operate charter flights.

March 2012: Bulgaria Air (LZB) plans to serve Frankfurt International airport (FRA) as its 1st scheduled regular destination for its new E190s.

(LZB) took delivery of the 1st of 4 Embraer E190s (0492, LZ-SOF - SEE PHOTO - - "LZB-E190 - 2012-03") on March 21. The remaining 3 airplanes will be delivered by year end.

February 2013: Bulgaria Air ((IATA) Code: FB, based at Sofia International (SOF)) (LZB) will wet-lease 2 of its 3 A320-200s (2540, LZ-FBC) and (2596, LZ-FBD) to Saudi-Arabian low-cost carrier (LCC) nas air (Saudi Arabia) (NAZ). Bulgarian charter carrier Air VIA ((IATA) Code: VL, based at Sofia International (SOF)) (VIM) currently also already operates 2 A320-200s on behalf of nas air (NAZ) with a 5th A320-200 being wet-leased by the Saudi carrier from Holidays Czech Airlines ((ICAO) Code: HCC, based at Prague Ruzyne (PRG)).

May 2013: Bulgaria Air (LZB) begins 4x-weekly, Sofia - Budapest service with A319s and Embraer E190s.

June 2014: See video "LZB - BULGARIA TRAVEL GUIDE" - -

October 2016: B AE 146-200 (E2103) sold to Neptune Aviation Services for conversion to an aerial firefighter.

May 2017: 737-322 (24665, LZ-BOT), ex-(YU-AOU) wet-leased to Ellinair.

June 2017: 737-31S (CFM56-3C1) (29072, LZ-BVL), ex-(LN-KKX) delivery.

September 2017: 1 737-700 leased to Nordica (NAG).

Fleet:
(definitions)

Click below for photos:
LZB-737-300
LZB-737-330
LZB-737-3L9
LZB-737-3M8
LZB-737-500
LZB-737-530
LZB-737-530
LZB-737-530-1
LZB-A319-SEP08
LZB-A320-214-2010-10
LZB-EMB-190 - 2012-03
LZB-LZ-BOP

October 2017:

1 737-3L9 (CFM56-3B2) (1365-23717, /87 LZ-BOU), ALL WHITE COLORS, NO TITLES. GALAXY AVIATION LSD 2006-07. 148Y.

0 737-3L9 (CFM56-3B2) (1402-23718, /87, LZ-BOJ, 2003-06), (TCI) LSD 2003-06. RTND, LST (ASW) 2005-03. RTND. 148Y.

0 737-3M8 (CFM56-3B2) (1675-24023, /89 LZ-BOK; 1689-24024, /89 LZ-BOL); 2004-06), (GEF) LSD. RTND. 12C, 110Y.

0 737-3S1 (CFM56-3B1) (1896-24834, /90 LZ-HVB), AERCO GRP LSD 2007-02. RTND. 148Y.

0 737-31S (CFM56-3C1) (2967-29059, /97 LZ-BOK; 2979-29060, /97 LZ-BON), DEUTSCHE STRUCTURED FINANCE LSD 2004-05. RTND, LST BLU-EXPRESS (BLX). 12C, 110Y.

1 737-31S (CFM56-3C1) (29072, LZ-BVL), ex-(LN-KKX) 2017-06. 12C, 110Y.

0 737-322 (CFM56-3C1) (1889-24665, /90 LZ-BOT, 2006-05 - SEE PHOTO), EX-(UAL). RTND. TO (JAT) 2013-07. WET-LST ELLINAIR 2017-05. 12C, 110Y.

0 737-330 (CFM56-3B1) (1293-23529, /86 LZ-BOG; 1297-23530, /86 LZ-BOH), (DLH) LSD 2002-12. 23529 RTND 2004-11. 23530 RTND, LST (CEX) 2005-02. 148Y.

2 737-330 (CFM56-3B2) (1439-23833, /87 LZ-BOV; 1454-23834, /87 LZ-BOW), EX-(DAL), GALAXY AVIATION LSD 2006-09. 23833; ALL WHITE COLORS NO TITLES. 148Y.

0 737-341 (CFM56-3B2) (2273-26852, /92 LZ-BOO), (TCI) LSD 2005-07. RTND & LST TATARSTAN AIR (TAK). 12C, 110Y.

0 737-522 (CFM56-3C1) (2402-26687, /92 LZ-BOQ; 2508-26704, /93 LZ-BOP, 2005-07 - SEE PHOTO), ALL WHITE COLORS, NO TITLES. EX-(UAL), (AWW) LSD. 26704; RTRD. 112Y.

0 737-530 (CFM56-3C1) (2128-25311, /91 LZ-BOI - SEE PHOTO), (DLH) LSD 2003-06. RTND. 12C, 88Y.

0 737-548 (CFM56-3B1) (2463-25165, /93 LZ-BOR), EX-(AFA), (AWW) LSD 2005-04. RTND. 12C, 88Y.

1 737-700 (CFM56-7B) LEASED TO NORDICA (NAG) 2017-09).

2 A319-111 (CFM56-5B5/P) (3028, /07 LZ-FBF; 3564, LZ-FBA - - SEE ATTACHED PHOTO - - "LZB-A319-2008-09"), EX-(SKB) 2008-06. 3564; RTND. ALL WHITE COLORS, NO TITLES. 144Y.

2 A319-112 (CFM56-5B6/3) (3309, /07 LZ-FBB; 3564, /08 LZ-FBA), AERVENTURE LSD 2010-09. 144Y.

2 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/P) (2540, /05 LZ-FBC; 2596, /05 LZ-FBD) (TCI) LSD, 2008-11. WET-LST NASAIR (2013-02). 180Y.

2 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/3) (2540, LZ-FBC; 2596, LZ-FBD), RETURNED FROM AIRBLUE (ABU) 2014-04. 158Y.

1 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/3) (3780, /09 LZ-FBE - SEE PHOTO - "LZB-A320-214-2010-10" IN LATEST LIVERY), EX-(D-AVVI), (GEF) LSD 2009-02. 180Y.

0 B AE 146-200 (E2103) SOLD TO NEPTUNE AVIATION SERVICES FOR CONVERSION TO AERIAL FIREFIGHTER.

1 B AE 146-200 (ALF502-R-5) (E2073, /87 LZ-HBB), EX-(VH-NJU), HEMUS AIR (HMS) WET-LSD 2004-04. 90Y.

3 B AE 146-300 (ALF502-R-5) (E3131, /89 LZ-HBE, E3146, /90 LZ-HBG; E3159, /90 LZ-HBF), HEMUS AIR (HMS) LSD 2010-12, EX-(EC-CLI). E3131 "BELLE AIR TITLES." E3146; & E3159; ALL WHITE COLORS & TITLES.
110Y.

1 +3 ORDERS EMBRAER E190-100LR (0492, LZ-SOF, 2012-03 - SEE PHOTO - - "LZB-E190 - 2012-03").

Management:
(definitions)

JANKO GEORGIEZ, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.

DIMITAR PAVLOV, HEAD EXECUTIVE MANAGER.

PHILLIP ALEXIEV, PRESIDENT.

KOSTANTIN TASKOV, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO).

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

YANKO GEORGIEV, FLIGHT OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE.

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

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

CAPTAIN VENCISLAV NEYCHEV, DIRECTOR SAFETY (2002-12) (VNeychev@bat.bg).

DIMCHO TOPALOV, COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR.

YONKA KOTOVA, FINANCE MANAGER.

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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