Airport of the Day (3 November 2021): Plovdiv in Bulgaria welcomes Wizz Air and Ryanair expansion
Plovdiv Airport in southern central Bulgaria celebrated the arrival of its first ever service operated by Wizz Air on Wednesday 3 November when flights from both London LTN and Dortmund touched down at the airport. The UK route will be served 3-weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) while the German service will be welcomed on Wednesdays and Sundays. A third route from Memmingen near Munich will start on Saturday 6 November and operate 2-weekly, with the other flight on a Tuesday.
Ryanair will add Dublin service in December
Ryanair currently serves the airport 2-weekly on Mondays and Fridays from London STN, with frequency increasing to 4-weekly in January with the addition of Wednesday and Saturday flights. A second service, from Dublin, is set to start on 18 December and will be flown 2-weekly on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Ryanair has previously served Plovdiv from Brussels CRL, Frankfurt HHN and Milan BGY. In winter there are also typically many charter flights, particularly from Russia.
Airport serves ski resorts
Located close to the village of Krumovo and around 10 kilometres south-east of Plovdiv, the airport serves the nearby ski resorts of Bansko, Pamporovo and Borovets which helps explain why these new routes have started now, rather than in the summer. Plovdiv is Bulgaria’s second biggest city with a population of around 340,000 and lies on the banks of the Maritsa River. It was one of two European Capitals of Culture in 2019, the other being Matera in Italy which features heavily in the new James Bond movie.
The airport also doubles up as Krumovo Air Base which uses the western side of the airport. This area of the airport is also home to Plovdiv Museum of Aviation, the biggest in Bulgaria, which has a significant number of aircraft on display outdoors.
New terminal opened in 2009
Passenger numbers at the airport have exceeded 100,000 in 2007, 2014, 2015 and 2018 when a record 134,000 travelling guests were welcomed. A new terminal opened in 2009 with 10 check-in desks and is designed to handle up to 1,000 passengers per hour.