Fraport Twin Star Airport Management
During the first 15 years of its concession, Fraport Bulgaria invested over BGN 400 million. As a result, the airports in Varna and Burgas have 2 new passenger terminals opened in 2013, significant investments in infrastructure and equipment improvements and modernization, including a completely renovated runway at Varna Airport – all in conformity with the highest European safety standards.
In the first 15 years of the airports’ concession, record growth in traffic has been achieved. From 2006 until 2019, pre-COVID-19, the traffic growth at Burgas Airport measures +59%, at Varna Airport for the same time period +36%. The COVID-19 pandemic started, which completely shook the aviation sector, heavily impacting the operations at both airports. In the year 2020, the airports’ traffic declined by -80% from the 2019 level, while this year, the airports are operating a fraction better – but still at a -60% decline of the traffic volumes of 2019.
As an attractive summer tourist destination, over the past 15 years, the highest number of inbound and outbound traffic at Burgas Airport has originated from the following top 5 markets: Russia, Germany, UK, Poland, Bulgaria. At Varna Airport, the most departing and arriving flights have occurred to the following top 5 markets: Bulgaria, Germany, Russia, Austria, UK. In addition to travel, tourism, leisure and business passengers, the Black Sea airports are also cargo hubs in eastern Bulgaria. In the period 2006-2021, Burgas Airport has processed 82,800 tons of cargo.
“As Fraport Bulgaria, we thank all who contributed to our first 15 years of successful development! Our employees, commercial partners, state authorities and last but not least our shareholders, who always supported and trusted us! We count all of our partners and want to grow together with them plus integrate more!” says D-r Frank Quante, CEO of Fraport Twin Star Airport Management AD.
The airports in Varna and Burgas were the first in the country to receive the EASA – European Aviation Safety Agency certificates, responsible for the standardization in the area of safety and responsible resource utilization and the Airport Carbon Accreditation – Level 2 ‘Reduction’ in honour of the airports’ actions to map and reduce CO₂ emissions. During the COVID crisis, the Black Sea airports were among the first awarded with Airport Health Accreditation from Airports Council International for the airport’s commitment to prioritizing and applying the highest level of health and safety measures at Varna and Burgas Airports.
At Burgas Airport, research and development activities for runway reconstruction & rehabilitation have started, as well as a Photovoltaic Parks Project at both airports – which is being designed to provide up to 30% of the electricity needed for successful operations. The photovoltaic plants are expected to be put into operation in 2023. Due to the restrictions of holding organized mass events, to mark the 15-year presence of Fraport Twin Star, the management decided to provide environmentally friendly, e-transport at the airports – electric mobility which aims to promote a greener, more sustainable and comfortable means of travel for all employees, while on the territory of both airports.
Looking out to the future, the airport concessionaire aims to establish the airports as year-round well-connected centres on the Black Sea coast by investing significant efforts into active destination marketing strategies. Bulgaria has a high potential for further development of tourism. Fraport Twin Star plans to drive the growth of tourism in close collaboration with the local municipalities, the tourist sector and the relevant state authorities in Sofia. For this purpose, the Bulgarian Black Sea Alliance was founded in 2021.
Varna and Burgas airports aim to continue their close collaboration with all partners in the tourism industry, organizations, state and local institutions, the business community and the general public, who have an interdependent connection with the airport facilities and rely on them for their own growth and development.