Copenhagen Airports will increase the initially planned EUR 106 M investments at Bulgaria's Varna and Burgas airports to reach EUR 140 M by the end of 2008. According to the Danish company's management, the two airports located on the Black Sea coast are too out-of-date and their facilities are breathing out of capacity to serve the constantly increasing passenger traffic.
Earlier this year, Bulgarian government granted Copenhagen Airports a concession contract to run the airports in Varna and Burgas. The concessionaire intends to add a new terminal at the Varna airport by 2008 and expand the existing facility.
Meanwhile, a corporate analysis on the airports of Varna and Burgas has shown that unless urgent reforms are implemented at both facilities, the airports may see a decrease in expected traffic as soon as next season. Due to insufficient quality of services, tour operators are likely to redirect tourists to alternative destinations. The study concludes that the cumulative effect will result in worse bed occupancy at Black Sea hotels and slowdown in the overall economic development of the region.
"Airport services at Varna and Burgas are an inseparable part of the holiday expectations of tourists. Therefore we are determined to invest immediately in temporary facilities to guarantee in the short-term the best of services at both airports," an executive official of Varna-Burgas Airports EAD has said in a press release.
Bulgaria's top three airports at Sofia, Varna and Burgas are struggling to cope with a 20% increase in passenger traffic, as the stream of tourists and business travellers is on the constant upsurge in and out of the country.
The Varna Airport reported the biggest increase in passenger traffic in the first half of 2005, up by 20%, followed by Sofia with 19% and Burgas with 15%. Passenger traffic between the inland and the Black Sea coastline has flied up by 40% this summer. Presently fighting to win a court appeals against the granted concession, Copenhagen Airports expects to take over the Varna and Burgas airports finally at the end of this month.