The world's largest low-cost airline, the Irish company Ryanair, launches on Tuesday a new route from London Stansted to the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv.
"Plovdiv is Bulgaria's second largest city with a rich and varied history dating back 8,000 years. Plovdiv makes a great city break destination and is also within easy access of the ski resorts of Bansko and Pamporovo." a spokesperson of Ryanair has said.
The new London Stansted-Plovdiv airline is expected to draw about 30 000 passengers annually, whose number could go up to 200 000 by 2013.
The Ryanair flights from London Stansted to Plovdiv will be available twice a week – on Tuesdays and Saturdays. One-way fares will start from GBP 32.99 including taxes.
Ryanair has said it may increase the number of flights to Plovdiv in the near future and will also consider the opening of lines from Bulgaria to Spain and Italy, where there are large numbers of Bulgarian immigrants.
Ryanair has been planning to launch flights to Plovdiv airport for several years.
Plovdiv became even more attractive for air companies as of April 1, when its fees were sharply reduced and now stand three times lower that the fees at the airport in the capital Sofia. The low fees will be in force for two years.
Bulgaria, which attracted a number of low-cost carriers thanks to its accession to the European Union and fast economic growth in the years right after its entry, is expected to continue to see the expansion of their market share.