As Ryaniar's first flight from Milano to the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv arrived on Saturday, its 140 passengers were welcomed with bread and salt, according to an old Bulgarian tradition.
The company will carry out regular twice-weekly flights from Milan Bergano to Plovdiv, from now on.
Until now, Ryanair performed flights from Plovdiv Airport to Stansted Airport in London twice a week - on Tuesday and on Saturday. One-way fares start from GBP 32.99 including taxes. The flights provide easy access for Britons to the ski slopes of Bansko and Pamporovo.
Ryanair also plans to open flights from Spain to Plovdiv in the fall of 2011 at the latest.
Plovdiv became even more attractive for air companies as of April 1, 2010, 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.