The concessionaire of the Bulgarian Black Sea airports Varna and Burgas Fraport Twin Star Airport Management plans to invest BGN 170 M in their modernization in the next 3 years, company CEO Dirk Schusdziara has announced.
Schusdziara has confirmed that Varna Airport will be closed down for unprecedented repairs after the end of the 2011 summer tourist season.
The Varna Airport will be undergoing repairs from October 15, 2011, till February 28, 2012. This is the first time the airport will be shut down since it was opened on May 9, 1948.
For the specified period all Varna Airport flights will be redirected to the Burgas Airport in the city of Burgas some 100 km to the south. The Varna Airport will provide free bus transport to the Burgas Airport for the duration of the repairs.
Fraport Twin Star Management will invest BGN 40 M in the repairs and modernization of Varna Airport, Schusdziara revealed, as cited by BTA.
During modernization projects at Varna Airport and Burgas Airport in the next three years, the company will create 1 500 new jobs, he said.
BGN 12 M have already been poured in the Burgas Airport where a new administrative building has been built.
Fraport Twin Star Management plans to expand the terminals in both Varna and Burgas; after the expansion, Burgas Airport will be capable of handling 2.7 million passengers a year.
In the first half of 2011, Burgas Airport had 533 392 passengers, an increase of 20% year-on-year, while Varna Airport had 380 196 passengers, a 2% y/y increase.
According to Schusdziara, the greater number of passengers in Burgas is due to the fact that the Burgas region, i.e. Bulgaria's southern Black Sea coast features a greater number of hotels and resorts than the northern coast around Varna, which itself is a bigger city than Burgas.
The airports in Black Sea cities Varna and Burgas have been granted on concession to Fraport Twin Star Airport Management company, a German-Bulgarian consortium between the Varna-based TIM group's holding "Chimimport" (40%) and the German "Fraport", since 2006.
In 2010, Fraport Twin Star Airport Management paid the Bulgarian state a total of BGN 13 M for the concessions of Varna Airport and Burgas Airport.