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Sofia Airport Welcomes Its 3 Million Passenger for 2008

Date: 08.12.2008

The Bulgarian Transport Minister Petar Mutafchiev and the Executive Director of Sofia Airport Plamen Stanchev, greeted the 3 million passenger for 2008 of the Airport's Terminal 2 on Sunday.

The lucky traveler's name is Yavor Poptochev. Poptochev is from Sofia and had arrived on a "Bulgaria Air" flight from Heathrow in London.

Mutafchiev and Stanchev presented the passenger with a Sofia airport commemorative coin, the Holiday gold covered coin collection of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB), free use of the airport's business class facilities for one year and a bottle of Champaign with "Sofia Airport - 3 million passenger 2008" engraved on it.

Poptochev said that he was a Bulgarian football player in London, returning home to play for a local team.

The Airport Director said that in the last five years, passengers using Sofia airport have been increasing by 20% per year.

Stanchev further explained for the reporters gathered for the event, that due to the global financial crisis he was expecting a decrease in the number of both business and vacation travels with the 20% annual increase going down by 10% on major international flights.

The Director predicted a decrease of charter flights as well, adding that because of the noted reductions, the Airport was going to collect fewer fees, which, however, would not lead to staff reductions.

The Airport Council International Europe reports that Sofia Airport is one of the most dynamically developing airports on the old continent, whose passenger traffic continues to register double-digit increase, despite the global financial crisis.

For the January-November 2008 period the number of flights at Sofia Airport has increased by 14%, while the number of passengers - by 19%, compared to the same period of 2007.

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