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Bulgarian, Foreign Investors Eye Flag Carrier

Date: 10.06.2006

Both Bulgarian and foreign investors have already declared their interest into the privatisation of the national air carrier Bulgaria Air.

Just a day after Bulgaria's sale body invited the tender for the privatisation of the company Bulgaria's private Hemus Air once again voiced its interest into the sale.

"We were the airline that helped the state in the establishing of Bulgaria Air and now we are officially declaring our interest into its privatisation", Hemus Air executive director Dimitar Pavlov told the National Television.

In his words the plans of Hemus Air include further development of the company thus making a consolidation of the aviation business in Bulgaria. It would also help the establishment of a European company with 20 modern planes and offering over 30 destinations to its clients. But as Hemus Air does not boost the necessary revenues of EUR 150 M, Pavlov pointed out that he was ready to use both options - strategic and financial investor.

Also on Thursday the head of the State Privatisation Agency Todor Nikolov explained that both foreign and Bulgarian investors have announced their interest in Bulgaria Air. Still, the Austrian airlines, however, which initially stated interest in the privatisation, have not confirmed that interest yet.

The state-owned company succeeded bankrupt Balkan Airlines in late 2002. Bulgaria Air flies to nineteen destinations, among which are London, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Brussels, Madrid, Lisbon, Milan and Frankfurt. Bulgaria Air recently added three new destinations to its time-table in a bid to enlarge its share on the local market.

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