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Sofia International Airport declares in traffic in February 2009

Date: 23.03.2009

In February 2009, Sofia International Airport recorded a in traffic for the first time, according to an an official statement from the airport authority, reported by Investor.bg

A substantial decrease was registered by charter flights operated by foreign carriers in Bulgaria. The only flights unaffected by the economic crisis appear to be domestic ones, which actually recorded a year on year increase of nine per cent

Foreign carriers operating on regular international routes have to some extent countered negative tendencies, ferrying five per cent more passengers in February 2009 compared to February last year.

It marker a slightly stronger period for Bulgarian carriers,made 55 flights, ferrying 6925 passengers more in February 2009 as opposed to February last year. However, these figures are insufficient to compensate for the overall decrease in the influx of international tourists into the country.

As a whole, air traffic across Europe registered a sharp decline by the end of January 2009, amounting to 10.7 per cent, according to data released from the Council of European Airports. This decrease is contrary to the figures for January 2008. Freight traffic had dropped by 23.6 percent for the same period.

As far as the Bulgarian market is concerned, the most popular destination remains London, with regular flights from Sofia to Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton accounting for more than 30 000 passengers in February 2009, or 450 more than February 2008.

Vienna rates in second place with 20 000 passengers, Munich in third with 12 900, Moscow with 11 000 and Rome with 10 200.

According to the Sofia International Airport authority, cargo flights increased by 30 per cent, but this has been neutralised by a in the actual processing of freight by 30 per in February 2009 as opposed to the same month last year.

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