Ryanair opens Sofia base

Ryanair opened its third route to Castellon Airport on 9 September from its latest base, Sofia. The 1,957-kilometre sector will be flown twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) facing no incumbent. The airline also links Castellon to London Stansted and Bristol. Seen heading the line-up for the cutting of the turrone, which anna.aero Assistant Editor Jonathan Ford got to taste for the first time at the launch of Blue Air’s Bucharest service to the Spanish airport in June, is Alexander Schroll, CEO of Castellon Airport.

Ryanair opens Sofia base

Celebrating the start of flights from between Sofia and Liverpool on 9 September with a classic route launch cake are the UK airport’s Director of Air Service Development Mark Povall, and Ryanair’s Head of Communications Robin Kiely. The two cities will be connected with a twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) service.

Ryanair opens Sofia base

A cake celebration was also had in Hamburg to commemorate the carrier’s launch of flights to Sofia. The LCC will link the German city to the Bulgarian capital thrice-weekly. Seen celebrating with the Ryanair crew are Tim Howe Schröder, Head of Corporate Sales and Marketing Manager for Germany, Ryanair, and Stephan Erler, Senior Manager Traffic Development, Hamburg Airport.

Memmingen also celebrated its connection to the Bulgarian capital this week. Posing with the crew from the German airport are Marcel Schütz, Head of Aviation, and Alexandra Joos, Marketing Trainee. The airport connection will operate twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays) facing direct competition from Wizz Air.  

Ryanair opens Sofia base

Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden also celebrated the launch of flights to Sofia this week. Inaugurated on 7 September, the Irish carrier will link the German airport to the Bulgarian capital twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Sundays) facing no competition. On hand to greet the inaugural crew as they arrived from Sofia was Manfred Jung, MD of Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport. anna.aero can reveal that the first inbound service from Sofia carried 181 passengers, while the return welcomed 160. That represents load factors of 96% and 85% respectively.

  • Ryanair opened its first Bulgarian base on 6 September in Sofia (SOF). The base was announced on 31 March and was originally planned to open on 30 October, however the base has opened six weeks earlier than scheduled. The Irish carrier will station three 737-800s at the capital city airport, with Sofia now connected to 18 destinations with Ryanair, 15 of them opening this week. The city is also connected to London Stansted and Pisa by the airline, while a route to Berlin Schönefeld was inaugurated just last week (2 September). David O’Brien, CCO of Ryanair, said of the base announcement in March: “This significant growth is an integral part of our continued expansion plans for both Bulgaria and Eastern Europe, as we connect Sofia with Europe’s key centres of business with high frequency business-friendly services.” Looking at Ryanair’s new routes from the Bulgarian capital, the average weekly frequency is 3.4 with the average sector length being 1,647 kilometres. Eight of Ryanair’s new routes will face direct competition, six of them going head-to-head with Wizz Air. See how Castellon Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
06 Sep Sofia (SOF) Hamburg (HAM) B738 (3)
Cologne Bonn (CGN) B738 (7) Wizz Air (2)
Eindhoven (EIN) B738 (3) Wizz Air (5)
Athens (ATH) B738 (7) Aegean Airlines (12), Bulgaria Air (3)
Milan Malpensa (MXP) Bulgaria Air (3)
Birmingham (BHX) B738 (3) Wizz Air (2)
07 Sep Madrid (MAD) B738 (4) Bulgaria Air (7), Wizz Air (2)
Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (FKB) B738 (2)
Stockholm Skavsta (NYO)
Glasgow (GLA)
08 Sep Barcelona (BCN) B738 (3) Wizz Air (5), Bulgaria Air (3)
09 Sep Castellon (CDT) B738 (2)
Liverpool (LPL)
Memmingen (FMM) Wizz Air (2)
Venice Treviso (TSF)
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 13 September 2016.

New route? New airline? Email us! Let's all celebrate your new routes. Please send photos and route details to James Davis, anna.aero's Assistant Editor. Contact James.

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