Qatar Airways Signs Codeshare Deal With Bulgaria Air

Doha based Qatar Airways has just signed a codeshare agreement with Bulgarian national flag carrier Bulgaria Air according to a statement released by the Balkan airline. In the statement published by the Sofia Globe, the new codeshare agreement with the Oneworld alliance member will open up all five continents to Bulgaria Air customers.

Bulgarian-Air-Embraer ERJ-190s
Bulgaria Air has nine aircraft. Photo: Getty

Partnering with Qatar Airways is good for Bulgaria Air

When speaking about the new partnership Bulgaria Air chief executive, Hristo Todorov said:

“This co-operation is only part of our long-term development strategy and we are happy to welcome Qatar Airways passengers onboard our aircraft.”

The statement went on to say that partnering with Qatar Airways was another big step in Bulgaria Air’s growth and that cooperation with Qatar Airways would enrich Bulgaria Air’s portfolio of destinations. Since the start of this year, Bulgaria Air has already announced two new European flights from Sofia to St. Petersburg in Russia and to Spain’s third-largest city Valencia.

Currently, Bulgaria Air operates a fleet of nine aircraft that Planespotters cites as being two Airbus A319-100s, three Airbus A320-200s, and four Embraer ERJ-190s. Bulgaria Air flies nonstop to 25 destinations in Europe and domestically to the Black Sea resorts of Varna and Bourgas.

In a press release issued by Qatar Airways about the new codeshare chief executive Akbar Al Baker said:

“Our collaboration with Bulgaria Air is part of a series of partnerships we have announced recently with airlines from around the world, demonstrating our commitment to work with colleagues from other carriers to provide passengers with unbreakable connectivity and unmatched service.”

State-owned carrier Qatar Airways first started flying from Doha to Sofia four times per week back in 2011 and has since due to strong demand, increased the service to 14 flights per week.

Bulgaria Air is a full-service airline. Photo: Bulgaria Air

In its statement about the codeshare, Qatar Airways quotes Bulgaria Air Chief Executive Officer, Hristo Todorov as saying:

“It is a great pleasure for Bulgaria Air to add Qatar Airways to its partnership network, which is undoubtedly one of the most respected and prestigious airlines in the world. We are delighted that they have chosen us as a partner enabling our passengers to travel quickly and conveniently to over 170 destinations with Qatar Airways. This cooperation is only a part of our long-term development strategy and we are happy to welcome the passengers of Qatar Airways onboard our aircraft.”

Sales of the codeshare tickets are available today for travel commencing on the 2nd of March, 2020.

Bulgaria Air is a full-service airline

Interestingly, in a world where other than perhaps Taiwanese start-up Starlux Airlines everyone is looking at low-cost operating models, Bulgaria Air is a full-service airline that intends to keep operating that way.

Bulgaria Air
Bulgaria Air used to codeshare with Air Italy. Photo: Bulgarian Air

While this will fit in nicely with Qatar Airways, the only real advantage to its customers will be Bulgaria Air’s domestic flights from Sofia to the Black Sea. For the small Balkan airline being able to offer flyers tickets to Middle Eastern and Asian destinations via Doha is a big deal.

Bulgaria Air new needs a new partner in Europe

When Italy’s Air Italy announced it was terminating operations last week, Bulgaria Air lost its codeshare partner for flights to North America. Partnering with Qatar Airways will not make up for that but may encourage British Airways or Iberia to become a Bulgaria Air codeshare partner.

What do you think of the new Bulgaria Air, Qatar Airways codeshare? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section.