Domestic Flights

There are regular domestic flights in Bulgaria on routes Sofia-Varna and Sofia-Burgas. Both routes are operated by Bulgaria Air. Despite calling itself the “national air carrier of the Republic of Bulgaria”, Bulgaria Air is entirely a private company. The carrier uses Airbus A320, Boeing 737 and Embraer 190 type of airplanes on its domestic routes.

A plane of Bulgaria Air

Schedule and tickets

There are scheduled flights between Sofia and Varna all year around. Planes are departing 3 times a day on weekdays and 2 times daily on weekends. The duration of the flight is 50 minutes, the distance is 365 km. Fares are varying but you can usually find one-way tickets from as low as 25 EUR.

Flights between Sofia and Burgas operate from May to September with 1-3 trips per day. The duration is the same as to Varna, about 50 minutes, with a distance of 335 km. Tickets start from 25 EUR one-way.

Economy class fares include some kind of light meal as well.

Bulgaria Air also provides business class tickets for domestic flights. These are 50-150 EUR more expensive than regular tickets, which is a huge charge. For this money you get priority boarding, access to airport business lounges, better catering and an additional piece of checked-in baggage. According to the company, regular tickets can be upgraded to business class ones for a fixed 50 EUR rate each via phone, email, at their offices or at the airport. This option is available 24 hours to 40 minutes before the scheduled departure and is subject to availability.

Planes of Bulgaria Air at Sofia Airport
Planes of Bulgaria Air at Sofia Airport

Baggage

The cheap, 25-30 EUR tickets mentioned above include hand baggage and one small item (eg laptop) only. Tickets including checked-in baggage start from around 50 EUR. Please note that you can only buy such tickets if you book directly through Bulgaria Air’s website. Flight ticket search websites don’t offer fares with checked-in baggage. However, you can upgrade your luggage allowance at the airport for 15 EUR at the airline’s counter.

Allowed baggage sizes:
-Hand baggage: maximum 10 kg and dimensions up to 55x40x23 cm (15 kg for business class)
-Checked-in baggage: max. 23 kg and the sum of the 3 dimensions cannot exceed 158 cm (32 kg for business class)

Worth it?

All three airports are relatively quickly and easily reachable from city centers. Taking a plane can be a good alternative, especially if you are on a tight schedule. By flying, the 7-hour duration of the bus trip from Sofia to Varna can be lowered to roughly 2 hours, with airport security check included. The cheapest fares are only 2 times more expensive than the bus tickets, but always consider your luggage requirements as well. Paying for a checked-in baggage makes the flight much pricier.

Official website of Bulgaria Air: https://www.air.bg/en/