SunExpress and Electra Airways Set to Boost Bulgarian Tourism

A SunExpress Boeing 737 in flight.
Photo Credit: SunExpress

SunExpress, a joint venture between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, and Electra Airways, a leading Bulgarian charter airline, have joined forces to expand flight options to Bulgaria.

This three-year sales partnership, signed at the ITB Berlin tourism trade fair, focuses on the summer seasons of 2025, 2026, and 2027.

SunExpress Takes the Lead

Building on the success of their partnership with Air Cairo, SunExpress will handle the commercial side of operations.

This includes network planning, scheduling, slot allocation, sales, marketing, and revenue management.

Electra Airways, on the other hand, will focus on operations like ground handling, flight operations, and ensuring a great in-flight experience.

Photo Credit: MarcelX42, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Expanding Horizons

SunExpress CEO Max Kownatzki sees this as a strategic step to strengthen their presence globally and expand their network through collaborations.

He emphasizes their intention to build further using this strategy, saying: “We capitalize on our in-depth expertise to establish further partnerships based on the same model, thus broadening the offering for our sales partners even further.”

“We aim to grow together with our partners to meet our customers’ needs the best way possible,” he explained.

Bulgaria Takes Flight

The first flights are now expected to take off in late May 2025. Flights from the Bulgarian coastal cities of Varna and Burgas to Germany becoming available for purchase on SunExpress’s website starting June 2024.

B2B partners can also make reservations through SunExpress’s usual channels during this time. Initially, an Airbus A320 will be used for these routes. There are plans to expand to other European destinations and potentially increase service depending on demand.

Positive Impact for Bulgaria

Both the Bulgarian Minister of Tourism and the CEO of Fraport Bulgaria believe this partnership will benefit Bulgaria.

They see it as an opportunity to attract more tourists and showcase the country’s beauty.

“The cooperation between the two airlines is a real benefit for our country. I see great potential to attract even more travelers in the future and inspire them to explore our great and diverse country,”stated Minister of Tourism Zaritsa Dinkova.

Mutually Beneficial Partnership

SunExpress gains a reliable partner in Electra Airways, whose operational stability is backed by their own maintenance facility.

In return, Electra Airways benefits from SunExpress’s recognized expertise in the market, having been awarded “Best Leisure Airline in Europe” by Skytrax.

“With Electra Airways, we are gaining the ideal partner to further expand the selection of unique travel experiences for our guests, and provide all our distribution partners with improved access to the Bulgarian coastline,” said Peter Glade, Commercial Director at SunExpress. 

A special inaugural flight with an event for sales partners is planned in Burgas for early summer 2024.

Optimism for the Future

Both SunExpress and Electra Airways are optimistic about the future. SunExpress sees this as a way to provide unique travel experiences to their customers. The move will improve access to the Bulgarian coastline for their partners.

Electra Airways, on the other hand, believes SunExpress’s experience will help them reach more customers. In turn this will showcase their excellent service and reliable operations.

They’ve also highlighted the upgraded cabins they’ll be offering from summer 2024 onwards.


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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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