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Sofia Airport passenger traffic in May still lower than pre-pandemic levels

Sofia Airport passenger traffic in May still lower than pre-pandemic levels snowturtle/Shutterstock.com

SOFIA (Bulgaria), June 23 (SeeNews) - Traffic at Bulgaria's Sofia Airport in May increased to 549,773 passengers, but was still 14% lower than in the same month of 2019, the operator consortium SOF Connect said on Thursday.

Despite a 27% rise in charter flights and a 17% increase in charter passengers compared to May 2019, passenger traffic on regular domestic and international flights last month was close to 15% lower compared to the same month of 2019, the airport operator said in a statement.

A total of 19,932 passengers flew the routes to Varna and Burgas in May, while passengers on international flights totalled 500,506.

Take-offs and landings at Sofia Airport amounted to 4,912 in May compared to 5,450 in the same month of 2019. Cargo volume in the review period has almost recovered to pre-pandemic levels, posting a decrease of just 2% to 1,879 tonnes.

The aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic are gradually weakening, albeit still a factor limiting air traffic.

Passenger flow is also affected by high fuel prices and Bulgaria's proximity to the war in Ukraine, SOF Connect explained. The operator added that it is cautiously optimistic about the upcoming high summer season.

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