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Ryanair Takes off from Bulgaria's Plovdiv to Barcelona

Sofia News Agency

The world's largest low-cost airline, Irish company Ryanair, is expected to announce on Wednesday a new regular line from the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv to Barcelona, Spain.

The new flight line will be launched at the end of March 2011 and will be served twice a week.

The General Manager of Plovdiv airport Doichin Angelov confirmed reports that a new regular flight is about to be launched, but refused to give any details.

Currently, Ryanair performs flights from Plovdiv Airport to Stansted Airport in London twice a week - on Tuesday and on Saturday. One-way fares start from GBP 32.99 including taxes. The flights provide easy access for Britons to the ski slopes of Bansko and Pamporovo.

Ryanair has said earlier this year it may increase the number of flights to Plovdiv in the near future and will also consider the opening of lines from Bulgaria to Spain and Italy, where there are large numbers of Bulgarian immigrants.

Ryanair has been planning to launch flights to Plovdiv airport for several years.

Plovdiv became even more attractive for air companies as of April 1, when its fees were sharply reduced and now stand three times lower that the fees at the airport in the capital Sofia. The low fees will be in force for two years.

Bulgaria, which attracted a number of low-cost carriers thanks to its accession to the European Union and fast economic growth in the years right after its entry, is expected to continue to see the expansion of their market share.

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