In this review I'll be going over my impressions of a Burgas-Moscow flight with the Bulgaria Air company, the Bulgarian national carrier.
Flight FB-663 took place 30 April 2013 from Burgas to Moscow (Sheremetyevo Airport). The plane was an Airbus A-319, tail number LZ-FBA.
1. Departure from Burgas
Departure was scheduled from the main terminal of the Burgas airport, a typical 1980s building.
The holiday season hadn't yet begun, so there were few flights and passengers at the airport.
Check-in counter for our flight.
Next came customs and then we arrived in the waiting area.
The area's two nooks contained one Duty-Free store…
… and one café (at the very end of the hall, up the stairs).
Exits can be found all along the length of the platform.
The windows of the terminal look out directly on the airfield, all along the length of the landing strip. All of the airport's activity happens right before your eyes.
Our plane, just arrived and being prepared for takeoff:
Another Bulgaria Air airliner, an Airbus A320, about to take off for St. Petersburg.
A Boeing 737-800 operated by Norwegian, taking off for Scandinavia.
Burgas also sees some more unusual visitors: this is a US military C-130 Hercules transport plane.
We piled into the shuttle and a minute later were boarding the airliner.
One last look at the terminal.
2. Bulgaria Air Airbus A319
The flight was only half full, because during the springtime more passengers are headed into Bulgaria rather than out of it. As I discovered additionally, Bulgaria Air allows passengers to take pictures on its planes. These two circumstances allowed me to take my time and get plenty of photos in the cabin.
Towards the front of the plane there were 8 business-class seats, separated from the rest by a curtain divider.
After that came economy class, looking clean and well-kept.
All of the seats were modern Recaro seats, with thin backs and the seat pocket shifted to the top (which allows for more leg room). They felt both roomy and comfortable. The upholstery was dark grey leather, and there were no elbow rests. All in all, a thoroughly modern cabin, quite typical of most national carriers in Europe.
The restroom was at the back. There was only the one for the entire plane. It was in very good condition.
3. In-Flight Service
Bulgaria Air passengers get a limited selection of entertainment options: a flight magazine and a duty-free catalog. Bulgarian citizens can apply for a credit card from some local bank.
There was also the safety card.
The two-hour flight features a light meal.
The flight attendants were very friendly. Feeling confident due to the airline's easygoing attitude towards the taking of pictures, I asked one of them if I could take a photo of her for the review. She agreed readily, just made sure that the photo came out good. Here it is:
4. Arrival in Sheremetyevo
Fifteen minutes after takeoff from Burgas you pass over Varna, providing a great aerial view of the city.
Soon after, we climbed above the cloud cover and didn't see the ground again until we began to descend over Moscow. This is the view I got of some of Moscow's new skyscrapers.
Our descent to Sheremetyevo Airport
was unusually, because we literally flew right over it.
Before landing, we flew pasr Lobnya. In this photo, you can see the Aeroexpress railroad veer towards Sheremetyevo Airport.
Our flight arrives in Moscow.
: In conclusion I'd like to note that the Bulgaria Air company left a much better impression than I expected. The Bulgarian carrier definitely lives up to its status as a national airline and offers quality flights on par with European standards. A plane with a clean, modern cabin and friendly staff, this is what I got from Bulgaria Air.