‘Unprofitable’ Varna gets the boot

Flag-carrying airline, British Airways (BA), is to axe a flight between London and Varna in Bulgaria.

The route, which operates via the Hungarian capital, Budapest, has “proved unprofitable,” according to BA’s boss in the Balkans, Emil Delibashev, and the decision to cancel all future flights to Varna was “purely commercial.”

BA has been flying to Varna, the largest seaside resort on the Black Sea, for the past four years. However, the carrier’s commitment to the city has been slowly reduced, from four flights a week in 2006, to just two weekly trips in 2010.

Passengers who had been hoping to travel to the popular ‘sun and sea’ destination this winter will now have the option of catching a BA flight from Gatwick to Budapest, and then hopping on a Malév Hungarian Airlines flight to Varna.

News of the cancellation should not come as a surprise to anybody who has been keeping an eye on BA’s affairs over the past few months.

BA committed itself to a restructuring operation in October, increasing the number of flights to the Caribbean from Gatwick, and adding a new route from Heathrow to Haneda Airport in Tokyo. BA has also downsized its operations in Orlando, Florida.

The airline’s monumental battle with cabin crew union, Unite, is likely the impetus for BA’s enthusiastic reshuffling, as months of industrial action will have blown a hole in the carrier’s piggy bank, forcing bosses to pinch pennies wherever possible.

Expanding into new markets, whilst simultaneously cutting back on unpopular destinations, should help the premium airline shore up its finances over the difficult winter season.

Although, there are warnings that profits can, of course, suffer due to heavy snow and fog plays havoc with the aviation industry, as it did in winter 2009/10.

Flights between all London airports and the cities of Izmir and Antalya in Turkey have also been cancelled by BA.

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