Topic Author
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2000 4:37 am

Another Balkan Livery?!

Sat Jul 28, 2001 5:42 am

Another colorful and eye-pleasing livery by recently bankrupt but still breathing Balkan Bulgarian:

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Photo © Toni Marimon

The reg suggests that the A/C is leased. Does anyone know how many Tupolevs do they operate currently? My guess would be at least three - today they operated flights to LHR, FCO, CDG, CPH, ARN.

I was surprised to find that they have restored most of their European destinations and some in the Middle East. The charter flights seem to be taken by Hemus Air (DU), with one of their A/C in a beautiful Balkan Holidays livery:

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Photo © Lee Collins

Any insiders with more information about LZ and their future plans?
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2000 11:35 am

RE: Another Balkan Livery?!

Thu Aug 02, 2001 1:14 pm

Yes, currently they have three TU5M's, one owned, two leased. They are about to lease a 733 from TransBrasil in August, that's the plan at least. As far as the ATR-42 they bought before they went bankrupt, it should be back. Has anybody seen it in SOF recently? Future plans-wise, their goal is simple: to stay afloat until they find a good investor and get rid of Mr. Zeevi. Given the abundance of small carriers waiting for a saviour, it is doubtful that some serious guy will want to come to LZ's rescue. In my opinion they will either return to being mostly state-owned, or the new government in Bulgaria will decide to scrap them and start anew. The latter is the better, I think. Stay tuned. By the way, I think the receiver (Mrs. Topchieva) is doing a very good job and managing the airline quite sensibly. Let's hope it's not just another case of "too little too late" among many others recently. Given that JAT is quickly heading LZ's way, maybe the Bulgarian carrier will get another chance.
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:09 am

1.LZ-LTV, 2.LZ-***?

Fri Aug 03, 2001 10:38 pm

So - Balkan owns a T5M LZ-BTH and has leased a T5M LZ-LTV with misterious blue lines on the tail. What's the other leased bird's reg?

Topic Author
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2000 4:37 am

RE: Another Balkan Livery?!

Fri Aug 03, 2001 11:31 pm

Thanks for the info. Do they have a web-site with schedules, etc? I know www.balkan.com has been down for quite some time.

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Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2001 6:34 am

RE: Another Balkan Livery?!

Sat Aug 04, 2001 10:32 am

Being myself a Bulgarian presently residing in the US, I was very surprised to see a topic relating to Balkan. My latest information dates two months when I was last home. Then Balkan has just started its renewed services to LHR, Dubai, FRA. Actually, I was even on the first renewed domestic flight SOF-VAR, and it was not on the ATR-42. The old AN-24. However, Balkan resumed offering flights to the US with Virgin via London, a bit too late because it was after I got to Boston on SwissAir.
Regarding those two interesting aircraft, it looks they are leased because this is not the traditional Balkan livery. I would not be surprised if the Balkan Holidays TU is owned by Balkan Holidays rather than Balkan. Balkan sold most of its TUs, I think to a company of former Balkan pilots called Bulgarian Air Charter - which is basically green on white livery. At least, about 4 of these TUs were parked at Varna International Airport.
It is a pity that Balkan got ruined. They have been infamous for their service but at some point the company leased 2 767-200ER and A320, and had direct service SOF-JFK. The bulk of traffic out of Sofia goes to the US, and all the money goes to BA, Lufthansa,CSZ,Malev,Austrian, etc but not to Balkan. At least, they were clever enough to work with Virgin, although I never seem to be able to be on these flights.
Well, anyway, I hope Balkan does not die as it is my national carrier, no matter the bad situation that they are in.

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