Introducing Onur Air's New & Bizarre Bulgarian Subsidiary

Onur Air is launching a brand new subsidiary based in Bulgaria, an anonymous source within the airline tells AeroNewsX. The new charter airline, named Holiday Europe, will inaugurate its first flight next week.

An Onur Air Airbus A320 pictured taxing at Dusseldorf, Germany. Photo: AeroNewsX/Chris de Breun

Who Are Onur Air?

For those who don't know, Onur Air is a low cost airline based in Turkey. In recent years, the carrier has grown significantly and now operates a fleet of more than 20 aircraft including an Airbus A321Neo.

Onur Air also operates a fleet of wide-body Airbus A330s. Photo: AeroNewsX/Chris de Breun

Onur Air offers a wide-range of scheduled domestic services in Turkey as well as charter flights from Istanbul. In a few years, the carrier will celebrate 30 years of operations.


Fleet

Holiday Europe will commence operations with an Airbus A321-200. The aforementioned aircraft will come from Onur Air, re-registered from TC-OBZ to LZ-HEA.

Pictured is TC-OBZ at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport. All Onur Air operations from Istanbul were relocated to the 'New Airport' when Ataturk shut down. Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Anna Zvereva

What's The Point Of The Airline?

First and foremost, Onur Air aims to take a shot at the Bulgarian charter market. Our source said that Holiday Europe would operate charter flights to Egypt, with the inaugural flight doing just that (read more below, "The Bizarre Truth").


However, there's more. The anonymous source explained that the new carrier would be a way for Onur Air to acquire slots at some German airports.


The Bizarre Truth

While Holiday Europe may in fact be trying to target the market, the first flight won't even touch Bulgarian soil.


On the 13 July, 2019, the first flight will depart Berlin Schönefeld Airport (SXF) in Germany bound for Marsa Alam (RMF) in Egypt.

TC-OBZ has been with Onur Air since February 2013. Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Alec Wilson

Surprisingly, this isn't a new charter route, for the new carrier will be replacing Onur Air.


Currently, Onur Air leases the slots at Berlin Schönefeld from both Balkan Holidays and Air Via, according to our source within the airline.


As the contracts come to an end, the company has decided that it was necessary to keep the route active, and so is using its new Bulgarian subsidiary to acquire the slots at a cheaper price and operate the charter.


Conclusion

Bulgaria is an interesting market. While it is growing at a constant pace, it's difficult and unstable. In fact, Bulgaria Air told me last year, that low cost carriers such as Ryanair continue to battle their way into the market, forcing the flag carrier into uncertainty.


But Onur Air is not entering the scheduled market with its new subsidiary, moreover the charter one. As it isn't at all a crowded region for charter flights, it's likely it'll be a success.

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