History

The beginning of civil aviation in Plovdiv is marked with the first test flight en route Sofia-Plovdiv-Bourgas Yambol back in 1928. Later, in 1947 the first seasonal flights carrying passengers for the Plovdiv Fair start operation between Sofia and Plovdiv.

In its issue of October 2, 1947, the regional newspaper "Fatherland Voice" reported that in 45 days over 1 500 passengers were transported on this route with the flights being always on time.

In May of 1948 a scheduled service en route Sofia-Plovdiv-Burgas-Varna and vice versa was announced. A terminal building was built on the grounds of the former Fifth Air Squadron and a ticket desk downtown.

The first flights were operated by TABSO with Yu-2 aircraft, later with LI-2 aircraft. During the Plovdiv Fair the airport served an average of 25 aircraft per day.

From May 2, 1962 the airport moved to the area of Graf Ignatievo, and a year later the regional newspaper "Fatherland Voice" published an article titled "Plovdiv Airport has its new runway completed". In the same article the paper announced the expansion Balkan Airlines charter programme with flights to Plovdiv from Berlin, Moscow, Prague and Vienna operated by IL-18, TU-104 and TU-114 aircraft.

On September 13, 1965 a new terminal building was opened and on the next year an expansion of the parking ramp was complete to meet the needs of the winter charter program.

During these first years of the new location, Plovdiv airport served scheduled domestic passenger flights to Burgas, Varna, Targovishte, Ruse, Gorna Oryahovitsa and Sofia, operated mainly by Ilyushin Il-14 aircraft. The winter charter program was expanding fast. Several times the airport was announced a national leader.

The 70s were the decade of the cargo flights growth. Aeroflot started a service with IL-18, AN-12 and TU-154 aircraft, and only in 1972 more than 5 000 tons of agricultural produce was transported. On April 18, 1978 the airport accepted for the first time the IL-76 aircraft, which carried 40 tons of payload.

Domestic scheduled flights were discontinued in 1980, with the IL-14 aircraft being withdrawn from operation, but the number of winter charter flights continued to increase.

A new relocation of the airport was needed and and it was built at its present position near Krumovo – a village between Plovdiv and Asenovgrad. New terminal building was constructed, a new technical block, a power building and a new Air Traffic Control tower.

On December 18, 1982 the first TU-134 aircraft landed performing a charter flight from Amsterdam, announcing a new era for Plovdiv Airport.

In August 2009 a brand new terminal started its operation accommodating 10 check-in counters for departing passengers. The aircraft parking ramp was also expanded to allow the accommodation of 13 aircraft.

 The newest era in the history of Plovdiv Airport began with the arrival on November 3, 2010 of a Ryanair Boeing 737-800 from London (Stansted Airport), which was the start of the year round international scheduled passenger service to and from Plovdiv Airport.