Avolta boosts airside contracts at Burgas and Varna airports in Bulgaria

By Kristiane Sherry |

Avolta logo

Avolta has further expanded its presence in Eastern Europe with wins in Bulgaria

Travel retailer Avolta has increased its presence in Bulgaria with an eight-year contract extension plus the opening of six new stores across Burgas and Varna airports.

The new contract win and extension increases Avolta’s total retail space to 2,707m² across the two airports.

It marks a “significant milestone”, building on a 10-year partnership with Fraport Twin Star Airport Management in Bulgaria, Avolta said in a statement. 

The move gives Avolta the exclusive master retail concession airside at both Burgas and Varna, the country’s second and third-busiest airports respectively. 

From January 2024, Avolta will add six new stores, while refurbishing an additional 10 in its footprint at the airports. 

Varna is to get a mind.body.soul. health and wellbeing concept store, the first to open in Bulgaria. Also set to open is Candyfair, which offers toys and confectionery in a fun retail setting. 

Other developments include reworking Bulgarian Bazaar into the Taste of Varna and Taste of Burgas concepts. Meanwhile a new walkthrough store will feature tasting bars in the liquor section to boost sampling.

The win also includes the opening of a Hudson convenience store and a temporary travel accessories and electronics space at each airport. 

Operations will launch in two phases. By summer 2025, Avolta will have boosted its retail space by an additional 630m².

Avolta in Bulgaria: The space is a ‘rarity’

“We are honoured to be awarded the master retail concession by Fraport Twin Star Airport Management, making us the exclusive air-side retailer at Varna and Burgas airports,” said Luis Marin, Avolta’s President and CEO Europe, Middle East and Africa.

“Besides thanking the airport, I also want to thank the teams that contributed to this winning proposal. In line with our Destination 2027 strategy, we are determined to redefine how travellers perceive airports, shifting them from places to kill time, to places to spend time. 

“With this in mind, we are enthusiastic to support the innovative expansion of the open-air terrace at Varna Airport, with the introduction of our very own mind.body.soul., Candyfair and Last Minute retail stores. 

“The terrace space is a rarity among airports and promises an unforgettable experience for travellers, with a unique offering of retail stores, dining options and boarding gates, all within an open-air setting.

Varna airport CREDIT Fraport Twin Star Airport Management AD

Avolta has won big at Varna Airport, Bulgaria. Image: Fraport Twin Star Airport Management AD

“Another key priority for Avolta is to foster a sense of place for travellers. In the refurbishment and expansion of our walkthrough stores, we have incorporated interior design elements that pay homage to the local cities and heritage. Native red Bulgarian roses – an iconic symbol from the domestic culture – form striking sculptural pieces in our ‘Taste Of’ concepts, and wooden wagons elegantly showcase local products. 

“These deliberate design choices, combined with a wide array of local delicacies, spirits, cosmetics, and souvenirs, invite travellers to immerse themselves in each city’s essence and to take a little piece of the local culture with them on their journey.”

Dr. Frank Quante, Fraport Twin Star Airport Management CEO, added: “We are all very happy and excited to start in 2024 an eight-year period with excellent partners! 

“This is more than an upgrade of our commercial areas in Burgas and Varna, this goes together with new outside areas and an exceptional customer experience! 

“I am sure our guests at the airport will enjoy very much their stay at our airports! Thank you to Avolta and our own team.”

Earlier this week, Avolta announced it had won a seven-year concession to operate 10 duty free stores with hybrid elements at Nikola Tesla Airport, Belgrade.

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