Airlines Remembered

Vega Airlines

Photos © R.Leeuw

Ceased operations: Changed identity in 2007
Homebase: Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Founded: 1998
ICAO callsign: Vega Airlines
Prefix IATA: -- / ICAO: VEA
Operations: Cargo

Antonov An-12BP LZ-VEC (c/n 6344610) at Amsterdam-Schiphol IAP on 18Aug05.


Vega Airlines was a common appearance at most European international airports, as well as in the Middle East or in fact any other region on this world where a cargo charter would bring them.
JP Airline Fleets 2007 lists a fleet of 6 An-12s: LZ-VEA (c/n 1340106), LZ-VEB (c/n 01347701), LZ-VEC (c/n 6344610), LZ-VED (c/n 02348207), LZ-VEE (c/n 402410) and LZ-VEF (c/n 402001).
Bulgaria CAA banned on 21Feb07 five Bulgarian carriers from making EU flights, due to safety concerns the EU was making. Bulgaria, which had joined the EU in January, had become subject to air traffic restrictions because of security problems in the country's civil aviation system.
These five cargo carriers were: Air Sofia, Heli Air, Scorpion Air, Vega Airlines, and Bright Aviation. They could no longer operate to destinations in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland. A catastrophic commercial development for these airlines.
All these 5 companies flew mainly Russian An-12 and An-26 cargo planes and had been targeted by EU investigations for their air worthiness.
So many of these aircraft found new owners in countries such as Kazakhstan and could be seen visiting EU airports again...
Vega Airlines decided to rebrand to a new identity, Cargo Air, and acquired a Boeing 737-300F (LZ-CGO) which should be ready for operations after freighter conversion in Jan.2008
Cargo Air was hoping to become a fully certified JAR OPS compliant operator in 2008. Meanwhile the company has started its operations on 01Nov07 and its last 2 An-12s (LZ-VEC & LZ-VEE) are for sale. The website has changed to


Vega Airlines on

Other sources:
AeroTransport Data Bank
World Airline Fleets News - magazine

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