Review of Bulgaria Air flight Southend Lyon in Economy

Airline Bulgaria Air
Flight BE6100
Class Economy
Seat XXF
Aircraft Embraer E-190
Flight time 01:35
Take-off 26 May 18, 14:35
Arrival at 26 May 18, 17:10
FB 18 reviews
By GOLD 371
Published on 15th February 2023


Hello everyone and welcome on this report, an archive that just took me 4 years to publish! 
I felt like reporting it for mainly 2 reasons:
- it is the only Flight Report on this route
- it was booked with Flybe but I ended up on a Bulgaria Air plane… 

So why Southend airport? Because by train is not that expensive to reach my home in East London, and because my office was closer than going to Heathrow, which means easier to catch the plane on a friday evening.
Also the airport is super small, even smaller than London City which of course is ideal to shrink the required time at the airpor

photo booking

Flybe was a small company and member of the Avios scheme, which meant that I was still able to build up my miles.

Avios earned with this flight: 130

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Interestingly enough, Bulgaria Air features 8 business class seats amongst the 100 seater plane, which weren't sold as such as per the flybe wet lease flight.


The airport is so easy to get to - look this is the view from the train station…

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It wasn't the most sunny of days unfortunately.

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If you haven't done your check in, you can do it on the ground floor next to arrivals, otherwise you can just directly go to the first floor through security - possibly the quickest I have been to in Europe.

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Boarding happened during a rare blue sky patch on the usual grey sky.

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onboard the e190

To my great surprise, we didn't board on the plane of the previous picture but on an e190 of Bulgaria air which was clearly wet leased for a couple of days for Flybe.

Aircraft: Embraer E190STD
Registration: LZ-VAR
Engines: 2x CFM34
Age: 10 Years
Layout: C8 Y92
Observation: Now part of Tap Portugal (with the tail still painted as Bulgaria Air)

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The crew is also bulgarian, some of them speak an impeccable english, some others don't really.

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We are clearly on a bulgarian plane…

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After take off the sky becomes clearer and I can enjoy the view on the Thames / North sea.

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and the flight magazine, an historical artefact now since the company filed for bankrupcy for the second time…

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at lyon - st exupery airport

A last picture from the outside view of the T1A building..

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Bulgaria Air

Cabin crew7.5

Southend - SEN


Lyon - LYS



Flybe: a nice flight overall. Crew was professional and caring despite some of them struggling with english.
A bit of a lack of entertainment, and the buy on board is always a shame.

LYS: airport very efficient and fluid as usual.

SEN: airport that defines the word efficiency to me, great if you live in essex, a bit less if you live in London.

For memory here are my criteria
-Entertainment: None < 4.5 Magazine 6< an application 7< Wifi 8 < IFE = 10
-Cabin: visually interesting, comfortable and practicle> 7.5. For example, Ironing boards are <7
-Crew: Went for the extra mile, they outdone themselves > 7.5
-Repas: : Buy On Board <5 Free <7.5< Visually interesting, nice in quantity and quality



If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 621336 by
    Pilpintu TEAM BRONZE 981 Comments
    Hi, Chris!

    I felt like reporting it for mainly 2 reasons

    Absolutely! These reports on lesser known airports and airlines are my personal favorites. And, as you mention in your report, the experience can be so much better than that at larger airports and better known airlines!

    Seat XXF

    That's 20F, right? You had me scratching my head, trying to remember how Roman numerals work. I thought "Is it twenty... FFFive????" 😆

    By the way, do you know how Romans ordered five beers? They made this gesture at the waiter: ✌️ (V) lol

    this is the view from the train station

    Wow! They are not joking when they say the airport is just some steps from the train station!

    It wasn't the most sunny of days unfortunately.

    Better for photos, anyway

    an historical artefact now since the company filed for bankrupcy for the second time

    Actually, you were flying on a zombi! Flybe resurrected and died again!!

    Thanks for sharing this "accidental" Bulgaria Air flight, Chris!
    • Comment 621443 by
      ChrisB GOLD AUTHOR 3013 Comments
      Hi Nelson and thank you for the comment !
      Sorry I am not publishing a lot in English nowadays, but more in french… I will however publish the series about my honeymoon in english 
      Yes there is something “cute” and easy with smaller airports and smaller jets!
      I thought "Is it twenty... FFFive????" 😆

      Ahaha no it is just that I can’t seem to retrieve my boarding pass so I can’t really know for sure.
      They made this gesture at the waiter: ✌️ (V) lol

      Lol ahahahah I thought they preferred wine to beer!
      Actually, you were flying on a zombi!

      Ahahah indeed!
      Thanks for stopping by Nelson again :)
  • Comment 621361 by
    LeMatheuxVoyageur BRONZE 730 Comments
    Hello chrisB and thank you for this report which is a history testimony. Nowadays, only Easyjet is operating from/to London Southend. It seems to be like the Vatry Airport of UK ! but not as far from London as Vatry is from Paris. Onboard, it's a classic service for a Low Cost and a classic configuration for an Embraer 190 ! However, this livery is not, as well as the route ! See you soon !
    • Comment 621444 by
      ChrisB GOLD AUTHOR 3013 Comments
      Hi Yann and thank you for the comment !
      I didn’t know that for southend airport, I thought that at some point Ryanair tried to set up a base there too, but anyway it is always a bit sad when a single company operates at an airport.
      Yes the livery was a pleasant surprise for me too, shame I didn’t seem to have taken a picture of the fuselage.
      See you soon!

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