LZ-BER  Ilyushin IL-18D                      (c/n  184 0072  03)


                                  The Bulgarian-Soviet Joint Stock Company for Civil Aviation (TABSO) took over all of Bulgaria's
                                  airline operations in 1949.   Initial services were performed with Junkers Ju 52/3ms and later with
                                  LI-2s.  In 1954 the Bulgarian government more or less bought out the Soviet interest although it
                                  was still, of course, an Iron Curtain state and, as such relied 100% on Soviet equipment.  In 1956
                                  IL-14s were introduced and the operating name was anglicized to Bulgarian Air Transport.  The
                                  IL-18s were placed into service in 1962 and routes opened up to Kenya and Peru.  The above
                                  machine was formerly registered in the Soviet Union as CCCP-75544, and was later converted
                                  to IL-18V standard.  By 1968 the airline had changed its name to Balkan Bulgarian Airlines. This
                                  latter company ceased operations in 2002.