Budapest positioning itself as the hub for Eastern Europe

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Budapest Airport
Budapest Airport

Budapest Airport is positioning itself to be the air cargo hub of Eastern Europe having seen growth of 11.3 per cent so far in 2016.

The growth has come from both freighter aircraft and passenger services with bellyhold capacity. Cargo development manager, József Kossuth says a significant proportion of the growth has come from Qatar Airways Cargo re-launching flights between Budapest and Doha in March. Qatar Airways Cargo uses an Airbus A330 Freighter with 60 tonnes of capacity on the route.

The hub serving Hungary’s capital city has also benefitted from passenger services including Air China flights to Beijing and Air Canada Rouge to Toronto. Air Canada’s seasonal Boeing 767-300ER service to Toronto Pearson International Airport operates on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and will run until 15 October.

Korean carrier, Asiana Airlines has started weekly Budapest – Seoul services, which are expected to give Hungarian exports to East Asia a significant boost, having grown 42 per cent in 2015.

Kossuth says: “It is also an indication of the performance of the Hungarian economy that on the Air China flight to Beijing almost the full cargo compartment is booked, which means 10-12 tonnes per flight.”

“According to our forecasts, all conditions are pointing towards Budapest evolving into the air cargo hub of Eastern Europe within a
short period of time.”

In addition to the new services, Kossuth says existing cargo airlines such as Cargolux and Turkish Cargo are performing strongly in Budapest.

As part of the airport’s 50 billion Forint ($178.5 million) development programme, BUD 2020, Budapest has started constructing a new logistics base next to Terminal 1 for a major European parcel service company, valued at three billion Forint.

Budapest Airport is also preparing itself for the construction of a new cargo base – the Cargo City – close to Terminal 2, with warehouse and office capacity to handle up to 200,000 tonnes of cargo per annum.