Sterling year at Budapest Airport as volumes surge 13.4%

Budapest Airport handled a record 127,145 tonnes of cargo in 2017, up 13.4 per cent on the previous year, and 39.1 per cent on 2015.

The Hungarian hub ended the year with a balanced market share, with imports at 47.8 per cent, and exports at 52.2 per cent.

The 2017 figure was up on the 112,143 tonnes that was processed in 2016 and the 91,422 tonnes achieved in 2015.

This year has started in the same vein as in January to February 2018 figures the gateway handled a record 21,750 tonnes, up 17.4 per cent on the same period last year.

Budapest Airport director of business property and cargo, René Droese said: “Our cooperation agreement with STO Express and EKOL last year is testament to our continuous commitment to strengthening links between China and the European Union.

“As a result of being designated the preferred hub for air cargo by STO Express, e-commerce is set to experience a notable upswing at Budapest.

“Thanks to our development programme, we will be able to cover the entire cargo catchment zone, from Ukraine to the Czech Republic, and from Poland to Bulgaria, where the relevant air cargo industrial production is booming.”

Budapest Airport has leveraged a strong belly cargo network, with LOT Polish Airlines set to launch two flights per week to Chicago, and four flights per week to New York, and American Airlines set to commence a daily service to Philadelphia, creating direct links between the USA and Hungary.

“We expect further growth of 20,000 tonnes belly cargo capacity annually thanks to the belly capacity on flights from Qatar Airways, LOT Polish Airlines, and American Airlines,” added Droese.

The Central European hub opened two new express facilities totalling 16,000 square metres in the summer of 2017, as part of its €160 million (HUF50 billion) BUD:2020 Development Programme.

A 20,000 square metres dedicated freight centre, called Cargo City, will be handed over in the second quarter of 2019, and will expand the hub’s cargo handling capacity to 250,000 tonnes per year.