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BUD Handles Record Cargo Volumes, Sees Continued Growth in H1

Budapest Airport (BUD), the operator of the Ferenc Liszt International Airport says it processed a record 72,161 tonnes of cargo from January to July 2017, up 19.6% on the same period last year.  

Left to right: Réka Sebestyén, head of property development and leasing; René Droese, property and cargo director; and Jozsef Kossuth, cargo manager, all for Budapest Airport.

The airport recorded 49,420 tonnes of air cargo, up 16.7%, and 22,741 tonnes of trucked cargo, up 26.5% compared to last year. July figures grew 16% to 10,729 tonnes, including 7,432 tonnes of airfreight, up 15.5 % on July 2016, and 3,297 tonnes of trucked freight, up 17.2%.   

“Budapest has a balanced market share, with inbound cargo at 47% in the first half of the year, and outbound cargo at 53%,” says József Kossuth, cargo manager at BUD. “All segments of our community, including freighters, belly cargo, and integrators enjoyed volume increase in this period compared to 2016, which was already a record cargo year at Budapest Airport.”

North America, Central America, and Asia were the largest markets for Budapest Airport, with the remaining share coming from the Middle East, South America, and Africa.

The Central European hub grew thanks to new cargo flows from long-haul passenger route operators including Emirates and Air China, in addition to volume increases from freighter partners, including Qatar Airways Cargo, Cargolux, and Turkish Cargo.

Extensive Network 

“Budapest Airport benefits from an extensive road network to 20 European Union (EU) and non-EU countries within trucking distance of our airport,” says René Droese, property and cargo director, Budapest Airport.

“Together with the airline development team at Budapest, we have leveraged a strong belly cargo network, with Air Canada having already commenced seasonal flights to Budapest, and American Airlines scheduled to launch a daily service from Philadelphia, USA, to Budapest in the summer of 2018. The Polish flag carrier LOT Polish Airlines will also launch six direct flights per week from Budapest to New York and Chicago in May 2018, creating an additional direct link between the USA and Hungary,” Droese adds.

Under the BUD:2020 Development Program, the airport operator is transforming its cargo facilities, which will include two state-of-the-art express facilities, and a dedicated freight center called Cargo City. This latter will be next to Terminal 2, and is due to be completed in 2019.

On September 14, BUD announced that DHL Express had become the latest to launch at the EUR 160 million state-of-the-art express warehouse and office facilities. These have automated sorting systems, and represent the largest air cargo development at the airport to date, with a total land area development of just over 60,000 square meters.

“DHL Express has already been present in Hungary for more than 25 years. The new lease agreement between Budapest Airport and DHL Express for another 15 years clearly reflects the commitment of Deutsche Post DHL Group to Hungary and the airport,” says Zoltán Bándli, managing director of DHL Express Hungary.

“The 6,000 sqm warehouse capacity will give DHL space to accommodate the volume growth of our business, with the new state-of-the-art sorting technology, which includes fully automatic shipment processing, allowing us to process more than 6,000 pieces per hour, which is three times our current capacity,” Bándli says.

Improved Synergies 

“As DHL Global Forwarding and DHL Freight are also located at Budapest Airport, synergies between the three business units will strengthen, and contribute to a more effective operation, further improvement of services, and development of cross dock businesses. The move will also mean a quality improvement in working conditions, and further efficiency gains in warehouse operations,” Bándli adds.

More than 600 employees will be based at the two new express complexes, which are located in the area next to Terminal 1.

Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport is owned by a consortium of Canadian (Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, 21.2 %) and Singaporean (Malton Investment Pte Ltd., 23.3 %) investors, led by AviAlliance GmbH (55.4 %).

The airport is a leading international air cargo hub servicing 45 airlines, with a throughput of 112,143 tonnes of cargo in 2016. This year, BUD was awarded the Skytrax title for “Best Airport in the Region” for the fourth time in a row, the first time in the history of the awards that an Eastern European airport has kept its top position for four consecutive years.