Budapest Airport processed a record 72,161 tons of cargo in the first half of 2017, up 19.6% on the corresponding period last year. The Hungarian capital recorded 49,420 tons of air cargo, up 16.7%, and 22,741 tons of trucked cargo, up 26.5% compared to last year, shows a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.
July cargo figures grew 16% to 10,729 tonnes, including 7,432 tons of air freight, up 15.5% on July 2016, and 3,297 tons of trucked freight, up 17.2%, according to the press release.
“Budapest has a balanced market share, with inbound cargo at 47% in the first half of the year, and outbound cargo at 53%,” said József Kossuth, cargo manager at Budapest Airport. “All segments of our community, including freighters, belly cargo and integrators, enjoyed volume increases in this period compared to 2016, which was already a record cargo year at Budapest Airport,” he added.
North America, Central America and Asia were the largest markets for Budapest Airport. The Central European hub grew thanks to new cargo flows from long-haul passenger routes, from operators including Emirates and Air China, in addition to volume increases from freighter partners, including Qatar Airways Cargo, Cargolux and Turkish Cargo.
“Budapest Airport benefits from an extensive road network to 20 European Union and non-EU countries within trucking distance of our airport,” said René Droese, property and cargo director at 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 to Budapest in the summer of 2018.”
Droese added that 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 additional direct links between the U.S. and Hungary.