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Budapest set to become Chinese cargo hub

Budapest could become a distribution base for air cargo deliveries arriving from China by strengthening the local presence of Chinese logistics company STO Express, Mihály Hardy, communications director of Budapest Airport, the operator of Liszt Ferenc International Airport, told Hungarian news agency MTI.   

On the sidelines of the China-CEE summit meeting held in Budapest this week, leading Chinese logistics company STO Express announced plans to develop its business relations with Central and Eastern Europe in accordance with the Chinese governmentʼs endeavors, designating Liszt Ferenc International Airport as its air cargo base.

According to airline market intelligence provider Aviator, Budapest could become a hub for air cargo arriving from China, primarily e-commerce goods, following the signing of an agreement on the first phase of international cooperation to this effect.

Under the cooperation agreement signed by Budapest Airport with STO Express and EKOL, a European third-party logistics provider with a strong presence in Hungary, the cargo traffic of the airport will expand significantly, Aviator noted.

The report recalled that STO Express’s first cargo aircraft, filled primarily with e-commerce goods, arrived in the Hungarian capital on November 3. After signing the cooperation agreement, STO Express will operate scheduled cargo flights to Budapest, which is likely to generate a big increase not only in cargo traffic, but also in the field of e-commerce, the main profile of the Chinese company.

Air cargo volume at Liszt Ferenc International Airport rose by 14.5% in January-October 2017 compared to a year earlier, to 103,700 tonnes, recalled MTI. Aviator noted that cargo traffic at Budapest Airport has increased by 36% since December 2015, which it described as an outstanding result even in international comparison.

The cooperation agreement was signed on behalf of Budapest Airport by René Droese, director for property and cargo.

“Export-import between China and Hungary and the entire CEE region plays an important role in our rapidly developing market,” Droese was cited as saying in the Aviator report. “We believe that Budapest and Budapest Airport provide the best place for distribution by STO Express in CEE.”

The director added that Budapest Airportʼs new air cargo base, Cargo City, will commence operation in the summer of 2019.