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François Berisot Appointed CEO of Budapest Airport (June 28, 2024)

Transport

François Berisot

François Berisot has been named the new CEO of Budapest Airport Zrt., effective June 6. Berisot has more than two decades of international aviation experience, having spent the last five years as the CEO of Nikola Tesla Airport in Belgrade, part of Vinci Airports.

“François Berisot is a highly qualified professional in the airport industry, covering operations management, commercial and market development, infrastructure renewal and expansion, strategic planning, finance and construction. He brings extensive knowledge of airport operations gained through multiple relevant roles and experience, most recently as the CEO of Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport,” Budapest Airport said in a press release.

Previously, Berisot served as the deputy managing director and chief financial officer of TAV Construction in Turkey. Earlier, as business development project director at Vinci Airports, he was responsible for supervising major airport projects (including PPPs, airport acquisitions and privatizations). Before joining Vinci, he held several operational positions, including as COO of Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan.

Berisot succeeds Kam Jandu, the former CEO of Budapest Airport Zrt., who joined BUD in 2009 and previously worked for the company as aviation director and then as CCO.

“The company would like to thank Kam for his immeasurable contributions to BUD’s achievements,” the airport operator said.

Changing Hands

A consortium of the Hungarian state-owned Corvinus Zrt. and the French co-investor Vinci Airports acquired ownership of Budapest Airport Zrt. on June 6 from AviAlliance and its co-shareholders GIC and CDPQ.

According to Hungarian news agency MTI, the Hungarian State will hold an 80% stake in Budapest Airport Zrt., while Vinci will have 20%. The purchase price was put at EUR 3.1 billion.

Budapest Airport experienced substantial growth in passenger traffic under the ownership of AviAlliance, nearly doubling the passenger total from 8.4 million in 2008 to 16.2 million in 2019. It expects to reach those levels again this year.

The previous shareholders had invested more than EUR 700 million in the expansion and development of the airport since 2007. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, more than EUR 200 mln has been invested in improving airport infrastructure and passenger comfort since 2020 alone.

According to AviAlliance, developing the airport over the years has benefitted the entire country, contributing an estimated EUR 2.85 billion to the Hungarian economy in 2022, which is approximately 3% of Hungary’s GDP.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of June 28, 2024.

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