Passenger Traffic at Ferenc Liszt Int'l Shows Early Signs of Weakening


Image by Budapest Airport/Róbert Baranyi

In September 2022, passenger traffic stood at 78% of the pre-COVID September 2019 numbers at Ferenc Liszt International Airport, slightly down compared to the July (81%) and August (80%) rates, operator Budapest Airport says.

The airport says that the mixed impact of the recent economic situation and the new government tax imposed on airlines has slowed the post-COVID passenger traffic recovery.  A total of 1,185,462 arriving and departing passengers used Ferenc Liszt International Airport in the first month of the fall. Until the end of September, Budapest Airport welcomed a total of 9,060,752 passengers almost 265% more than in the first nine months of 2021.

This year, London, Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Paris have proven to be popular destinations outside the peak season as well.

Cargo volumes show a minimal decrease of 4.1% compared to September 2021. On an annual level, however, there is also an increase in this segment; the 143 716 tons of air cargo handled so far is 7.8% more than the volume registered during the January-September period last year. 

BUD Cargo City to Be Expanded

The BUD Cargo City, opened by Budapest Airport in 2020, has handled record cargo volumes since its launch. Due to the success of the development, the airport has decided to expand it. In September, the expansion of the cargo apron adjoining the facility commenced, and in October, the capacity expansion of the handling building also began.

Budapest Airport is constructing an additional 6,500 sqm of warehouses, 2,000 sqm of offices, as well as a live animal holding area and other service facilities. With the expansion, the airport’s annual cargo capacity will increase from 250,000 tons to 300,000 tons.

Smokers’ Terrace Opens in the Transit Area of Terminal 2B

In addition to the BUD Cargo City expansion, the airport has also opened a new observation and smoking area at Terminal 2B. The 200 sqm terrace is currently welcoming passengers with a minimum of functional furnishings and will be given a final design, complete with benches and greenery, at a later stage. With this early opening, Budapest Airport aimed to meet the needs of passengers as quickly as possible.

In response to feedback from passengers, the airport operator started preparing the observation and smokers’ terrace in September 2021. Taking into account the load-bearing capacity of the terminal’s roof structure, the new terrace was built on the roof of Terminal 2B with a separate, load-bearing steel structure. The main works were completed in just under six months, and the facility opened to passengers already in mid-September. The terrace provides an excellent view of the terminal apron and also has a covered (non-smoking) section, to allow passengers to enjoy the view even in bad weather.

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