Sister airport agreement signed between Pudong, Budapest Airport


Image by Róbert Baranyi/Budapest Airport

Budapest Airport announced signing a sister airport agreement with Shanghai Pudong International Airport, in addition to launching the Ningbo-Budapest-Ningbo cargo flight from the end of May, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

The Chinese-Hungarian Logistics and E-commerce Forum, organized by the Consulate General of Hungary in Shanghai and Budapest Airport, was held for the fourth time this year, this time with the participation of well-known companies such as the Shanghai Association of Social Sciences (SASS), the Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG), PwC Shanghai, China COSCO Shipping Corporation Ltd.. China Eastern Airlines, Eastern Air Logistics, Alibaba, Cainiao Logistics, and the China International Electronic Commerce Center (CIECC).

From the Hungarian side, the industry was represented by the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA), the Hungarian-Chinese Chamber of Economy, Budapest Airport Zrt., CECZ Közép-európai Kft., R-BAG Hungária Kft., the National Tax and Customs Administration, and European Chinese Supply Chain Zrt. (ECSC).

The participants of the event discussed logistics and e-commerce opportunities between China and Hungary, as CEE regional Silk Road bridgehead, and the actions necessary to be able to exploit them. 

Shanghai Pudong International Airport is one of the most important passenger and cargo airports of the region and of the world. In 2019, it handled approximately 76 million passengers and 3.6 million tons of cargo; the latter makes it the third-largest cargo airport in the world, by volume. The aim behind the signing of the sister airport agreement is to launch, in the framework of even closer cooperation, new passenger and cargo flights between the two airports, as soon as the regulatory framework allows, which could facilitate touristic, economic, and commercial relations between the continents.

Cooperation between Budapest and Shanghai airports is nothing new; the direct Shanghai-Budapest flight launched in 2019 provided considerable passenger and air cargo capacities between the Hungarian capital and the Chinese metropolis, and between China and the CEE region as a whole. Until the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, it facilitated the transportation of 43,643 passengers and more than 1,500 tons of air cargo.

Chris Dinsdale, the CEO of Budapest Airport stated, “The treaty signed today provides the framework for the restart of flights between Budapest and Shanghai, and supports the launch of direct passenger and air cargo capacities between the two airports, together with their important touristic, economic and commercial incentive effects, as soon as the regulatory and the travel environment enable this. This agreement is an important message from both parties; it demonstrates our commitment and intention to revive the aerial connection between Shanghai and Budapest. I would also like to express my gratitude to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Consulate General of Hungary in Shanghai, and the Shanghai Airports Authority, who provided significant support for the conclusion of the agreement.”

Another important aviation connection was also announced during the event: Eastern Air Logistics, a subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines announced that it will operate a direct cargo flight between Ningbo-Budapest-Ningbo from the end of May, which will mean the transportation of 30 tons of air cargo per flight in each direction. Budapest Airport signed a cooperation agreement with Ningbo Lishe International Airport at the end of 2015, which was the first step leading to the launch of the flight.

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