Budapest Airport has celebrated the launch of a direct connection between Budapest and the Korean capital of Seoul, with the first flight (carrying some 40,000 tonnes of freight) landing on February 20.
Budapest Airport (known as BUD) CEO Rolf Schnitzler lauded the emerging importance of Budapest as the most important cargo hub in the region.
“Today we arrive at yet another major milestone at Budapest Airport. Ahead of its passenger flights starting from May, Korean Air is establishing as of today a direct cargo connection between Seoul and Budapest. The initial frequency of this dedicated cargo flight will be twice a week, and it will be operated by one of the most effective and modern cargo aircraft in the world: the Boeing 777F,” he said.
“We are especially proud to welcome a new airline customer to the BUD Cargo City, the cargo hub of Central and Eastern Europe, just over a month after its opening,” he said.
“The direct aerial connection is not only a huge advantage for Hungarian and international companies, but also an opportunity for Hungary and the Hungarian capital airport to become the number one cargo hub in the region,” Schnitzler added.
Jeong Soo Park, managing vice president for Europe at Korean Air, added, “I am very confident our cooperation will lead our business to connect and both economies to make a fruitful result. Furthermore, Incheon airport is becoming a major hub for cargo traffic in East Asia and Budapest will take an advantageous position in the Central European market.”
Levente Magyar, deputy minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, emphasized the benefits of South Korean investment, now surpassing the levels of German money flowing into the country.
“2019 was a special year in relations between Hungary and South Korea. The two countries celebrated the 30th anniversary of establishing formal diplomatic relations, and South Korea became the largest investor in Hungary, implementing projects to a value of HUF 2.5 billion, which is nearly half of the total investment portfolio. Trade also increased by one-third, compared to the previous year,” he said.
“While Hungary does not possess raw materials, or resources that other countries have, we do have an excellent geographical location, which may be our greatest treasure,” the deputy minister noted.
He also explained that the government would like to have an increasing number of world economic actors utilize this “teasure” in the future, arguing that this is the reason behind the construction of the cargo base, the development of railroads and motorways, as well as the purchase of a port in Italy.
At the end of his speech, he said that this economic goal is also the reason behind the government’s cooperation with Budapest Airport, assuring the company’s management of Hungary’s support in the future.
South Korea’s Ambassador to Hungary, Kyoo Sik Choe, added, “Korean Air’s new scheduled cargo flight and the direct Soul-Budapest passenger service to be launched in May further strengthen commercial and diplomatic ties between Hungary and South Korea,” he noted.
“On behalf of the embassy, we will do everything we can to ensure that these new aerial connections should be successful, for both countries.”
Afterwards, the new flight was inaugurated right on the tarmac at BUD Cargo City, where the Boeing 777F stood, via a ribbon cutting ceremony.