Sales of tickets for direct flights between Budapest and Shanghai are set to start on June 7, marking a milestone in Budapest Airportʼs (BUD) efforts at establishing a direct link with the South China metropolis, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.
The airport says that the new link comes as a result of efforts by BUD and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to further develop a route network in Asia by adding new destinations to Beijing, Dubai, and Doha. The long-haul destination will be operated by China Eastern Airlines.
According to the plans announced in Shanghai, the route will be flown with a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, offering 285 seats (four first class, 26 business, 28 premium economy and 227 economy).
The flight is planned to depart around midnight from Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport, and is set to arrive in Budapest after 6 a.m. the next morning; a flight time of about ten hours.
The route will operate three flights a week (Wednesday, Friday and Sunday). Shanghai serves as a hub for people traveling to Japan, South Korea, other countries in Southeast Asia and China, and on to Australia or New Zealand. The flights operated by Shanghai Airlines, a subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines, will also be able to carry up to ten tons of belly cargo.
"We are overjoyed with the announcement of the availability of direct flights by Shanghai Airlines between Shanghai and Budapest next summer," said Kam Jandu, the CCO of Budapest Airport.
"This marks the success of years of diplomatic and business efforts from both countries to bring together all interested parties and to offer this excellent destination to our passengers."
Jandu pointed out that, according to market surveys, there is a potential customer interest in the flight from at least 80,000 travelers per year.
"I am sure that this new flight [...] will be very popular among both business travelers and tourists wishing to visit China or Hungary, due to, among other factors, the Danube ship cruises starting out from Budapest, for which there is strong demand by Chinese travelers," he noted.
China Eastern Airlines currently operates a fleet of more than 600 aircraft of an average age of less than five-and-a-half years, making it one of the youngest fleets amongst large carriers in the world.