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Budapest Airport sees bolstered traffic in 2012

Budapest Airport handled 8.5 million passengers in 2012, just 4.7% less than in 2011 and a satisfactory result taking into account the failure of the country’s flag carrier Malév in February. Notably, the airport welcomed a record number of originating and departing (O&D) passengers (8.3 million) with only 200,000 passengers using the hub airport for their transfers – bringing a positive benefit to the local economy. This compares with the previous high of point to point traffic in 2011 of 7.4 million passengers, at a time when almost half of Malev’s passengers transferred through BUD. The average load factor was 74.1%, 2.5% up on 2011. Traffic carried by low cost airlines increased 91.8%, accounting for 4.38 million passengers. Budapest Airport handled 61,938 tonnes of freight (31,185 tonnes by truck, 93.123 tonnes by air and truck). The airport also improved its punctuality in 2012 reporting a year round average of 82.4% of flights departing on time compared with 79% in 2011. Airport related delays (which accounted for 4.6% of the year’s total delays) were reduced by just under 50% (for a total of 30,000 minutes). This was 10% down from 2011’s result. With airlines reporting that a delay costs them up to 90 Euros a minute, year on year savings from this improved performance contributed over 2.5 million Euros. Productivity was further enhanced with the introduction of walk on / walk off boarding gates, which processed a record 250,000 passengers during October-December. Further enhancements are planned in readiness for the summer 2013 schedules. Following the closure of Terminal 1 all operations were centralised in T2, resulting in further efficiency and cost savings for ground handlers who were previously dividing their time between T1 and T2. Service quality also improved in spite of handling a mix of new airlines and consolidation into Terminal 2. ACI satisfaction ratings gave BUD a score of 3.86 from a maximum rating of 5, compared with a 3.80 score in 2011. The greatest improvements highlighted were a good selection of restaurants/eateries and shopping facilities, positioning BUD close to the top of its peer group of airports across Europe. Improved queuing times and courtesy and attentiveness of security screening staff was also recognised. By year end Budapest Airport’s network embraced 110 airports (17% up on 2011) in 93 cities (up 17%) in 41 countries.  With many carriers leaping to pick up routes abandoned by Malév, today only 13 destinations previously served have not resumed. “We will continue to drive home service improvements during 2013 to ensure that both our airline partners and our passengers continue to receive high quality and best value services,” said Budapest Airport CEO Jost Lammers, reflecting on a positive year.