Budapest back close to its best
Budapest’s Ferihegy Airport (BUD) will more than double its cargo-handling capacity when it opens its new 250,000-tonne Cargo City.
The development, scheduled for completion in late 2012, is being built alongside passenger terminal 2. It forms part the BUD Future project, which aims to turn Budapest into the major aviation hub for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).
Currently, Ferihegy has capacity for 120,000 tonnes. It handled 82,600 tonnes of flown cargo in 2010, a 32 percent increase, and saw more than 5,800 freighter movements, 23 percent up on 2009. The figures brought Budapest back close to its record pre-recession performance achieved in 2007.
Budapest is the base for Malev, Hungary’s national airline, and 32 other carriers, serving more than 90 destinations. The airport suffered very few weather diversions last year and accepted a number of aircraft diversions itself because of poor conditions elsewhere.
This was “testimony to years of experience in operating under extreme winter conditions and having invested in the right equipment,” said Christa Soltau, vice president, cargo and logistics.
“The result was satisfying in what has been a turbulent year,” Soltau added. “Budapest has access to a catchment area of 20 European markets within 1,000 kilometers, and we are playing an increasingly important role for logistics and distribution in the CEE market and beyond.”
A strengthening cargo market in 2010 was led by Asia and the U.S., with Cargolux adding a fifth weekly B747-400 freighter service from Hong Kong. Additional bellyhold capacity this year comes via Qatar Airways’ three-times-weekly A320 flights to Doha, launched in January, which accommodate up to eight tonnes of cargo.
American Airlines starts a passenger service to New York in April and Delta Airlines will reinstate its services from June.