Monday, September 24, 2018

Hungary Matches Tourist Growth with Air Freight Investment as Cargo Tallies Rise

New Facility to Develop Eastern European Handling Role
Shipping News Feature
HUNGARY – The country has been steadily gaining in popularity over the past few years, particularly as a tourist destination for visitors landing at Budapest airport (BUD) but it seem the growth of cargo has matched the influx and now the Hungarian hub is to expand its handling capacity to further develop its role as, what its management says, is the leading gateway in the Central Eastern European region as air freight throughput continues to grow significantly at the airport.

The new dedicated freight centre, entitled Cargo City and part of the €160 million BUD:2020 Development Programme at the Hungarian hub, has already begun with a €32.6 million investment in a new 20,000 m2 cargo handling facility and new dedicated B747-8F freighter stands. This will centralise cargo operations and expand the airport’s handling capacity to handle increasing air cargo volumes there in the years to come.

The capital’s airport has seen cargo volumes grow 39% in just two years with a record 127,145 tonnes of cargo processed in 2017, and has seen a further 15.5% increase in tonnage between January and August 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. That year the BUD:2020 Development Programme saw two state-of-the-art express facilities in 2017 open with a total area of 16,000 m2 in order to supply increasing volumes from the express and e-commerce business. René Droese, Executive Director Property and Cargo at Budapest Airport, observed:

“This is an exciting milestone for the Hungarian cargo community. Following on from our infrastructure developments for the integrator market, our aim is to provide the ideal environment for air cargo with our Cargo City project. With the start of AirBridgeCargo and Silk Way West Airlines services in 2018, we now have five freighter operators at BUD.

“Volumes from our existing full-freighter partners, such as Cargolux, Turkish Cargo, and Qatar Airways Cargo, are also increasing. The cargo connectivity of Budapest airport is also continuously expanding via the new belly cargo services of LOT, American Airlines, and Qatar Airways, as well as Emirates, Air China, and Air Canada Rouge.”

Budapest this summer welcomed Kuehne + Nagel to its cargo community and saw four new North American routes launched, connecting New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia in the USA, and Toronto, Canada to Budapest. Jost Lammers, CEO of Budapest Airport commented:

“Air cargo is of strategic importance to BUD, and Cargo City will ensure that we continue to provide our growing customer base with efficient, modern facilities, so that they can thrive in our booming catchment area.”

The Cargo City development was warmly welcomed by President of the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) Róbert Ésik who pointed out that Hungary is the world’s seventh most popular investment destination, according to IBM’s Global Location Trends 2017 Annual Report.

As part of ongoing investment in its cargo offering, the Central European hub will once again team up with its German sister airports Düsseldorf and Hamburg,to take part in The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA)’s Air Cargo Forum in Toronto from the 16th to 18th October 2018.