Monday, April 29, 2019

New Agreement Strengthens Air Freight on the Belt and Road Whilst More Expected

One Airport Cargo Cooperation Precedes Another
Shipping News Feature
HUNGARY – CHINA – The Chinese freight initiative commonly known as the 'Belt and Road' has produced yet another cooperation after a recent Forum in Beijing. Budapest Airport has stepped up its efforts to become a major cargo distribution and logistics base for China in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Xi'an Xianyang International Airport.

Airport management believe that the agreement will give it a chance to highlight Budapest Airport in China as a prime gateway to Central and South Eastern Europe. The deal certainly attracted the attention at high levels of government with Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade for Hungary, saying:

“Strong economic cooperation is only possible between two countries if they are well-connected, which is why aviation connections through direct flights between Hungary and China are of key importance.

“For this reason, we are delighted that a cooperation agreement between the airport of Xi’an and Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport has been signed, as this agreement may link additional Chinese cities to the network where direct flights are available from Hungary.”

The Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been pursuing increased cooperation with China in the field of trade and the development of joint projects. The support of Hungarian diplomats and trade promotion experts has helped Budapest Airport to double the weekly capacity of direct cargo flights between Budapest, Hong Kong, and Zhengzhou, and also to enhance the belly cargo links on board scheduled Air China passenger flights between Beijing and Budapest.

Since the beginning of April, Cargolux has been operating two additional direct cargo flights per week between Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport, one of the fastest growing airports in the world, and Budapest. Now Budapest Airport is also to sign a further MoU with Zhengzhou in May during a planned Chinese delegation visit to the city, to further strengthen aviation links between Hungary and China, prompting Jost Lammers, Chief Executive Officer, Budapest Airport, to comment:

"The foundation stone was laid with the direct connection to Zhengzhou, and now it is time to further intensify our cooperation with our new Chinese partners. Zhengzhou, Xi'an, and Budapest share a great dynamic of growth, and we are very confident that we can mutually benefit from this cooperation."

Photo: From left to right, René Droese, Chief Property and Cargo Officer at Budapest Airport; Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade for Hungary; and Wang Zhendong, Deputing Managing Director at Xi’an Xianyang International Airport.