BUD Cargo City opens for business

From left to right: Csaba Szlahó, mayor of Vecsés; Szűcs Lajos, member of the National Assembly of Hungary; Levente Magyar, parliamentary under secretary of state; Rolf Schnitzler, chief executive, Budapest Airport; Gerhard Schroeder, chairman, Budapest Airport; Steven Polmans, chairman, TIACA; and René Droese, chief property and cargo officer, Budapest Airport

BUD Cargo City, Budapest Airport’s new dedicated air freight facility, is now open. Over 400 guests from the Hungarian government and local and international air cargo community gathered for the official opening and ribbon cutting ceremony.

Phase 1 development work on the 50m euro freight terminal now having been completed, all warehouse and office space has been leased out to tenants, the airport operator confirmed.

When finished, BUD Cargo City will incorporate an 11,200 square metre forwarder building as well as 21,600 square metres of warehousing space, plus a 32,000 square metre cargo apron that can simultaneously hold two Boeing 747 freighters.

The forwarder building will be handed over in Phase 2, in January 2020, to be home at the gateway to logistics specialists such as Kuehne + Nagel, cargo-partner, DB Schenker, EKOL, Kombi Express, Ghibli/ CECZ and Yusen Logistics.

“BUD Cargo City is a significant milestone in BUD’s growth strategy, and establishes the airport as Central and Eastern Europe’s air cargo hub and gateway to the world,” declared Rene Droese, chief property and cargo officer at Budapest Airport.

“BUD Cargo City provides a state-of-the-art, efficient, linear and rapid logistics environment for our air cargo community and opens up a world of potential for our partners with high quality increased capacity to build new connections to all continents, especially Asia and North America,” Droese added.

With Phase 1 of the development finished, the airport’s freight handling capacity has increased to 250,000 tonnes a year.

This latest expansion of the airport’s freight facilities forms part of its wider 160m euro BUD:2020 Development Programme.

Celebi invests

Celebi Aviation Holding is one of the international ground and cargo handling companies moving into the 21,600 square metre state-of-the-art cargo handling facility.

Celebi Ground Handling Hungary handles 90,000 tonnes of cargo a year at the gateway and has invested in a two-phase infrastructure development plan in anticipation of air cargo growth at Budapest.

The location of Budapest Airport, or BUD, is “very attractive with its catchment area that expands both into Eastern and Western Europe”, observed Atilla Korkmazoglu, president, ground handling & cargo, EMEA for Celebi Aviation Holding.

“We have implemented a two-phase construction plan in order to meet growing air cargo volumes at BUD, and phase one is already underway with a 22,000 square metre area that includes 12,000 square metres of warehouse space, 1,600 square metres of office and social areas, and 8,000 square metres of manoeuvring and equipment parking areas. [Plus,] we will install a brand new ETV [elevating transfer vehicle] to increase the capacity for phase 2.”

Celebi has upgraded its freighter handling capability with a new 35-ton high loader for access to dedicated areas for special cargo handling.

“We are confident that the new Cargo City will enable us to meet the expectations of our employees and customers on a higher level via the better work environment and increased service level,” added Korkmazoglu.

“We are looking to collaborate with all stakeholders to help future growth and reach Budapest’s true air cargo potential.”

Building on potential

Over just the last twelve months, Budapest Airport has welcomed new bellyhold and all-cargo connections, most notably perhaps to China, and further new routes to the Far East are scheduled to open up next year.

“BUD airport has demonstrated that the team understands the value of cargo as a revenue stream, and their proactive approach to building an air cargo handling solution and community benefits their partners and the entire air cargo industry,” said Robert Fordree, executive vice president – cargo at Menzies Aviation, another of the service providers that is moving into the new air cargo handling facility.

“We will be bringing our global network to BUD, creating new opportunities for consolidation and global deals, and our new warehousing and office facilities at BUD Cargo City will provide us with airside access which is a game-changer for our business in Hungary.”

BUD currently serves a total of 45 airlines, and handled a throughput of 146,113 tonnes of cargo last year.

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