Budapest leaps forward into 2011

BUDAPEST Airport increased its cargo traffic by 32 per cent in 2010, over 2009 levels, to 82,638 tonnes and a total of 5,808 freighter movements, itself an increase of 23 per cent.

“The result was satisfying in what has been a turbulent year,” said Budapest Airport vice-president cargo and logistics Christa Soltau (right). The levels, she said, were not far off 2007’s all-time high levels.

Highlights of the year included confirmation from Cargolux to add a fifth weekly 747-400F flight from Hong Kong, reflecting enhanced demand for direct cargo services to Asia. Strong markets for cargo in 2010 were led by Asia and the US. There will be more cargo volume this year with new regular passenger services coming from the US – from New York with American Airlines in April and Delta Airlines reinstating its services from June. Each departure of Qatar Airways’ new three-times weekly Airbus A320 flights to Doha, for example, is capable of accommodating eight tonnes of cargo in the hold. (This new flight linking Budapest with the Middle East launched in January 2011).

Cargo will play a big role in the airport’s expansion plans this year, with its new Cargo City being built adjacent to the passenger Terminal 2 for late 2012 completion. It will be a new home for handling agents, freight forwarders and integrators and will all be able to increase cargo handling capacity within the next two years up to 250,000 tonnes a year (currently up to 120,000 tonnes).

“Budapest has access to a catchment area of 20 European markets within 1,000km and we are playing an increasingly important role for logistics and distribution in the Central Eastern European market and beyond,” concluded Soltau.

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