Traffic at Budapest Airport has broken another record, as the number of arriving and departing passengers exceeded 12 million by the end of November. As a result of the dynamic growth, more than one million passengers used the terminals of Budapest in November, for the first time ever.
This year’s earlier traffic growth in excess of 14% has continued, as Budapest Airport registered 1,025,501 passengers during the month of November. This is the first time in the history of the Hungarian capital airport that traffic exceeded one million in November. Since the Christmas and the year-end period is always very busy, it is highly likely that traffic will approach or even exceed 13 million this year, setting another amazing record after the 11.4 million result in 2016.
The traffic growth is showing no signs of slowing down during the winter. Forecasts indicate that a natural dip usually occurs in traffic every year during January and February, which is likely to be the case in 2018 as well, but traffic performance in Budapest has become steadier and more balanced over the past few years. This is partly explained by the fact that the W17/18 schedule contained no fewer than 14 new flights and frequency increases including, amongst others, new services to sunny seaside destinations or nearby cities in destinations such as the Canary Islands and Morocco. Both Wizz Air and Ryanair are offering new flights to these places. Also, Iberia is returning to Budapest from December, with a link to Madrid during the winter.
"We are very proud of the traffic growth, which is not only to the merit of Budapest Airport, but also of the Hungarian economy and tourism. Budapest remains attractive for tourists and business travellers alike,” comments Jost Lammers, CEO, Budapest Airport. He added: “There are fewer and fewer white spots on our European route map. In addition to the transatlantic flights starting next summer, we are focusing on another connection to the Far East, trying to attract Asian carriers to the Hungarian capital, as these markets are becoming increasingly important for us.”
It is especially important that the traffic growth has not increased the burden for residents living in the vicinity of the airport, as the number of landings and takeoffs is growing at a much slower rate than passenger numbers, since the grounding of Malev five years ago and a significant reduction in the number aircraft movements as a result. In practice, this means that airlines are trying to increase the utilisation of their aircraft, or using larger ones on routes to and from Budapest. By way of comparison, while there were 126,000 landings and takeoffs ten years ago, the number of aircraft movements is expected to reach 100,000 again for the first time this year. Moreover, more and more airlines are now using quieter and cleaner modern aircraft.
To keep pace with the rapid growth in traffic, two years ago Budapest Airport launched a five-year development plan called BUD 2020 (worth approximately €160 million), as part of which it renovated Runway I and installed a new, state-of-the-art instrument landing system (ILS), an airport hotel which is due to open soon, and a passenger pier of more than 10,000m² to be completed next year, for non-Schengen flights at Terminal 2B.